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That Sound

That sound, that sound. It ruined everything for him. It made his world upside down and inside out. It was the sound of blood rushing to his ears as he got the news. The sound of his family consoling him, telling him it would be alright. Nothing would ever be alright again.

He had met her when she was a beautiful debutante and going to parties every day with at least three suitors. She had been the best thing he had ever laid eyes on and he knew that one day she would be his.

What was he going to do? The money, the money, it was going, going, gone. How did he take care of the kids? He had never needed to work; everyone had wanted to donate to her. What would they do now that she was gone? What could they do?

She was an orphan, he heard. Her parents had died in a car crash when she was a little girl. Even then, she was so beautiful that the donations started coming in, so that when the government took her parents property and money, she would be able to stay in the house.

No one wanted to hire him, he who had never worked before, he who had only ordered people around, never taken orders. Finally, someone felt sorry for him and gave him a job. Grave-digging.

They were happy together. Two kids and third one on the way by the time they had been married two years. Doctors said no more babies for a while, not good for the mother. Still going to parties, still going to the pictures, having fun every night, just carefully.

Grave digging wasn’t the best job, but he had to start somewhere. It kept food on the table and a roof over their heads. Had to sell the house that she loved so much, not enough money coming in to keep it running. The kids weren’t doing so good in school. Mary needed a tutor, but no money for a tutor.

His parents died. Lavish funeral given and lots of crying done. She didn’t know what to do. She had never met his parents, only his siblings. They had had a fight and never made up and now they were dead. He was an orphan, too.

The kids growing up now. Jane and Bobby almost done with school. Going to get a job and said they would help take care of Dad and Mary. How nice of them. Mary isn’t at her best today. Her memory’s slipping again. Turns out it wasn’t a tutor she needed.

The time came for the fourth child to be born, Elizabeth for a girl and Joe for a boy. Waiting at the hospital with the other three outside the delivery room. Lots of screaming, but it’s always like that. The doctor comes out and the first question is “A boy or girl?” A girl, says the doctor, but she didn’t make it. Her mommy’s okay for now, but won’t last the week.

All the kids out of the house. Jane and Bobby married and Mary moved in with Jane. Still taking care of dad. Well, they wouldn’t have to anymore. He knew he wouldn’t last the day.

His heart is broken and he looks to the sky. He sees her up there, waiting for him. She refused to enter without her best friend. She would have to wait awhile, but once he wouldn’t have to leave the kids like she was left, he would be there. If only she would wait.





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