Love, Me

April 21, 2012
By , Vega, TX
Dear Luke,

It’s official. It has been thirty-one days since you had to leave. Seven hundred forty two hours. I could lie and tell you that I’m fine, but I know that wouldn’t satisfy you. You always wanted the truth, Luke. I remember seeing the disappointment in your eyes when you knew I was lying. I remember a lot of things about you. I remember your smile, your laugh, even the way your hand felt when it took mine. My family thinks I’m going crazy. They use words like “depressed, unresponsive and unaware,” but only when they think I’m not listening. Truth is I’m not any of those things. Sometimes I do drift away from conversations but only because I start to think of you. I don’t think about the look on your face when you left me or the fact that your a million miles away from me. I like to think about all the good things. I like to think about the ways your eyes light up when they catch mine or the way you would just randomly steal a kiss whenever I looked bored. People remind me everyday about how I’ll see you again. How it’s not all over for us, but it’s just too hard for me to picture.

I talked to your mom today. She misses you too. She seems like the only other person in this world who understands how I feel. She didn’t seem sad. She was comfortable talking about you. She told me about the time you hit the neighbor’s cat with your Little Tikes tractor. She told me all about how you were afraid that the cat was going to die, and how you wouldn’t sleep because the guilt was just eating you up. Turns out the cat was just fine. You were always worried about everyone else, so I didn’t have a hard time believing that story. We both miss you. We talked about what we would do when we saw you again. I can’t wait until the day that I can hold your hand and look into your gorgeous green eyes. Those eyes always made me melt. Remember how nervous they made me on our first date. You said, “You look beautiful.” And all I could say was, “Er- I—Hi.” You laughed and I blushed. That was a great day. We went out again a couple days later and on the way to the restaurant you said, “I’m going to marry you someday.” You scared me to death. I didn’t have anything to say. I almost threw up actually. You looked at me in the middle of dinner and said, “I should apologize for moving too fast, but I’m not going to.” I laughed; I didn’t want you to apologize anyways. Who would have thought that boy from that date would end up being the man I married. I know I didn’t.

I know things are different where you are, and I know it’s impossible for you to write me back, but I hope you love reading this letter as much as I loved writing it. I hope you still think of those special moments we had together. I think about them all the time. I hope you reread my words over and over again and feel the same every time. I hope that when you read this you feel the love in my words. I miss you. I love you Luke.


I folded the letter up and put it in an envelope. I didn’t address the envelope because I didn’t feel the need to. I knew Luke wouldn’t get the letter. I didn’t even know where he was, but I had hopes. Luke couldn’t tell me where he was. He couldn’t even talk to me. I’d give anything to hear Luke’s tenor voice one more time. Luke had a way of talking to people. His voice was smooth and inviting. He could get any girl he wanted with that voice, but he was always a one woman kind of guy. I was the lucky woman he decided to spend the rest of his life with. I never let myself forget how lucky I am. Even though Luke wasn’t with me now I still feel like the most special girl in the world. I try not to focus on the past. It only makes me sad. I like to think about how it won’t be long until I see him again. Luke wouldn’t want me to spend all my time thinking about the past. He was always optimistic, always looking forward.
I snapped out of the trance I was put in. I often found myself daydreaming about Luke. I grabbed the envelope and put it in my purse. I dug through all of my mail that sat on the crowded counter in effort to find my keys. The counter was full of clutter. There were bills and trash everywhere. Not to mention tons of cards. The cards took up the most space. The counter was covered with friends’ messages and offers all in pastel envelopes. I know I’m lucky to have so many people who care about me, but the letters get overwhelming.
I found my silver keychain in all the clutter. My keychain was a picture of Luke and I. I felt the familiar tickle start in my nose, and it only took a few seconds for the hot tears to roll down my cheeks. I had been crying a lot lately. It was how I started and ended my day. I wiped the tears away and grabbed the keys. I made sure to lock the front doors on the way out. I climbed into my black Honda, and started it up. Luke and I had a lot of great memories in that car. I looked at the passenger seat and let my mind wander.

“Let me drive.” Luke always wanted to drive my car, but I was the only one who ever drove it and I planned on keeping it that way. “No. For the last time, no one drives my car but me.” Luke pushed his bottom lip out just a little bit. “Ugh! Don’t pout. Why do want to drive anyway?” Luke chuckled and looked at me. I took my eyes off the road to meet his eyes. “Because we’re about to get on a busy road, and you’re not the best driver, love.” Luke’s green eyes were suddenly soft. I couldn’t make my eyes get back on the road, so I gave in. I pulled over and turned the car off. Luke gave me a quick kiss on the cheek. We switched sides. Luke turned the key. The engine struggled to start. He let go and tried again, still no luck. “Dangit! I knew I shouldn’t have turned it off!” Luke pat my back. “It’s okay Beth. I’ll call a tow truck.” Luke pulled out his phone and started dialing. I put the console up and moved into the middle seat. Luke put his arms around my shoulders and I leaned into him. The closest town was at least thirty miles away. It would take a while for the tow truck to get here, but that was perfectly fine with me. Luke hung up and moved his arm from my shoulders to my waist. “Beth?” It was like he was looking for me. Did I imagine the nervousness in his voice? “I uh wanted to ask you something.” I sat up and looked him in the eyes. He gave me a small smile. “Bethany Lane, I promise to love you forever and ever. Through good and bad. Would you make me the happiest man in the world and do me the honor of marrying me?” Luke pulled a black box out of his jacket pocket. He opened the box and revealed the most beautiful diamond ring. It had a big square diamond and small circle diamonds all along the band. I didn’t even realize I was crying until I choked out the words, “Of course I will.”

