Man crying in the shadows

The time had finally come. David was finally getting ready to move to his new destination in a couple days as his job had relocated him. The brilliant engineer was getting ready to move from New York to Los Angeles and leave behind all the things that he grew up being around and the people he grew up with.

“I’m going to miss you all,” said David as he was speaking to Marlon, Allen and Karen.

“We’re going to miss you,” said Karen. Marlon and Allen nodded in agreement with Karen as they all clanged glasses while sipping on some wine.

“Leaving this place won’t be easy, but it will be welcomed.” said David.

As David was packing his things, he noticed a small, disposable camera tucked away in his couch. There’s no telling how long it had been there, but it had film in it and David was definitely intrigued as to what was on the film. With his curiosity peaking, he would make his way down to Walgreen’s to drop the film off. And when he asked how long it would take for it to be developed, he was told to come back the next day.

All night David began to think on the film and what it could be. Could it be pictures from old times at his current apartment during wild parties? Could it have been an event that he could vaguely remember and the pictures would bring back those memories? David was smothering his brain thinking on what it was until the next day when he picked up the film and then he noticed it. It was her.

It was May 2007, when a younger David was still at Rasberry College hanging with Allen, Karen and Marlon. The Fearsome Foursome, as they called themselves, were inseparable as they had all went to high school together and decided to go to college together too. On this particular day, David was wondering across campus trying to find his class when his attention was stolen by a slender Black woman with a big Afro. He was in love instantly as he saw her moving closer to him until she was right there in front of him.

“Can you help me find the lecture hall?” she asked.

David was so mesmerized that he had no idea what to say. He could only spit out “To the left.”

David eventually snapped out of it as the woman began to walk to the left confused as to what just happened.

“My name is David. What is your name?”

She smiled and said, “My name is Marley.”

From then on out, David was hooked. And he was so hooked that he did not remember his friends anymore. Marlon, Karen and Allen all were yelling at David to come hang with them as he had been in a trance with Marley for so long that he missed his class. David, still in a trance around Marley, could not hear them as he was in a daze. The two began to walk towards the quad as they were lost in each other’s eyes.

David and Marley’s romance would go on for years. He eventually would come out of the trance long enough to hang with his friends, but he was not around as much as he used to be and that bothered everyone, especially Karen.

“Why does he just ditch us when it comes to her?” said Karen. “We grew up together and this is the thanks we get?”

Karen was the longest tenured friend of David as they grew up living beside each other. She was the only girl David’s parents allowed in their house other than when David starting dating.

Karen just could not take it that Marley was there instead of her. She was supposed to be the one he was in a trance with, shared date nights with and the one whom he shared his bed with. Unfortunately, that was not the case and she was not happy about it. Of course, David was not really aware Karen had feelings for him nor were Marlon and Allen. Karen had been harboring these feelings for David since she was a child, only to never have them returned to her.

“He will be mine eventually,” Karen muttered under her breath. Maybe in her mind, but for now, David was all Marley’s.

After both graduated college, Marley and David moved to an apartment near campus to start their lives. David got a job with a local engineering firm and Marley, who studied marketing, started her job at a marketing firm. Both were still madly in love and on their way to getting married. Then came March 15th, 2014.

David trembled when looking at the pictures as he began to remember the day it all went sideways. He left for work that day at 7 am with his cup of coffee and his lunch which featured Marley’s leftover lasagna. As he left the apartment that day, he leaned in to give Marley a kiss and she kissed him back but not in the way she usually would.

“What’s wrong baby?” asked David.

“Nothing. I just think we should be married by now. We have been together for a while now and I love you and you love me. What is wrong with us being married officially?”

At that point, David was not sure what to tell Marley. He loved her and secretly had been planning to pay the last installment on a ring he had picked out specifically for her, in the green and gold colors that she liked.

“Marley, things will happen in their time. Trust me that I am not going anywhere. And that when the time comes, we will be married and together forever.”

Marley smiled, but she was not sure what that meant. Sure, David wanted to be with her forever, but she wasn’t sure when that forever with a ring was coming and she was not going to keep waiting. David said goodbye and left as Marley continued to get ready for work. Who would know that would be the last time David would see Marley.

As Marley was getting ready for work, she heard a noise coming from the patio beside the kitchen. Thinking it maybe was the neighbor’s cat, Marley went to see what it was only to see a masked burglar getting ready to bust through the glass. Boom! The burglar shattered the glass, moving towards Marley.

“You have been taking my spot for a while now. Time to end this.” The burglar whipped out a gun and shoots Marley right then and there, with the bullet hitting her right in the heart.

The burglar raced out to the patio and climbed a tree to get out of the apartment, leaving no trace but a broken patio door. Unfortunately, no one even heard the shot or the glass because everyone was gone to work and the burglar had a silencer. There lied Marley sprawled across the floor dead.

Meanwhile, David was thinking of the ring at work and decided he was going to get it for Marley so he could make her truly happy. The ring, which ended up costing him $20,000.00, was a special gift from him to her culminating their time together and their future. After he got off work, he headed home, ready to surprise his bride-to-be. He could not wait to see the expression on Marley’s face when he proposed and gave her the extravagant ring. Well, he got to see an expression on her face, but it wasn’t the one he wanted to see. As he turned the key in the lock to their apartment, he saw feet in the floor and as he pushed the door open further, he saw Marley laying lifeless in the floor. As soon as he saw her, he lost it. He immediately ran to her body and started performing CPR, knowing full well she was already dead. David called 911 and through the sobs, was able to tell them what he found. As the police and paramedics showed up, David sat in the corner stoic, still trying to process what he had walked in on. The love of his life was gone and he never got to have his happily ever after with her.

These pictures of he and Marley took David back to one painful moment in his life. Ever since that time, he had been alone and not wanting to be with anyone. He had become a workaholic and in doing so, he became one of the top engineers in the state and country. Anything he could do with work, he tried to all in an effort to fill the void left by Marley. He stood looking at the pictures for what seemed like forever while Allen, Marlon and Karen were wondering what David was looking at.

“I used to love her,” David said.

Karen finally got the gumption to walk over and see what David was looking at. Once she saw the pictures, she felt a certain way. She didn’t love Marley at all and she blamed her for the state of David now. And even though she blamed her for the state of David, there was a sick smile brewing under that frustration Karen had. That smile came from the joy she had breaking in and taking Marley out with a gun that particular day back in 2014.

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