Despite my love for procrastination (I’ve been reading WordPress posts for no less than an hour), I’ve decided to write my first short story for CWWC. Yay me! Also, I wrote a thousand words today. Double yay.
Hey Loren: I’m using all of the prompts – triple yay.
The bus rolled to a stop and I stood up, grabbing the painted bar above me. I swung out of the seating area and stepped into the aisle, limping as I made my way down the crowded and narrow space. The dim light in the bus had me stopping every few steps to place my footing. My eyes – along with my leg – had never been quite the same since the bombing in Atlanta. I reached the sliding doors to the bus just as they were about to close. “Wait!” I cried out, possibly a little feebly. I wasn’t sure if anybody had heard me and it didn’t matter. Thing is, you get to a certain point in life where some things aren’t as important as they used to be.
I stepped out into the cloudy late afternoon. No sun shone through the misty canopy above me. I started walking, breathing in the chilly air. I clutched a small notebook to my chest and resisted the temptation to look at it. I didn’t want to think about it, I didn’t want to think about anything, I only wanted for the stars to line up and for time to turn back. That isn’t to much to ask, isn’t it, God? I thought to myself. Of course, a lot of things that should have happened in the last decade hadn’t, and some things that happened shouldn’t have. That’s what I would wake up thinking, and what I would think as I would stare at the heavens before falling asleep each night.
My hand tightened around the lilies that I carried, wrapped in their white paper packaging. They looked beautiful and perfect, and I brought them every year.
I rounded the corner into the cemetery.
I made my way through the weather-worn gravestones, the gravel crunching under my feet. So many deaths, so much unfairness. So many cruel tricks of destiny. So many lives, all gone and mostly forgotten.
I came to the center of the graveyard and set foot on the white flagstones. I looked ahead. There she was, memorialized forever in hard, unforgiving stone, a marble lily entwined in her hands. A lily. Like my Lily, gone and never to return.
I made my way through the lilies planted near her grave. She loved them. But not as much as I had loved her, and still loved her now. I placed my roses on her grave, under the small pavilion. I slowly tugged my notebook from under my arm. It was made in black leather and well-worn. All the things that I wanted to say and never did were in there. I opened it.
“I miss you, Lily,” I began in a whisper. “I miss you and I love you and I think about you all day and dream about you all night. I never told you all that I should have, I never told you anything that I should have and now I’ve lost my chance. I hope that you loved me but sometimes our hopes don’t become realities. Now all that’s left of you is a stone memorial, lots of lilies and my love for you. I love you. I love you more than the stars and the moon and the the comets shooting through this unfair universe. I wish I had told you that, but you know now. I remember when I first met you on that bus. I thought you were perfect then and I think you’re perfect now. I love you, Lily.”
I swallowed and closed my notebook. There was plenty more I could have said. But I didn’t, and somehow that felt okay too. I wasn’t okay – the whole universe wasn’t okay – but maybe she was, and that was enough.
How did you guys like that? Do you have any feedback? Parts you liked/didn’t like? I’d love to know!