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At Eternity's Gate

by Taylor M Welch 2 months ago in Short Story

At Eternity's Gate

I was the hopeless romantic.

And she…

She was the focus of my desire.

I was under the belief that the world was made up of good-- pure, pure good-- and complications. There was no such thing as evil or wrong. Only complications, weaving in and out of my line of sight.

She posed no complications.

That was one of the many reasons I loved her.

She was the air in my lungs, the blood in my heart, music to my ears.

I, as of then, had been musing over the thought of a gift. Something to convey how my chest swelled when I thought of her.

At first, I pondered giving her a painting. Something original. I painted several different depictions of sunflowers, which I believed communicated gratitude. Happiness. After finishing my third set of sunflowers, I decided this was not enough.

I thought, what will convey, in the strongest manner, that I care?

It was a tall order to fill, as are all things portraying love.

So I sat with the need for a long, long while.


The idea came to me in the dead of night.

My eyes shot open, and I could hear wind blowing through my open window.

The cold night air lifted both my heart and my feet.

I arose from my bed, traipsing down the hall.

All around, the rest of my paintings were strewn about the house, piled on top of each other, waiting to be re-done. Painted over with thick, white varnish. But not then.

No, not then.

Right then, I focused on my idea, blossoming within my mind like wildflowers in the spring.

I reached the kitchen and opened a drawer, searching for a gateway to my plan. Moving wooden spoons, paintbrushes, and loose twine. The bottom of the drawer was covered in uncooked pasta, in all different shapes. But I finally found what I was looking for. And I began.

I did it out of love.

I did it slowly, methodically, leaving me with a headache I chose to ignore.

It took all the time in the world, yet no time at all. A few times, I paused, contemplating if she would know what I meant with this gesture. Each and every time, I came to the conclusion that this, and only this, would be enough.

Then there it was.

It sat in my hand, slowly becoming cold.

I took my object of romance and wrapped it in a cloth, and then another.

My head pounded, and I could feel my heartbeat on the left side of my brain. I quickly accepted this as my new way of life. It was well worth the struggle, if it meant that she would be loved.

When my gesture was properly wrapped, I moved my way to the center of the house. Several brown paper boxes, of all shapes and sizes, sat in the corner of the den. I struggled with the boxes until I found one small enough-- something to properly display my gift.

I scrawled her name out on top of the box, and tied it shut with some of my loose twine.

The moment I closed the lid, I let out a sigh of relief.

Now she would know.

She would understand how much I loved her.

She would finally see me as the hopeless romantic I was.

With gift in-hand, I departed into the night, leaving so quickly that I forgot to close the door. It didn’t matter, really. My priority was her, and only her, her forever until the day I died.

Her place of residence sat in the middle of town, shining like a beam of light. I didn’t notice the cracks in the walls, or the dirt surrounding.

I set the box on the front step, positioning it to properly display her name.

It was perfect.

It was well-worth the sacrifice.

And I walked home with a skip in my step, knowing full-well that when she opened the box, she’d find my ear.

Short Story

Taylor M Welch

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Taylor M Welch
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