As the late afternoon sunlight filters through the kitchen window, it accents the dust floating in the air of this neglected house. She sits at the kitchen breakfast bar with a bottle of pills and a glass of wine. She knows it’s the easy way out, the coward’s way. She will cause those she loves more pain. But she doesn’t have the strength or willpower to pick herself up anymore. She cannot repeat her morning mantra for one more day – I’ll see him again someday. He’s in a better place. Someday, it will hurt less. Everything happens for a reason.
She stares at the makeshift shrine that has sat atop the counter for six months. The stack of prayer cards from his funeral mock her, in their dusty, haphazard stack. Her fists clench as she looks at the ugly angel pictures and sappy poems instructing her not to cry anymore or telling her that her loved one is “safely home.” A small vase holds three roses from his casket bouquet. The roses are dead and crispy, blackening around the edges. There is a stack of sympathy cards smeared with every trite and useless consolation people offer up when someone dies.
She raises her arm and with a scream knocks it all off the counter. She is comforted, for a moment, by the crash and breaking glass. For a moment, she is not the only thing falling apart.
She can’t face one more day of sitting in her empty house, looking at pictures and trying to conjure physical memories of him in a vain effort to preserve them – the tightness of his little fingers gripping hers, his smooth cheeks under her lips, his giggle. But her memories continue to float just out of reach, fading and softening around the edges.
They used to fall asleep together, tucked into a corner of the couch, his weight heavy on her chest. But pain is the only thing pressing against her breastbone now and she can no longer sleep. Her arms are empty, her soul hollowed out by grief like a pumpkin scraped clean of its insides.
She clutches the pill bottle. Shakes it. It’s almost full.
This post was inspired by a prompt from Write on Edge:
This week we challenged you to try a piece using one of the writing tools you’d like to polish a bit. Some examples we talked about in our twitter chat were writing from a different point of view, engaging our characters in conflict, or improving descriptive writing.
There were no subject restrictions, but a photo was provided in case you needed a little push.
This is the first piece I wrote about Grace and I’ve been trying to polish it ever since. Today I tried to work on not using so much “telling” and a little more showing. I owe a big thank you to Angela who reviewed this piece for Write on Edge a few weeks ago.