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Rated: E · Short Story · Contest Entry · #2148940
A 300 word tale of a husband and wife spending one last evening together
Two wine glasses sat on an old wooden coffee table.

His was empty, with traces of wine recently drunk. The other, full, poured out of ceaseless habit throughout the years.

A fireplace roared as she sat, staring at the unfinished puzzle while the snow drizzled against the roof and covered the ground below.

She heard voices of him still, conversing with her. Through forty years of marriage, she knew her husband well enough to know his words in any situation, as he did hers.

And this conversation she needed most: how to be without him.

“I miss you, John,” she confessed.

“I know, Kate” she heard whispering in the recesses of her mind. “I know.”

He lifted his hand to pick up the final puzzle piece and fitted it gently into place.

“There,” he said. She could feel his voice whisper against her ear. “It is finished.”

“I don’t know why I loved doing these things so much.”

“I do,” he said. “Because you love taking messes like me and putting them together.”

She smiled.

“You were my hardest puzzle. I left you uncompleted.”

“You did what you could, my love.”

She wanted to taste the wine, but knew she couldn’t. One more evening with him was enough, though.

“I don’t want you to leave me,” she said.

“Neither do I.”

“I know. But you must.”

“The kids-“

“Are fine. I know they’ve accepted it,” she said. A knock was heard at the door. “That’ll be them.”

Their four children, along with their own kids, stood outside the cabin door.
It opened, and their father welcomed them in.

“Sorry we’re late. Didn’t mean to leave you alone up here a day.”

“Don’t worry,” he said as he looked back at the completed puzzle. “I had company.”
© Copyright 2018 J. L. Hamrick III (hamr1ck3 at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
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