(originally from August 2007)
She woke with a start and sat up in bed. Her eyes peered through the darkness, past the clawing shadows that were splayed across her wall, looking for him. But he wasn’t there. He hadn’t been there for so long. It felt like an eternity.
Did he known how much she loved him? Did he know she woke every night, panic fluttering its tiny butterfly wings inside her chest when her seeking hand didn’t find him in bed next to her? Did he know how much she missed him, how much she’d grown to count on him? He’d always been there, right beside her, warm and reassuring.
Only now all that was next to her was a cold empty space; cold and empty like her heart, like her dreams and her nights. The space where her heart had once lived ached as she looked forward to another night without him, followed by another day. The sun would rise on a world where she sat without him and then it would slip slowly across the azure sky and sink below the horizon, bringing on another lonely night.
She lay down once more, her eyes drawn to the empty space beside her as tears formed in her eyes, leaking from the corners. She reached out and touched the pillow lightly, fingers trailing across the cool cloth, imagining his sleeping face in its place; his deep, warm eyes smiling at her from under thick brows. A face she’d grown to love more and more and one she thought she’d always see peering at her.
Why had he left her? Why had he gone away? She’d sat straight in the chair, body rigid and lips unable to say the words repeating through her mind in an endless circle. She was so sure that it had to be a mistake. It couldn’t be truly happening – not to her, not now. He would never leave, never. He couldn’t, not when she needed him so.
But it hadn’t been a bad dream. He was gone and she was there, listening to the house breath in the stillness of the night.
She rolled over and clutched the sheet to her chest like a lifeline, a piece of safety to stem the flow of her pain. But nothing could ease the suffering in her soul or erase the feeling of hopelessness that had settled over her. The bitter taste that rose to her mouth when she thought of how he’d left her alone.
The same questions that played through her mind nightly began again. Why had he gone away? Why had she been left here to achingly endure nights and days alone? Why had the universe taken him from her? Why?
But the darkness held no answer to her query and so she surrendered and begged for sleep to take her away from her memories of that day. Away from the misty graveyard and the shiny black box that had born her life away from her and buried it in the dark, wet ground underneath the slab of granite. Lifeless rock that bore only his name and the cold dates – statistics to describe a life. The words “Beloved Husband” carved as a token of her love, a reminder to the world that after all these years she was now alone to trek through empty days and echoing nights until God saw fit to reunite them once again. Alone and sad, longing for his voice, his touch, his glance. Alone in the deep shadows of what had, for many years, been their home. Alone to see the pity in the eyes of their children. Alone.
So? Good? Bad? Indifferent? Kinda sad, I admit. Took me several writes to get it sort of the way I wanted and still not sure I am happy with it, but such is life
And for the segment I like to call Random Things from My Hard Drives, here is some….
It’s the sketch for Silver Blue
Fav Song of the Moment – “Now Comes The Night” – Rob Thomas