I twisted that ring around my finger and reminisced on that five year old memory. I wiped the tears from my eyes and started the car. It started without any problems this time. I backed out of my driveway and headed out. I had driven this route every day for thirty-one days. I went past the burger joint and the local grocery store. I turned down the long dirt road like I had every week. I parked the car in the same spot. I heard the same sounds as I took my walk, the crunch of the gravel the brush of the grass against my shoes. I saw the same people in the same row. I passed six gray headstones before I made it to the one I needed to see. I put the letter on the flat gray stone, and then I lost it.
The sobs worked hard to escape my chest. The tears were coming faster than usual. Everyday I came to Luke’s grave, and everyday I sobbed until my chest ached and I ran out of tears. I usually found strength after a half hour. I had to think about Luke. I wouldn’t want him to see me like this. He didn’t choose to leave me, I wasn’t going to punish him. He hated seeing me cry. Usually he would just hold me and comfort me with “I’m sorry” and “I love you” I got back on my feet after about fifteen minutes of sitting and sobbing. “I miss you Luke” Sometimes I felt like I was talking to myself, but other times I knew he was listening. Luke’s death was so sudden. One minute he was there and the next he was gone. I got worried when he didn’t get home from work, but I figured he just got caught up in traffic. I made dinner for him, but I ended up eating alone. I had called, but Luke didn’t answer his phone while he drove. I wasn’t really worried. He had been stuck in traffic for hours before. I didn’t even realize I had fallen asleep until the phone ringing woke me up. I answered groggily. That was one phone call I’d never forget. I remember the lady on the other line telling me to sit down. Then it was blurry. I remember phrases like, “Car accident.” And “Deadly injuries” I remember her last words too. She paused and said to me “I’m sorry. There was nothing we could do. I’m afraid your husband has passed away.”
I still can’t describe the pain I felt. It wasn’t emotional, it was physical. My stomach was in knots. I felt like someone had slapped me in the face over and over. I had had my heart broken, but it was never like this. It was real. Real pain in my chest; like someone knocked the breath out of me. I struggled to get my air back. I didn’t cry or sob. I just went numb. I didn’t sleep that night. I didn’t call my mom, I didn’t have a best friend to call either. My best friend was Luke.

After hours of numbness, it all hit me. Then the sobs started. I started to lose track of time. After what seemed like hours of crying I heard a knock on the door. I tried to compose myself, but it was nearly impossible to stop the tears. I took a deep breath and opened the door. I felt like I was looking into a mirror. She was there with the same puffy red eyes and tear stained cheeks. Luke’s mom reached her arms out to embrace me. Linda was sweet and loving, just like Luke. I didn’t know how she got the strength to leave her house, but I was glad she was there with me. She stayed with me for hours. We cried for a long time. After all the tears were gone, we talked about Luke. We even laughed over old stories. It came time for Linda to go back home; she needed comfort from her husband. When she left I looked at the clock and figured it up. I had been awake for thirty-six hours. I was tired, but I couldn’t sleep. I didn’t want to. If I closed my eyes, I would have nightmares. I called my mom. I cried to her and she comforted me. She told me that she was on her way down. I needed somebody to stay with me, but at the same time I needed time alone.
With my mom there to help, I didn’t have to do much. The week that she was there was blurry. I don’t remember much about the funeral or the days leading up to it. I tried to get on with my life after my mother left, but it was hard. I eventually got into a pattern. I would cry it out when I woke up, but I would hold myself together until four o’clock. At four I went to the cemetery and I spent a couple of hours there. I eventually got stronger. I was strong enough to talk to Luke. I could talk to him for hours, even though he couldn’t talk back.

It had been a whole month since he died, and my visit was much shorter. I had to go to the cemetery earlier. I also had to leave earlier. I knew it was good for me, even though it was a little harder.
People were starting to call me again. Friends wanted to hang out, but I usually declined. My doctor wanted me to come in for a check up, but I kept putting it off. I reluctantly agreed to go in after being alone for almost a whole month. I got back in my car and started to drive.

I must have looked like a wreck when I walked into the office. I felt like everyone was staring. They were probably staring out of shock and concern. No one had seen me since the funeral. I didn’t leave the house much. I was living without a lot of essentials, like Pop Tarts and shaving cream. It was time I got out of the house. I sat down in the slick leather chairs. I didn’t have to wait long; the doctor was ready for me right away. The check up was normal other than the extra psychological analysis. I expected that one. The doctor asked me normal questions, but I knew he was looking for deeper answers. After I answered all the questions he left the office to retrieve various test results. I wasn’t really worried about anything. I was almost one-hundred percent sure everything was fine. The doctor knocked on the door and walked on in. I could tell by the smile on his face that I was going to be just fine. I smiled back; I was happy to see someone happy for me. “I’ve got some really great news.” The doctor smiled at me for a few seconds. I wanted to tell him to get on with it, but I didn’t want to seem impatient. “You’re perfectly healthy, and so is your baby.” My head snapped up and I just stared at him. “B-B-Baby?” I stuttered; I couldn’t get the words out. “Yes ma’am. It looks like your about eight weeks pregnant.” The doctor looked at me and waited for my reaction. I started doing the math, and it all came together. I was pregnant. I smiled at the thought; Luke’s baby. I still had a part of him; I always would. The doctor told me I was free to go when I was ready, and he left the room. I suddenly felt like cinder blocks were lifted off my shoulders. I felt like I was really moving on, then I cried. Happy tears; tears of joy.

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SilverSun said...
Apr. 29, 2012 at 12:09 am
Okay, I just reared up. Such a beautiful story with such a well written and developed tone and excellent voice. Wow. Just wow. :')
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