Hello, I’ve returned!
Today, I was going through one of my old flash drives, and I found something interesting–an old, short story I wrote last year. After cleaning it up a little today, I thought it would be fun to share. It needs more development (Okay, it needs a lot of help. Let’s face it–it was probably a mere product of boredom), but I think it still works as it is now. I’ll see if I have time at some point to help it grow. For now, please enjoy the following content.
A lonely widower sat at his usual diner booth watching the rain pour outside. He had yet to order, though the waitress had been over to check on him several times since he arrived. It was hard for him to pick something to eat for breakfast, especially on a rainy, morning such as today. It was days like this that he and his late wife would come into the diner together. For some reason, the rain had always made the pair want to go out and do something, but now the rain served as a harsh reminder to the man that he had lost his best friend.
His wife had been dead for two years, but he still wore his wedding ring every day. He had yet to buy into the “until death do us part” part of his marriage, knowing for a fact that she was waiting as faithfully as he was for them to be reunited in the afterlife.
“Sir,” the waitress returned, smoothly interrupting his thoughts, “Do you know what you would like yet?”
The man could tell that she was growing irritated by his antics. It was the fourth time she had come to ask him, and he had been there for a half hour already.
“Um,” he looked down at the menu, trying to pick something random out of desperation, “I’ll have—”
Just then, the door chimed that someone had come in. When the man looked to see who it was, as most people naturally tended to do, he found himself staring at . . . his wife?
Stunned speechless, he opened and closed his mouth wordlessly like a fish out of water. The waitress turned to see what had caused him this reaction. She raised her eyebrows, but didn’t say anything to him about it.
“How’s about I get you today’s special?” she suggested, probably in an attempt to make his stay at the diner shorter. When he nodded in agreement despite not knowing what the special was for that day, she wrote something on her notepad, and disappeared to the kitchen.
The man decided he was seeing things. The woman that walked in had to be nothing more than a look-alike. Grieving people were prone to seeing the faces of loved ones in strangers, after all. He turned his alarmed stare to the table he was at, trying to not cause his wife’s doppelganger to be frightened by his discomfort and shock.
The woman that had just walked in however, had no such qualms about scaring the man. She walked up to the booth he sat at, and stood in front of it, waiting for him to look up.
“Darling,” the wife of the man said gently after she realized he had no plans to acknowledge her, “Darling, look at me.”
He pulled his eyes up from the fake wood grain table to meet her even gaze. The woman inhaled sharply at seeing the heartbroken look on her husband’s face. Her mouth twitched while she tried to think of what to say to the broken man before her.
After a moment’s silence, she said in the most pitiful tone he had ever heard, “Darling, you don’t remember what happened, do you?”
The man shook his head, rather violently, wishing that the ghostly vision of his late wife would go away. He did not need to be tortured anymore. It was hard enough living without her, without being reminded that he was without her.
She smiled sympathetically with tears in her eyes. “You died in a car crash two years ago. I’ve just now managed to cross over to be with you.” A short laugh of relief escaped her, but it was more of a sob than anything else.
“No . . . no!” the man protested, yelling loudly enough to cause the waitress to drop the tray of food she was trying to serve to a family that had come in a half hour after he had. They all frowned with the same sympathetic expression his wife wore, before turning back to their own matters.
“No,” the man insisted more quietly, “You’re the one that died.”
“Darling,” the woman grabbed his hand tightly, “Have you been living in this hell without me for this long?”
He drew his hand back, “You can’t be my wife . . . she’s dead and I’m alive.” Even as he spoke those words, he began to realize that her words seemed to be ringing true.
“You don’t belong here,” she whispered, “Come with me.”
She grabbed the hand he had withdrawn seconds earlier, and led him out of the diner. It was still raining, only now the water falling had become more of a storm.
The woman pulled her husband down the street, despite his desperate and gentle protesting that he was alive and she was dead.
“This way,” she pulled him down an alley that many would have overlooked in the hustle of everyday life.
“Where are we going?” he finally asked over the thundering in his pulse and the weather.
“Home,” she smiled.
They stopped to stand in front of a rusty, grimy looking door. No lights were there to help them see at all, but the woman acted like she had been here enough to wander the place blindfolded and not bump into a thing.
With a sideways glance at her husband, she reached out and opened the door. Inside it, a blindingly bright, yellow light shone, turning the dirty alley into something of a more divine status. It was too much for human eyes, but the man and woman were able to look at it unflinchingly.
“What is that?” the man asked, trying to pretend like he wasn’t terrified of the sight before him.
“I told you,” she said easily, “It’s home.”
She took him by the hand, and walked through the door first. After some hesitating, the man followed after her into what could only be described as where they belonged.
Whelp, I hope you liked that. 🙂 Thank you for reading!
Please return on Thursday for more poetry. (Don’t worry–it won’t be pantoums this time.)