Flash Fiction Story: Three Weeks After

She woke up lonely. She knew it would happen. She’d been expecting it. One day she was busy and life was filled to overflowing and then it wasn’t. She could hear the silence bouncing off the walls in her now too-big house; her only companions, her dog and her cat.

She sat down on her leather couch and stared at the blank screen of her HD television. What to do now? Was it time to consider moving somewhere else? What would Bob do if it were him and not her sitting all alone?

She tapped a finger. Damn him for going first. How dare he? And yet, on some deep level, she had always known he would. That she would be left to face the world alone one day and that day had finally come.

The kids all had busy lives and they loved her but didn’t need her. Her friends were all in that same category. She was used to being needed; didn’t know what to do with herself without that part of the equation. Wasn’t that what life was about? Weren’t we all here to help take care of each other? But after so many months of taking care of Bob, she had to admit she’d been relieved when he had finally died. Relieved and slightly guilty with that relief though she wasn’t willing to sit and watch his suffering one more second. And, thankfully, he slipped away before the pain shifted to unbearable for both of them.

So, now it was time to reassess. To reconsider. To rethink what was important in life – in her life – which could stretch on for many years to come. She sighed. Maybe first she’d make herself a cup of coffee and then maybe go for a walk, something she hadn’t done in a while. Maybe then she’d sit and do a crossword puzzle and trust that all the while, a plan was hatching in the back of her mind and she’d wake up in the next few days and realize she had places to go and people to see and a life to live again.

But for now, she stood and headed for the kitchen. Yes, a cup of coffee. There was comfort in that.

6 Comments Add yours

  1. ruthencw says:

    Absolutely yes. Lived experience.

    Ruth Williamson 2341 Canyon Creek Drive Sherman Tx 75092

    From my mobile 903.436.5160

    1. Thank you, Ruth! I appreciate you taking the time to comment. Len

  2. Very real for many. Sad and hopeful with her emerging strength at the end with a simple task to make a cup of coffee. I was drinking my second cup as I read this. I’m not alone but someday one of us will be . Today he is getting ready for his first game of golf for the season and I have time alone. Today it feels like a luxury- someday I could be her.

  3. Yes, Eileen. A very real situation for so many. And for us (either husband or wife) as we get older. Thank you for commenting. Glad you have time today for the luxury of a quiet cup of coffee. Hugs to you.

  4. Charlotte Berkowitz says:

    Beautifully captured slice of real life. The relief, the anger, the guilt . . . Brava!

  5. Thank you, Charlotte. I so appreciate your feedback. I hoped I got it right.

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