like a medic, checking over a battle injured solider. His neck is ripped open,
and when she pushes the gaping wound closed, Blake’s head wobbles.
“It’s okay, it’s okay, it’s okay,” her
shaky voice pleads.
She thinks he can be saved.
Aggie sobs and buckles into Ruben. Cora,
Ann and Thomas stand over Tara helplessly. Kneeling next to Tara, I wrap my
arms over hers to still her hands. “He’s gone.”
She growls, twisting away from me. “No
“Daddy, you can do this, just hold on.”
“Tara…” The words stick in my throat, I
can’t say it.
He’s dead, Blake is dead. It wasn’t
supposed to be like this.
With quivering hands she picks up his
wrist, raising it to her lips, her voice cracking. “No it’s all right, I can
I gently tug his cold lifeless wrist
away from her. “It won’t work now.”
Her trembles become more intense. “No,
no, no, no, no! DADDY!” she pulls his body toward hers, holding up his head
after it flops backwards from where his neck has been broken. The tears won’t
stop falling from my eyes. She hugs him, whimpering a deranged plea from the
utterly grief stricken.
What little blood he had left is soaking
into Tara’s clothes as she wails. “Please Alex tell me what to do.”
Tara’s grief breaks the dam for the rest
of them and the sisters lose it. Our chorus of agony drowns out the waves
crashing on the beach.
Thomas barely holds it together.
“Get them away from here,” I command. He
and Ruben quickly comply, grateful to pull the sisters away from their broken
father. They don’t need to see him bloodied and mangled any more than they
already have. As the sisters’ weeping fades only Tara remains kneeling,
clinging to what’s left of her father.
“Shhhhh, inamorata,” I wrap my arms around both her and Blake.
She rocks back and forth. “This is not happening!”
“Tara, you need to let him go.”
Agonizing minutes tick by. She just squeezes him harder.
“We need to get you cleaned up.” She doesn’t make any gesture in reply, her
eyes glassy and dull. After I scoop her off the ground she hangs in my arms
with her eyes closed. Back in the house Thomas and Ann have retreated to their
bedroom while Ruben and Aggie sit in the living room on either side of Cora.
Tara makes no move to help when I remove her blood stained clothes in the
shower. The sound of fabric ripping echoes in the bathroom before I turn on the
water. The warm water doesn’t visibly affect her. As I wash her off, her eyes
stare at Blake’s blood swirling down the drain.
My mind reels with questions.
What happened? Why did we not see this coming? How can we survive this?