Honeycomb Lips, Chapter 2
by Deme Send
Candace's head thrashed violently as Lenny attempted to gently, but firmly awakened her.
"No, no leave me alone" she murmured laboriously as her motionless hands mindlessly pushed his hands away from her flaccid body.
"Candace, I'm here to help you, but I can't help you if you don't let me. I'm not going to let you deal with this senseless tragedy alone."
Lenny sighed uncontrollably as she struggled to get up from the floor. He artfully rearranged her limp body up against his as he guided her to the vacant leather coffee colored loveseat situated in her living room.
Minutes turned into hours and hours turned into days as her mind drifted in and out of consciousness and she aimlessly struggled to make sense of what was transpiring around her.
Simultaneously she felt the cool sharp prick of a needle as it plunged into her exposed vein and a translucent image of Xy flashed momentarily in front of her eyes. "Xy is that really you?" Her voice echoed loudly inside her head as the sedative rapidly began to take effect.
Xy nodded her head slowly and patted Candace's hand reassuringly as she whispered "Yes, Candy it's really me."
"He's gone Xy and I can't bring him back." Candace reluctantly closed her heavy eyelids and turned her head sideways as a dribble of clear saliva slowly cascaded down her exposed left chin.
Xy had turned the ringer off of Candace's telephone two days earlier because of the constant ringing which unknowingly awakened Candace every time she heard its annoying ring.
Xy brushed her mouth roughly with one hand as she peered down at Candace in her helpless, devastated state. She shook her head in defeat as she wondered about what lay in store for her cousin now that the love of her life lay dead in a morgue. Her thoughts were momentarily interrupted as Candace's physician Dr. Jung tapped her lightly on the shoulder and motioned with his hand for her to follow him out of Candace's bedroom.
"I think she'll be just fine after she wakes up tomorrow. She shouldn't need anymore sedatives now that you're here." He cocked his head to the side as his body weight shifted to accommodate the black doctor's bag he was carrying.
"Thank you for all that you've done Dr. Jung in regards to Candace." A solitary tear trickled down Xy's cheek as she turned her head in embarrassment for beginning to cry in front of a complete stranger.
"There, there dear child" mused Dr. Jung as he reached into his coat pocket and pulled out a crisp starched white handkerchief and gently dabbed away the tears which were now streaming down Xy's flawless face. "One must remain strong in moments such as these to provide strength to those that really need it. So if you must cry make sure you get it all out by tomorrow morning dear child. Because tomorrow morning when alas you dear cousin awakens she will require your undivided attention and strength."
Xy felt a much needed surge of undeniable strength as Dr. Jung wrapped his frail but strong arms around her shivering body.
"It will be alright child just you wait and see. Time heals all wounds no matter how devastating they appear at first glance, yes my child, time is a healer indeed." With those last words uttered Dr. Jung quickly dismissed himself from Xy's presence and headed out the front door.
The grandfather clock chimed eight o'clock as Xy peered out of the bay window overlooking the small desert town and watched the spectacular orange and purple hues of the sun as it disappeared into the never ending horizon.
She turned quickly as she heard Candace whimpering softly in her drug induced sleep.
A cup of caffeine free green tea is just what the doctor ordered she thought as she headed for the kitchen to make herself a cup of the hot beverage.
Xy hugged the warm cup of tea close to her body as she tucked her nippy feet underneath her warm buttocks. She glanced nervously over at her sedated cousin and shook her head dubiously wondering what lay in store for them both tomorrow when Candace finally emerged from the ongoing nightmare that would haunt her for the rest of her life.
Thirty minutes later Xy was curled up tightly in a semi-fetal position, fast asleep and snoring lightly to the rhythmic tick tock of the pendulum as it silently swung back and forth in a freely suspended state.
Xy's head lurched forcibly to one side as the grandfather clock noisily chimed twelve midnight.
Her hand was still clasped tightly around the now empty cup of tea.
At first glance she didn't know her immediate surroundings, but as her mental faculty slowly revived itself she realized that she had fallen asleep in Candace's favorite spot, a huge worn oversized lounge chair, which seemed to have Candace's permanent butt imprint engraved in it.
She peered over at Candace who was in the exact same position that she recalled her in approximately three hours ago.
As she dutifully swaggered out of Candace's room she took one last peek at her unfortunate cousin. "Lord, please make everything alright with her and help me to be a comfort to her in her obvious time of need." She bowed her head sullenly as she headed towards the room which would be her room for the next few weeks.
Candace sat up with a start and sheepishly rubbed the sleep from her profound light topaz eyes as she attempted to visualize the time on the green neon illuminated clock situated on her vanity stand. The clock read nine fifteen in the morning.
She clutched her forehead with one hand as she struggled to make sense out of the past few tragic days' events. How in God's name was she ever going to make her life right again without Clinton?
A bizarre accident had claimed the life of her only true love. Why? Why did it have to be Clinton sitting on the passenger side of the state vehicle? If he had been driving he would be alive today!
The official report taken at the scene of the accident stated that Clinton's head was partially decapitated when the fire rescue squad attempted to retrieve his body from the mangled twisted wreckage.
Without warning or recourse a four-by-six inch steel beam slid off of an eighteen wheeler's truck bed and slammed into the window on Clinton's side of the car. His partner had tried, but couldn't do anything humanely possible to prevent the impending cataclysm.
