Sometimes memories are the sharpest blades
|It was one of the longest nights in Helen's life. |
A child in the neighbourhood went missing. As one of the taller and stronger boys in the town, Ben volunteered himself to be on the search team. Ben brought a torch with him. He left his cell on the kitchen counter. Not on purpose, but by the time he realized it, he was already deep in the woods. He didn't want to get separated with other people on the search team. He marched on.
Helen can see Ben's window from her living room. She stayed up all night worrying about Ben. She wondered if he was okay. She tried to call him and text him. There's no reply. She didn't know he left his phone on the counter.
She started thinking, what if something happens to him? What would she do? Who is going to laugh at her jokes and who's going to offer shoulders for her to cry on? The weirdest thing started popping into her head. Whenever Helen asked Ben to make a PB&J, he'd refuse to put jam in, instead, he'd put nutella in with peanut butter. It used to annoy Helen so much. "I didn't ask for a PB&N, I asked for a PB&J." Ben would shrug his shoulders and say "I don't want you to miss out on life." Helen would just roll her eyes at him.
It's twenty past midnight. He's still not back yet. Helen started to get restless. She started walking back and forth in the living room. That was still not enough. She went into the kitchen and started to make a PB&J.
10 minutes later, Helen took her first bite. There was no jam. It was just peanut butter and nutella.
It made her feel better.
Helen went back to the couch after she finished the sandwich. She kept staring at Ben's window. She fell asleep at some point.
In her dreams, it was Ben making PB&J with nutella and she was just sitting by the kitchen counter, smiling.
5 AM, Helen's phone buzzed.
"Hey, we just got back. Found the kid. I'm so tired. Have a good day. Hope I didn't wake you up. Ben."