Delivery

May 18, 2008
By
She sat. If only she would get up the courage and strength to go out, she wouldn’t feel so alone. She knew that feeling well, emptiness; he was her best friend now and by far the most constant. Like a good dog, he had lain beside her at night and was there when she awoke. He had been there ever since the day that the one person who knew her, heart and soul, had left.
That morning, they had fought about something that was altogether ridiculous, as was usually the case. And again, as usual, he sped off in that little blue sports car that had always smelled like him and contained his every possession from his bible to that week old pizza box that he just wouldn’t throw away—she never could figure out why.
They had been perfect, or at least as perfect as any two people could be together. He had made her her morning cup of coffee every day--strong, but with enough cream to induce a sugar coma--, he had jogged with her and always made sure that he had slowed down enough to let her smoker's lungs catch up--she had quit smoking when she met him because he hated the smell-- and most of all, the thing that surprised her everyday that she woke up and found him in bed beside her was that he had loved her, no matter what awful thing slipped out of her mouth in anger.
She couldn't help but think about all of those times when they had run around the corners of the house, screaming and laughing as if the rest of the world didn't exist--which it didn't when she was with him. She could still see the dark smudges left by his grease laden fingertips—typical mechanic-- on the wall that lead to their, now only her, bedroom. She remembered the morning when those dirty prints had been left there. It was nine o'clock one Saturday morning in July and the hot, make-you-want-to-hide-in-the-air-conditioned-house sun was beating down with all its strength already. Her car had been giving her trouble lately and so Michael, early that morning, had burrowed his way under the hood like a small animal into its hole, only emerging two hours later looking indeed animalistic with a mask of dirt and muck covering his handsome face. Covered head to toe in black grease-- she had yelled at him "don't you dare step into this house looking like that". Grinning mischievously, he ran at her and chased her around the house for what seemed like hours at the time, but now seemed to be far too little.
As she dug up all of the buried memories that they had once shared, she could feel her old friend, Emptiness, nudging her towards her car keys. “Maybe just a quick visit,” she whispered to the darkness.
Her car was old but in good condition; he always had helped her keep it up. She sat in the driver’s seat and smiled as she remembered how he had attempted to teach her how to drive it. She turned on the engine and eased out of the driveway. First gear. Second gear. Third gear—that one was beginning to stick. And finally, fourth. Emptiness rode in the passenger seat like her loyal companion. Ignoring the storm of fluttering ashes , the result of now, eight cigarettes, blown by the wind.
Crossing the old bridge, she pulled off to the side of the road; her little car wouldn’t make it up the steep side of the mountain. From here she would hike. She opened her door, which squeaked in protest, and she breathed in the hot, dry, Colorado air. When she finally reached the peak, gasping for a much-needed breath, she walked slowly to the cliff’s edge. You could see everything from here, the river twisting like a snake, the small billows of dust twirling in the wind like ribbons, and the craters that had been left as markers of whatever had once fallen from the mountain side. It was beautiful. Closer, and closer she moved until her toes were almost completely off the edge. Her friend stood beside her and urged her to do what she had been thinking about for weeks. She looked down at her hand. In the bright sunlight, her golden ring glistened. “Why not?” she spoke softly. She took one last drag of the little white cigarette butt in her and and dropped it into the endless valley. Then, slowly, ever so slowly, she pulled the ring off of her finger and with one last look, threw it too over the edge. She watched it shine as it fell and came to rest, dead center, in a tiny crater, and for just a moment she thought she saw an old and tattered pizza box.
She walked back to her car and found his bible which she had placed under her seat. His bookmark, a napkin from the same pizza place, marked the passage that read : By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.





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Kaitlyn S. said...
Sept. 28, 2009 at 9:30 pm
Loved it! :)
 
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