A Love to Last A Lifetime

September 21, 2016

She woke with a start, feeling her heart pounding and lungs expanding trying to take in much needed oxygen. She threw her legs over the bed and raced down the hallway only taking time to grab a pale green wool blanket. It was soft and worn down from many uses. She tossed it up and around her bare shoulders before throwing open the front door and racing down the steps of the porch and across the yard. Her bare feet sunk into the cool dirt and dew covered grass. She reached the old oak tree that towered high above her. She pulled herself onto the wooden swing that hung from one of the oaks massive limbs and only then did she finally begin to slow her breathing. The full moon hung high in the sky casting a pale ray of light over the woman.
When her breathing finally slowed she thought back to the dream that had caused her so much panic. Michael, the call, rushing to the hospital only to realize that the love of her life, the one that made life worth living, had taken his last breath. Only, these things had actually happened, they weren't just a dream. The pain that followed her in her waking hours had followed her into her dreams and tormented her every night. She began to slowly twist the swing until something carved into the trunk of the massive oak caught her eye. It was the initials M.C. & A.M. with the words a love to last a lifetime carved underneath. She breathed out slowly and let her hand reach out and placed her fingers lightly on the carved letters as if they would fade away if she pressed to hard. Her voice was quiet as the wind as she spoke. "Michael Calum and Anna Martin." The memory of the day the initials were carved into the tree floated to the forefront of her mind like a soft fog and she felt herself slipping into the memory.
The morning sun streamed through the window and cast its light over a sleeping body. A soft breeze fluttered through the open window sending the pale cream curtains into a slow wave. The fresh scent of flowers floated in through the window from the flower bed planted outside beside the house. The bedroom was decorated in a mismatched disarray of bright and happy colors that led to the room feeling homey and safe. The door creaked open slowly and a tall man with dark brunette hair and light green eyes carefully and quietly made his way to the side of the bed where the woman was still sleeping peacefully. Her dark curly hair was splayed across the pillow and her face was relaxed and peaceful. He reached over and put a steaming cup of coffee on the nightstand and then stood there for a minute taking in her beautiful features and the peacefulness that she held in her sleep. He could feel the love for this woman blossoming in his heart and a warmth that filled his entire being.
Finally he sat down beside her and reached over ghosting his fingers over her shoulder before squeezing softly and giving her a soft shake. His voice was smooth and deep rumbling up from his chest and tinted with love. "Anna, come on Anna it's time to wake up now love." He waited, watching her face for any signs of waking but Anna only let out a small breath and stayed still. He shook his head with a small grin pulling at his lips as he leaned forward and pressed a soft kiss to her cheek before leaning back and speaking again. "Anna, it's time to wake up, come on now, Anna, Anna bear, you can't sleep the day away, wake up now." Anna grumbled something before rolling over onto her back, throwing her arms out across the bed as she opened her eyes and glared up at Michael. Michael smiled and let the happiness infect his tone as he spoke. "Morning, see that wasn't so hard." Michael had only a few seconds before a pillow was yanked from the bed and hit him square in the face with a soft thud.
Anna still laid on her back looking up at Michael but accompanying the glare was a small smirk and a playful gleam in her eyes. Her voice was soft and seemed to wrap around Michael and ghost over his skin like a soft breeze. "Mornings suck, you better have coffee or there is going to be trouble and don't call me Anna bear." He laughed and leaned over to the nightstand to grab the coffee and handed it to a waiting Anna. "You know you love it when I call you that and hurry up there's something I want you to see." Anna took a small sip and then a larger gulp of her coffee as she eyed Michael and lifted one eyebrow giving him a pointed look. "If you say so Mikey, and you woke me up early to show me something? you couldn't have waited till I woke up on my own?" He smirked and shook his head. "Oh hush Anna you know you’re not mad and come on you can bring your coffee with but I want you to see it now." He stood and headed out the door sending Anna a bright happy smile. She shook her head with an annoyed huff but a small smile was tugging at her lips. She stood up and reached over to grab a pale green wool blanket off of a side chair. She tossed it over her shoulders and reveled in the soft new fabric that Michael had gotten for her since he knew how much she loved the color and how she liked to curl up with a blanket and a good book. She then turned and went out the door and down the hallway looking for Michael until she saw him standing by the door waiting none to patiently. He sent her a smile and waited for her to reach him before he opened the door and they walked out down the porch steps and across the yard towards the massive oak.
When they reached it Anna noticed a wooden swing strung from one of the oaks massive limbs. She turned to Michael with a confused look. "You were all excited about showing me a tree swing?" She asked while eyeing him with a small disbelieving look. He laughed and looked at her with an expression of love and endearment. "Oh Anna, it’s not just the swing but it is a part of it, I couldn't waste this trees potential and I know how much you love to swing." He then pulled the swing out of the way and stepped closer while pointing to something carved into the tree. "This is the best part right here." He sounded extremely happy so Anna leaned in close and read the words carved into the trunk. M.C. & A.M. a love to last a lifetime. She turned to Michael and looked at him with an equal look of surprise and love. "This is incredibly childish and also extremely lovely." He smiled one of the brightest smiles she had ever seen. "I knew you would love it, now, how about some swinging?" They spent the rest of the morning on the swing underneath the massive oak laughing and enjoying the time spent with each other. Time they both thought would last forever.
With a shake of her head Anna came back to the present sitting on the old swing underneath the massive oak with the moonlight pouring down on her and no Michael. She took a deep breath and let the air slowly back out. She let go of the swings rope and twirled back around when a soft voice called out to her. "Mommy, what are you doing?" A little girl with dark hair thrown into pig tails was looking at her as if she had lost her mind. She stood holding on to the hand of her older brother. He had dark brunette hair and pale green eyes and he was looking at her with more worry then curiosity. "We should go back to bed, it's late, will you come?" He asked. She looked at her children, and felt the pain slowly die a little inside. She slowly pulled herself off the swing and held her hands out to the two small children. They moved forward, each taking one hand and pressing themselves to their mother’s side. "Yes it is, Mat, let's go back to bed now, everything is alright." As she said this she knew she believed it. Michael might be gone but she had her children, her memories and a love that would last a lifetime.

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warriorwritergirl77This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Oct. 10, 2016 at 9:40 am
Hi! I really liked your story. First of all, your imagery and focus on detail is amazing. The way you stop to describe, has the sensation of slowing down time so the reader can really take it in. Some sentences could use some rewording, I would go back, read out loud to catch parts that sound awkward. Also, I feel like you could fo more with physical descriptions. I know its instinctive to describe the hair color or the eyes but ive learn from my sf class that it's even better when you describe ... (more »)
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