Thanks to Alistair at Sunday Photo Fiction for providing the prompt. If you’d like to join in, please click here.
As Long as Always Can Be
How inured we’ve become.
We drive by the bombed-out building, note the sidewalk closed sign, perhaps without remembering the lives lost.
My daughter though gazes at the rubble, her eyes Caribbean blue, like her father’s. I don’t need to read her mind to know what she’s thinking. What was Dad doing when the bomb blew? I pray he didn’t suffer. Would he have been proud of me?
My pain is palpable stabbing me with hundreds of knifepoints, always wishing that somehow I had kept him home, just a few minutes, even seconds, enough that he wouldn’t now be a memory only concrete in too infrequent dreams that slip through my fingers as morning’s sunlight pierces the shear curtains. And the dream is always the same, us dancing our first dance at our wedding, me smiling up at him, him tucking a curl behind my ear, “Always,” he’d said, his voice a sensual whisper. I will always love you.
I never anticipated how short “always” would be.
A teenage boy, skateboard under arm, throws a glass bottle against the broken stone; it shatters as my daughter and I watch, her fingers reach for mine; she cringes.
We are not inured.