The wind pushed around her as she headed into the tunnel. Her bag grew heavier by the second and it seemed to slow her down.
She trudged on.
Determined and fearful at the same time, she thought back to when it all started.
They had been sitting in a restaurant when the call came in. He got up hastily and started to mumble different things about work. With a quick kiss, he stared at her for a second and then left.
She watched him go, knowing full well what was probably happening.
“Here you go, ma’am.” The waiter set the cake down. It was beautiful with the chocolate frosting and the fancy lettering that spelled out Happy Anniversary. The waiter smiled and handed her a spoon. She took a little taste and remembered it just as it had been that first time they had it ten years ago.
She smashed the spoon into the frosting going through all the letters so that they were unrecognizable. Tears started to fall. Some people awkwardly looked away. Others just watched.
She couldn’t breathe anymore.
In and out of consciousness, the siren seemed distant. A voice came through telling her it was going to be okay. This lost feeling came over her and she tried to speak.
Nothing came out.
Days later at home, she carried her tea over to the couch. The phone rang. It was probably her mom again. Or maybe it was her sister. What was left to say?
Ten years gone.
There had been clues. At first, it was a joke when she asked him. Then it got more serious and as he avoided it all or got mean, she knew. Somehow she knew. She just didn’t know how to fix it. The phone stopped ringing. It was only a matter of time before it would begin again. It seemed everyone was calling but the one she really needed to hear from. She started to shake. Grabbing the bottle of pills the doctor had given her, she swallowed down a couple and knew what she had to do.
The tunnel was longer than she had remembered. Ahead, she could see the rain had stopped as rays of sun came through. Her hand pulled the bag closer as she stepped out onto the sand and looked at the water ahead.
No one was there. Not a single person. Tears started to fall. There was no way she could go through with this. Her toes touched the edge of the shoreline as she set the bag down. The waves started to crash and she knew there wasn’t much time. Glancing at the bag, she opened her mouth to say something. Nothing came out. Her head bowed slightly. It had been so long since she prayed yet no words would come.
It was time. First, she pulled out their wedding album then the note she had written.
It doesn’t really matter to me. What matters is that we have each other. I love you forever.
Only, he would never get that letter. The wind started to get stronger. She knew she didn’t have too much longer and she was getting weaker. Opening up the album, she turned to the last page. It was taken at the very end where they had only been looking at each other. Staring at it, she pulled out the newspaper clipping she had tucked in beside it. The obituary. The one that left her a young widow. After he left that restaurant, he never made it down that road that would have taken him to another. As she had passed out on that cold restaurant floor, he had been hit by a car going through a red light. Sirens from the ambulances were not only for her but for the love of her life that she had no idea had truly been lost forever. She never believed he would have truly left her and held onto that. It’s what kept her going through the sickness that he had promised to be there for.
Except he wasn’t.
Sitting in the sand on a cold winter’s day where they had married, she was found laying down and clutching the album to her heart.
From time to time I like to write short stories. I hope you enjoyed this. If you did, please consider sharing.
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