The Widow

Posted: June 17, 2012 in short stories, Uncategorized, writing
Tags: ,

Pulling into her favorite parking spot for her lunch break, she cut the engine, grateful that she was the only human in sight. Sliding the seat into a comfortable position, she released the seat belt and pulled her twelve-inch sub from the bag, placed her fries on the console and shoved the straw into her drink. Typing her pass code into her Ipod she pulled up her relaxation music and opened the book she was reading. Between bites she gazed at the lake, smiling at the geese and ducks caring for their young.

Treasuring solitude, she shunned contact with her fellow humans. She hadn’t always felt this way, but the day she lost her husband, who choked on a Tic Tac while paying tennis, had changed her in profound ways. She didn’t want to “get on with her life,” or listen to well-meaning friends telling her she would get over it. She didn’t want to date, or be happy if she thought about it.  They were supposed to be happy together, he had no business leaving her alone.

Three years had passed since she stood next to his grave, placing a single red rose on his coffin before letting her friends lead her to a long black car. The rest of the day was lost to her. She knew people hugged her while murmuring words of comfort, but she couldn’t pull up the details.

Wiping her eyes, she glanced in the rear view mirror to make sure she was still alone.  Finding a pair of eyes staring back at her from the mirror she swiveled in her seat as her forgotten sandwich slid to the floor.Finding the backseat empty she grabbed the mirror, moving it from side to side to find the intruder. Something about those eyes left her unsettled.  Melting into the back of the seat she chastised herself for being such a baby.

Feeling something cold on her foot she realized her lunch was on the floor.

“Crap, now I have to go hungry all day!” she growled, putting the decimated sandwich in the bag.

She dumped her trash in a nearby can and returned to the car. Putting the car in reverse she craned her neck to make sure it was safe to back onto the road. A flash of light caught her eye, drawing her attention to the rear view mirror. She forgot to breath as her spine sent shivers through her body when she noticed the face peering back at her. Slamming the car into park she kept her gaze on the mirror, gasping when she recognized the eyes.

“No, NO!” she shouted, beating the steering wheel. “I buried you! You are dead! You left me alone!” she wailed.

“Stop, you are going to hurt yourself!” the apparition shouted.

Stomping on the brake she grabbed her head.

“Oh man, I knew I was whacked, but hearing voices is bad,” she wailed.

“It’s me Jen, calm down.”

Turning in her seat she noticed she was alone, yet when she looked in the mirror she could see her dead husbands face.

“Clay?” she squeaked.

“Yes dear, tis me.”

She knew it was him, he was the only person she knew who ever said “Tis me.”

“How, why,” she whispered.

“You can’t live like this Jen, you have to embrace people and find love,” he urged.

“Find love? Are you nuts? You are my love,” she yelled through her tears.

“I was your love, but I left your world. You have to find love in this world. I can’t move on until I know you are ok,” he said as his ghostly hand tried to stroke her hair.

“I can’t just hop off and have fun, date and love on a whim. I can’t cheat on you!” she shouted.

“Cheat on me? That’s funny, you can’t cheat on me because I no longer exist. You need to embrace people, date and use your life for all it is worth! I wasn’t lucky enough to be the one you lived with for years, but I wouldn’t trade the time we had together for anything. You need to stop the pity party, make friends, date and find happiness. That young guy who works on the computers is smitten with you and I think you should give him some thought. He will treat you like a queen. Do it Jen, let me go. I love you and I miss you, but I can’t rest until you live your life to the fullest.

“How can I do that?” she asked, glancing in the mirror.

Sadness washed over her soul when she found the mirror empty. Putting the car in reverse she realized nobody would believe that she talked to her dead husband. She also realized that her actions would dictate the fate of her mates soul. He never left her hanging when he was alive, and he had no intention of doing it after his death.

Perhaps she would say “yes” the next time the computer tech guy asked her out for coffee.

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