Too Beautiful
Erika Bluesteen

I couldn't burn it.

When I was a child, I use to burn old letters to forget. Mama hated it, and scolded me on the ashes I'd get on the frill of my dress. To me, it was beautiful. Ceremonious. But I couldn't, not this time. It was the only photograph I had of you.

I should have forgotten by now, "we" were back in 1932. Four years, without a word. Still I couldn't pass an hour without thoughts of you.

A light rap on the door jolted me back to the present. My eyes just glared for a moment, before walking over to open the door.

"I need to tell you something--I spoke with him." Your picture still in my now clenched hand, I said nothing. "He's engaged. The marriage is next July."


"Are you alright dear?"

"Did he mention--" My voice trailed off as my blurred eyes pictured your face.

"No--I'm--I'm sorry."


She shuffled her feet. "Would you like-"

"No. I must be going. Thank you for stopping by."

I shut the door and turned around as she spoke words I didn't care to make out.

"I've been forgotten." The words sounded so cold on the air, and I felt a bitterness spawn inside me. You'd have no ceremony had you? Simply forgotten. My pained anger swelled as I walked stiffly towards the pantry wastebasket.

I couldn't burn it--because a flame dies out quickly.

Besides, fire was too beautiful for you anyway.

First published: February 2005
comments to the writer: Knob'