by Summer Irons
Two strangers share a loss and find each other in an unexpected place.
| A woman walks into the film store clutching the disposable camera to her chest. These are the last bits of him she has left. Her one true love is now gone and all she has left is in this plastic box that he sent her: pictures he took while he was out on his adventures. She stands behind another woman who's dropping film off. After the woman leaves, it's her turn. She's hesitant to leave the camera behind but knows she must in order to get the pictures. It breaks her heart to part with it. It was the last thing he touched before his death. She hands the man behind the counter the camera, and he tells her she can pick her pictures up in an hour. Now she waits.
One hour later.......
Both women walk through the doors. Neither one really takes notice of the other. One is in her mid-forties the other her mid-twenties. The younger woman picks her pictures up first and moves to the end of the counter to look them over. As the older woman gets her pictures, she hears the other woman crying, as she stares at a photo in her hand. Wanting to put her own grief off for just a few more moments, she approaches the other woman. As she gets closer she sees the picture in her hand.
It was him! His face! Her love! How did this woman get her hands on his picture?
Then it hit her.
The older woman opens her envelope, and there he is with both arms around a beautiful woman, with golden hair and a laughing smile. The woman in the picture with him is now standing next to her.
She pulls the picture out and lays it in front of the young woman on the counter and wraps one arm around her as she cries.
This is the woman he loved, the one he wanted to marry. The one she heard all about. The flood gate of tears flew open and she cried, hot tears of pain, coming out in gasping breaths.
After both of their tears finally stopped flowing, they stood there a few moments longer, just holding each other, never uttering a word. Then they walked to the coffee shop across the street. As they shared stories of the man they both loved so much, the young woman reveals she is pregnant and this was the last gift he gave her before the accident. A fresh new wave of tears spill out of the older woman's eyes, for this was also her gift. The baby will be a part of him they both can share. She was to be a grandmother, and won't be alone, after all.