Frozen Eternity prompt

Recently, I received a writing prompt from Justina at Welcome to My Imagination that is, to be cliché, to die for. Seriously, this is the prompt she gave me:

To reach out would mean to die, but to never speak would mean a frozen eternity.

I spent 10 minutes with this gorgeous prompt and came up with the very short story you can read below. Oh, and please check out Justina’s blog. She writes wonderful short stories as well as Q&A sessions with the characters.

To reach out would mean to die, but to never speak would mean a frozen eternity.

Why did he choose such an eternity? Why would he not reach out, even to me?

I could’ve helped. I would’ve helped, in any way he required. But he didn’t trust me. He didn’t trust the vows we made to each other five years ago, this day.

I kneel beside the headstone, crunching the fallen autumn leaves as I settle before his final tribute. Sliding two fingers across those words I had engraved on the marble slab, I only say them in my head because I’m afraid to say them aloud: ‘To reach out would mean to die, but to never speak would mean a frozen eternity.’

He wouldn’t object to the message. It’s how he lived. Perhaps he was afraid to live aloud, the same way I refuse to speak those words aloud.

Perhaps he thought himself brave for facing his demons alone when all along he had an army behind him, ready to fight for him at his beckon call.

Perhaps he wanted to find an answer for himself, feel like he didn’t need help, and would never, and so would at least hold onto his freedom even while imprisoned in his own mind.

Maybe he didn’t need help. Maybe this was his answer. I don’t know.

Mother once told me that a man doesn’t seek love, only validation, and when he feels the woman in his life can no longer offer him the validation sought, he leaves her.

But what did she know? She was divorced three times.

Or maybe she had it all figured out. I don’t know.

“Is that why you chose to leave me?” I ask of the dirt as the unusually sunny day warms the tears dripping from my chin. “Is that why you chose to live in your frozen eternity?”

I can only wish he had chosen to die.

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