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2016 what does this picture mean to me? contest | THIRD PLACE WINNER 

HERE WE ARE  
by Maya Johnson   

 
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Here I stand, in the corner of a vacant home. There he sits, at a table so immaculately laid about, all the lit candles casting its shadow on the porcelain plates and fine linen cloth.

There is a chill. There always seems to be a chill here that, even if you lay by a fire, you still feel in the marrow of your bones. Perhaps that’s why he never bothered to light the fireplace. He was used to cold.
 

Yet the candles stood ablaze.
 

So vibrant, always. I envied those candles, in a way, as strange as it sounds. How they just burn so bright in that dark house. But I didn’t mind it. You could never mind something that drives out darkness. It’s just not human.
 

As I stand, staring at those candles, being instilled with a comforting envy, I’m reminded of myself. Thinking back to the days when I was a dreamy little girl convinced of my destiny to reside in a sort of new age Camelot, waiting for my own kind of King Arthur in the seemingly never ending winters and runny noses. And there he so marvelously came. On his white noble steed, as it went about the carousel. I remember his shaggy hair, his freckles, his boyish features, sure. But his eyes. Oh, those eyes. They were like a fiery pit. You could never mind those eyes. It just wasn’t human. Besides, I was tired of the cold, anyway.
 

As I stand in this corner, I remember our years together. Him and I.
 

When he first tugged on my pigtails.
 

One.
 

When he first held my hand.
 

Two.
 

When he told me he loved me.
 

Three.
 

When he told me he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me.
 

Four.
 

When he watched me waste away from the cells eating away at my body.
 

Five.
 

Five candles he lights on that table. Every single night for supper.
 

There he sits on that wooden chair, staring aimlessly across the table, to nothing but a blank wall. Not some sweet woman or any friend. Just a wall, and a path of candles guiding him.
 

Here I stand in the dusty corner, staring helplessly across the room to nothing but a blank man. Not a bed of clouds or the view of glistening ivory gates. Just a man and his fiery eyes that have always guided me.
 

Here I stand. There he sits. He waits for me to come back. I ache for me to come back. To be together for one final supper. With everything laid out just the way I had always liked it, with the porcelain plates and fine linen cloth. And so it goes on. An endless saga. There, in that lonely house, those enviable candles burn out every night during this saga and reminds us of the imminent end everything must face, no matter how bright and glorious it was.
 

Yet, here we are. There he sits. And here I stand.

                                                                                                                                THE END



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