By Genta N.
She woke up. The first rays of sunshine had just penetrated the dark drapes. Looking out the window, she saw the same view she had seen for the last forty-three years. She stared at the streetlights, the trees, the strange car parked in front of the neighborsí house. She sat on the wooden chair next to her bed and watched how the city came back to life. A man walked out of his house carrying a briefcase and a cup of coffee, headed to his car and left. Others after him, left for work. Then it was the childrenís turn, but unlike their parents they were exuberant and eager to start the day. Soon everyone had left and the street had fallen quiet once again. She had sat there and cried the whole time. She was lost in her own world, the one where cars never disappeared and people never hurt you. Yet she cried, because she couldnít be a part of that dream world. Yet she continued imagining what it would be like. She could have gone on forever had the phone not interrupted her cry. It had been the first time in a couple of years, when it didnít seem to stop ringing.
ďHello...hello...oh, Martin, itís you...oh, no, I wasnít sleeping...IĖ Iím fine, and you? Yes, yes, it came to a shock to all of us, he was...he was in such a good shape, never drank or smoked in his life, always watching what he ate...but I guess, God had other plans for him. Oh, no, itís okay, Iím better now. The boys? Well, they come visit every so often...I know...thank you...all right. Best wishes to Mary...b-bye.Ē
She took a moment to put the phone back in its place. Then, started preparing breakfast. Bacon, eggs, pancakes, and two big glasses of orange juice. She set everything on the table. Breakfast for two. She had no appetite, but forced herself to eat a little, just a little, to keep her from passing out later in the day. After she was done, she took everything back in the kitchen. She washed the dishes and threw out the leftover food.
Now what? Since her husband had passed away, since the first two weeks, had gone by, when all her family had stayed with her, since then, she had been alone. Consoled on occasion by the ring of the telephone, and...and the newspaper, her temporary escape. It wasnít much, but thatís all she had.
She sat down to read the paper. She was out in her backyard. It was warm, the sun was out and the rays made her old bones feel better. She didnít look her age. All the pain she had gone through had made her age faster. The wrinkles in her face, represented a tragedy of its own. Tales too long to be told. Tales she had forgotten about. She had kind eyes, the ones that make it all better when the world is cruel and unfair. And her smile, her smile was the nicest smile you had ever seen. But lately, lately, she hadnít smiled al all.
Then, all of a sudden, she felt lonely, the loneliest she had felt all these weeks. A horrible feeling took over her body and all she wanted to do, was leave. Leave from the face of this earth, join her beloved in a better place. She didnít have to take this anymore, she couldnít take this anymore. She missed him too much. They had spent all their lives together. Never been apart for more than a day. They got married on a rainy October day, she was 18 and he was 22. He looked so handsome and she looked so beautiful. From that day on, they lived only for each otherís love. They had two children, two boys, two ungrateful boys. Raised with love and affection, taught everything about life, taught how to be a good person, they grew up becoming successful men. Welcomed and respected by everyone. Once in the real world, they left their parents behind, only reminded of them for occasional holidays and birthdays. The recent death of their father, had brought them back home, for a short time at least. What would they say now? What would they do if they saw their mother on the verge of collapse. If they saw how much anguish and pain she held inside of her.
She was inside the house now. Furiously digging through old boxes she desperately searched for that one photograph. The only one left from her wedding day. When after one hour she couldnít find it, she lost all hope. And when hope is lost, thereís nothing worse. So she cried. Surrounded by old photos, sitting on the floor, she cried. She could feel her poor heart breaking, shattering inside of her. The pain...the pain all went away. She felt nothing, she felt so empty, scared, terrified, alone. And just when se felt everything falling, the phone rang...
ďHello...oh honey, oh darling, no...no, Iím not fine. I need you son, I need you to come here...now, please...yes, thank you, thank you my dear... Jimmy...Jimmy, I love you so much, Jimmy...Iíll wait...Okay, donít take too long...Ē
She wiped the tears from her face.