Death Came

Death came in silence.

Death came in love.

Death came at last for her hand.

The bride wore white.

The stars in her eyes were only for him.

Her bridegroom held her as she loved death.

Death came in silence.

Death came in love.

Death came at last for her hand.

- Vanessa Brown

Zoë pinned up her long dark hair and looked at herself in the mirror. She was twenty-six today on this very special day. It was her wedding day. At last she had finally decided to become a wife. It still didn't seem right to her though. She wore a single silver cross on a blue velvet ribbon around her throat an her white wedding dress. No other ornamentation was needed. Jackson didn't understand. She didn't expect him too either. How could he understand her pain? This didn't seem quite right to her.

A knock came at the door summoning her to reality and he day at hand. She sighed and placed the veil on her head as she acknowledged the knock. Her father smiled as he looked at her. "You look beautiful sweetie, just like your mom."

She attempted a smile for her father, but it hurt. She knew this was what her father wanted, what he needed. It wasn't what she wanted though. But it didn't matter. She was all that her father had left. She would do it for him. She would like through it for her father and maybe in time she would learn to care for Jackson just a little.

Her father put her hand in the crook of his elbow. Pride lit his face. It almost broke her heart knowing the secret that she was keeping from him. The pain inside her was too great for her to share with her father. It would destroy him.

She walked in step with her father, her eyes downcast. She was afraid to look. She knew what she would see and she didn't want to see it. She would see Jackson with her brown hair and green eyes. His tan skin dark against his white shirt and his ugly blue tuxedo. Her father cared for Jackson though, favored the young man in fact. He would be good for her father. He would take care of her dad long after she was gone. And she would be gone soon. She could feel death upon her now. He watched her day and night. It wouldn't be long before he took her.

"Who gives away this bride?" the priest asked as they came to the altar. Her father stepped forward with her and placed her hands in Jackson's. But they weren't Jackson's. The hands were pale white, strong, and cold. Zoë looked up to see Simon's smiling face.

He was just like she remembered him. His hair the same silvery-white. His face still breath-taking. His fingers brushed her cheek taking her breath away. "I've missed you so much Zoë," he whispered into her ear.

"You came back," her voice was soft and desperate. "I missed you Simon. I was going to marry Jackson, but I don't love him I need you."

"I came to take you home," Simon said drawing her into his arms. "Your mother and I have been waiting for this day for a long time."

"Yes," Zoë whispered as he picked her up and cradled her against his hard chest. "Home."

Zoë died in the arms of her father and her bridegroom just two minutes before the wedding ceremony was to take place.

In the afterlife, Zoë was held in her one true love's arms for the first time in what had felt like a lifetime.