At first she had blamed his partner. She didn't know who else to blame. But as time passed she realized that no one was to blame. It was just Clinton's time to go. Her Clinton gone forever and never coming back.
Her normal daily routine once a mindless forethought had abruptly become a drudgery task.
She wanted to just lie down and succumb to whatever lay in store for her. Just give up and die. Was this how it felt to lose a loved one?
Clinton was her world and if he was no longer a part of it what else mattered? Nothing really counted any more. Or did it? Her family was still alive, especially Xy. She still had Xy. That was worth living for if nothing else.
The tears slowly began to cascade down her unwashed face as she shielded her face with her hands and flung her body horizontally onto the tousled white oversized down comforter which lay on her bed. She sobbed uncontrollably and hysterically until the tears eventually stopped flowing, until the last gut wrenching sobs subsided deep down in the innermost part of her soul.
She couldn't cry anymore. Her Clinton wasn't coming back and there was nothing she could do about it. She had to be strong. But where was she going to find the strength to be strong from?
She slowly maneuvered her trite body off of the bed and wiped her red, puffy swollen face with the back of her hand. A thin line of clear snot hung from the back of her hand as she carelessly wiped it on the front of her larger than life night shirt.
Clinton's family members briefly flashed through her mind as she staggered into her bathroom. Sometime today she would find the strength to call his mother and help out with any necessary funeral arrangements.
Yeah, today she was eventually going to have to face the grim reality that Clinton was in fact dead and that he was never going to come back to her, at least not in this lifetime. Still gone. Still dead after only a few days.
Xy heard a light rapping on her room door and glimpsed up. Two swollen red orbs peered back at her. She sat up startled. "Candy?"
Candace nodded her head up and down as she walked briskly towards Xy. "It hurts Xy. It hurts so badly and I can't make it stop." She buried her head into Xy's waiting arms. For the first time since they were both nine years old when Xy's cat Snuffles died, they cried together.
"It's going to be alright" mumbled Xy as she stroked her cousin's soft hair. "It's going to be alright." She didn't know what else to tell her.
Candace sat up and pushed herself away from Xy.
"I feel lost Xy and I don't know what to do." She whimpered softly with her head down.
Xy was silent. What could she say?
"A part of me wants to die right along with him, but the other part wants to keep living. Is that wrong?" She looked earnestly at her cousin for answers.
Xy asked her the only question she knew to ask her at the time. "What would Clinton want you to do Candy? Live or die?"
Candace's head slumped into her hands as her head lazily twisted from side to side. Five long minutes passed before she looked up at her cousin once again.
"Live or die Candy?" Xy already knew the answer to the question because of how Clinton lived his life. He was always so full of life and energy. He lived life to live!
Candace smiled weakly as her thoughts shifted to him. Her Clinton so full of life! Taken without an admonition! He loved giving to others as much as he loved living. He would want her to keep on living and giving to others.
She glanced over at Xy and nodded her head. Xy already knew the answer to the question.
Xy reached out to grab her and pull her into her arms.
Candace wanted to live. She needed to live to carry on where Clinton had left off. He wouldn't have had it any other way.
Candy finished applying the last touch of eyeliner to her eyes as she sat there in silence. This was it. The last day she would ever lay eyes on her Clinton. In less than three hours his body would be forever covered underneath a mound of dirt. Six feet under and three feet across, just enough room for him to lie down comfortably, after all this would be his permanent home now.
She followed Xy out the door and headed for the funeral home.
The mortician had done a good job of reattaching his nearly decapitated head to his body. It hadn't really looked like her Clinton lying there all stiff and motionless. But it was. She held his cold hand in her warm hand and rubbed it affectionately as she peered down at his disfigured face. He was still her Clinton even now lying here motionless. She stared at him for what seemed like ages. She didn't want to let go of him, but knew that eventually she would have to. She heard footsteps behind her and felt a hand on her shoulder. She turned around and met Clinton's mother's gaze.
She gripped her firmly around the waist and stood back. Her eyes were misty.
"There, there poor child. We have to be strong for each other now that Clinton's gone. Now you know he wouldn't want us to be making such a fuss over him. Especially since he can't do anything about it."
Candy smiled and shook her head. Even with Clinton gone he was still speaking out to them.
"I know Mrs. Jakes. I just miss him so bad."
"We all do dear child. We all do."
Xy signaled to Candace and captured her attention just long enough for her to mouth the words "sit down".
She nodded her head and quickly bid Clinton's mother a temporary goodbye with a kiss on the cheek.
Three hours later she and Xy were headed back to her house to unintentionally reflect on today's sad occurrence.
Xy's last remaining days spent in Blythe were mainly silent. There wasn't much else left for them to talk about. Not yet. Not now.
Two weeks later Candace found her self immersed in bi-weekly therapy sessions. A much needed change of pace for the past dreary month and a half.
What started out as being three months of one-on-one therapy ended up being a total of six months of one-on-one therapy sessions.
When it was all said and done Candace would emerge from the therapy sessions a stronger, more determined and focused individual. But she would still be grieving the untimely death of her first love. Only time could heal that wound and right now time was ticking by slowly.
Continued in Chapter 3