When Edward first came into my life, he was shy and afraid. When I’d come near, he’d go far. It was in his nature to be free. But as we grew closer, Edward couldn’t bear a second without me. And this drove him and I to madness.

Edward and I spent twelve years of our lives together, and he’d seen me through many of the variously capricious phases in my life. When I’d come home from whatever I happened to be employed by those days, he’d come to me ecstatically and kiss me. We’d talk for hours upon hours, him doing most of the talking. We were closer than two could ever be.

But as I grew older, he remained young, and his incessant desire to be around me fatigued every part of my mind and body. When I worked too much, he’d scream at me to spend more time with him. Whatever I did, he wanted to do too, but I, a man of my independence, could not always be troubled to share my time. And this drove Edward to madness. Madness enough, that I, at many times towards the end of his life, tried to hasten the end of his life. Yes, there were times when I tried to kill Edward.

It has been almost two years since Edward vanished, and I sometimes think back to the man I was then; a man that would be so tested by another being as to contemplate ways to murder him. What is wrong with me? The thought whispers through my body like a cold breeze. I begin to cry at all the memories Edward and I shared. Time tends to make the negatives seem less so, until all you’re left with is comely memories of snowy days around warm fires. Would I do the same thing today knowing what I know now? I say no, I’ll be better, but I know that’s not true. I’d probably do it again.

White light enters my living room as I sit and work. It’s a calm Sunday, and thick fluffs of snow play through my window like a screen saver. What have I learned from the experience, I ask myself? There is always a lesson to be learned from any major life experience. So what have I learned after betraying Edward?

Nothing.

Tears begin to stream from my eyes and trickle down to my lips, their bitterness reminding me of my own. He died for nothing, I cry. That hurts me the most.

I wasn’t the only one to love Edward, and neither was I his only love. If he were my own and I his, then perhaps I could begin to justify his deadly disappearance. But how selfish am I to take him away from everyone else who loved him? What gave me such power, such authority? I had claimed that my selfishness was always just self-preservation, but now, in my red hand, I have collected my first strand of hard cold evidence against that claim.

It was a warm summer day on a Friday afternoon, and I was home finishing up an important project. Edward being who he is had no patience for such things, and nagged on me to spend time with him. His voice was shrill, and it pierced through my ears and boiled the deepest cores of my existence. Edward makes it easy to fall in love with him, but he also has the ability to tear down the layer that makes a human amiable and pleasant, leaving nothing but the cold, unrelenting beasts we all are at our root. I’d have enough of Edward’s nagging that day, and it would be the day that something would finally be done about it.

I took him by the collar and shook him. “JUST SHUT UP” I screamed, as I mercilessly rocked him back and forth, “WHY WONT YOU JUST SHUT UP!” Edward screamed and pleaded, and seeing him struggle helplessly brought back the human in me. I immediately felt bad for poor Edward. He doesn’t know any better, I said to myself, just let him be.

“I’m sorry Edward. I really am. Sometimes you just need to learn to be quiet, especially when I’m working.” I hugged him, and for the time being, we were both content.

But half an hour later, his piercing scream returned, and the beast within me was primed and ready to go. I wasn’t going to shake Edward subtly this time, hoping he would “accidentally” lose his breath. No, I was going to make sure I finished the job.

I dragged Edward downstairs and through the kitchen. “You know Edward, I tried reasoning with you. I did, I really did. But I cannot do this anymore.”

I took with me to the backyard, opened his door, and yelled “GO! Just go away! Walk, run, fly — do whatever you need to go away!”

And he did.

He flew, because that’s what birds do, and he flew more majestically than I’d ever seen him fly before. He was ecstatic, as if he had been longing for this day, when he’d fly through the skies unbound. He was flying with excitement and confusion.

But I was not well. The second before he vanished into the blue, I screamed for him to leave and to never return, but the second he flapped his wings and made flight, I cried like I never cried before.

“Come back, come back you son of a bitch! For the love of god Edward, come back!”

I hopped on my bike and chased after him, trying to follow him through his freedom flight. But before I knew it, he had vanished, and I was riding my bike all alone, searching an empty sky.

I cried harder, mumbling Edward’s name, screaming that I’d do anything for him to come back. The tears burned my cheeks as they ran through my face, and I could barely see in front of me.

Edward was gone. And I was the evil man who had done away with him.

I was looking for my phone today, and upon checking under the couch cushion, I found a feather of his. A beautiful, soft yellow feather. It was a perfect feather, as Edward’s feathers usually were. I trembled at its sight, and a whirlwind of tears caught up to me.

The last I ever saw Edward was during his majestic flight of independence, and I’d never seen him happier. Perhaps, I tell myself, perhaps Edward is too great to be seen dead. Perhaps the world had decided that the last anyone would see of Edward would be of him stretching his wings farther than any bird had stretched before.

Yes, for Edward was a king, too great and majestic to be dead at the bottom of a lonely cage. After 12 years in his cage, the last thing Edward ever did was fly towards freedom, and even if it was the last flight of his life, it was the greatest and most beautiful flight I had ever seen.