by W.P. Gerace
A young woman who lost her lover in a tragic accident finds out there is hope.
W. P. Gerace
Mable sat on her sofa, silently dozing off to sleep when the brown clock on her living room wall chimed. The booming of the clock's mechanism sounding off a new hour brought to reality that today had been one year since her beloved Charles left her. A steady stream of tears slid down her face, wanting to touch his soft skin and hands again to tell him how much she loved him. They were about to be married in a few short months when fate had put a pitchfork in their plans.
Exactly a year ago, Charles stood on her doorstep in finest Sunday clothes, a crisp charcoal suit, white shirt, blue tie, and dark shoes. His compassionate dark blue eyes stared into her. The love he had for her was immeasurable. She would never find a man like him ever again. In his hands, holding a rose carnation, he asked her for her hand in marriage early. They were to wait till the following fall, but he was so in love with her. Why wait? Let's start building a family and enjoy our lives together he boosted in his thick English accent. Worried about what her parents would think, as they were traditional Catholics and believed in a formal wedding and all the fancies, especially since she was their only child Mable told him to let her think about it. Charles's eyes flickered as if he were going to cry.
She loved Charles. She knew that then knows that now and would forever love him, but she also wanted to respect her parent's wishes. That day was a warm balmy one in New Jersey. A perfect day for a picnic and breathing the fresh air. Distracting Charles from his sadness, she grabbed his hands, kissed them, and told him how much she loved him. She could still feel that warmth even now. Why don't we go for a picnic? I can make some ham and Swiss cheese sandwiches and pack potato chips, pickles, some soda, and other snacks. Mable could see the slight reluctance in Charles's facial expression, as if he was furious inside and wanted to explode. Indeed, her response was a big hit to his ego, not a rejection. She just needed to think about it. After all, her parents planned the official wedding in a few months.
Smiling, Charles gave her a quick kiss and a hug and said he would go home, change, and be right back. Jumping up and down the steps like a kid playing tag, he said he would return shortly. She could feel his heart beating full of life, pressing against her chest. If only she knew this would be the last time, she would ever see him, she would have changed her mind. Life seemed so unfair at times.
It did not take long for her to get the fixings together for the picnic. Her mother even made some of her famous garlic pretzels, which only took her a few moments. Inquisitively her mother asked why Charles was dressed in his Sunday finest. Brushing it off, she said he had just wanted her to see a possible outfit he would wear for the wedding. Mable's mother's eyes squinted. Pointing her finger at her said I know you are lying to Mama Mable Jo, but it's ok as long as it's nothing terrible. Mamma and Pappa are excited to have this wedding for you.
Did her mother know or hear the conversation? Mable swore her mother had sonic ears and abilities that no human had. Shaking her head, she thought it was silly to think such a thing. Her mother was not around when the conversation between her and Charles occurred.
Looking up at the clock, it chimed 1:00 PM. Charles had been gone nearly two hours now. He only lived 15 minutes up the road. She was not overly worried. Charles had three sisters he lived with. Maybe they were hogging up the bathroom or something. Curious, she dialed his cell phone number to ensure he was all right. There was something deep down that prompted her to reach out. The call went right to voice mail. She called two, three, four, five times. Same response. Resorting to a text, she sent several out. No response. This was not like Charles. Having bad anxiety since she was a child and prone to severe panic attacks, Mable felt one of her episodes come upon her. Sweat glazed her arms. Shaking and trembling, she called out to her mother.
Just as her mother came to the living room, there was a knock on the door. Opening the door stood Lindsay Charles, older sister, and Mable's best friend. It was she that got the two together. This was not a usual social visit. She could see the sadness in Lindsay's eyes. Hysterical and crying, she said Charles had been in a fatal accident. It was a catastrophe. He and three other people were killed right on the scene. That's all Mable remembered.
On this first anniversary, the clock on the wall reminds Mable of the tragic events of that sad day a year ago. Since that day, her life had been a fog. She barely existed. She dropped out of college and could not sustain a job or function as an average human.
Suddenly she could feel Charles's soft touch and caresses on her hands. Speaking into her ears, he told her he wanted her to move on with her life. He will always be here. Breathing into her filling his spirit into hers, Mable felt like a new woman. Though she was sad, her beloved Charles was gone. With his strength, she could finally live. I love you, Charles. One final gift.