He was meant to be home. She sat and waited; watching the shadows creep towards her.
All day when he was away, she thought of him; of how much she wanted to hear his voice and be held. Work was keeping him more and more everyday. His mind was filled with it, even at home.
Image by Cathie Tranent
Her dream was for them to have a simpler existence, to sell up and move away from the city. They could grow their own food, tending gardens and raising animals. Every moment could be theirs together, without business executives and board meetings intruding on their happiness. Hand in hand into the twilight years.
When she brought the idea up with him, he was sympathetic.
‘We share the same dream, Abby,’ he said. ‘You hold my heart, as I hold yours. The time apart is hard on me as well, can’t you see that?’
If she could hold on, persevere for a little longer, they would have enough money for him to stop this work.
They had not yet been able to get married. He had proposed a long time ago, yet they had never been able to fit the wedding into his schedule. She had it planned – the cake, the dress. Her Dad was going to walk her down the aisle, but he had died last year, so that dream was gone. He had seemed so happy at the idea of it when she told him, so that memory gave her some comfort.
Her optimism for the future had not gone, but the flames were burning low. Deep down he was still the boy she loved from so long ago. Her dreams could wait a little longer; after all, he was doing this for them.
‘I’ve got some good news,’ he said while pouring his morning coffee. ‘Why don’t you cook something special for dinner to celebrate, and I’ll tell you all about it tonight.’
Her spirits soared, and she practically skipped over to give him a hug. Her patience was finally rewarded; the moment had come for their big day.
Bustling around the unit, she was busy with every cooking pot she owned. The smells of fresh herbs, baking bread and cooking meat wafted to the street, tormenting the people passing by. He deserved the best meal she could make.
When he arrived home finally, the night was far advanced. She smiled sweetly at him, through gritted teeth, still pleased to see him, despite the lateness.
‘Sorry Abby, I was having celebratory drinks at work.’
‘Why would you tell them about our wedding before me?’ she said, clasping her hands together.
‘What? Oh no, darling, this isn’t about the wedding! I’ve been promoted!’
‘Oh,’ she said, sagging against the kitchen bench, spinning utensils to the floor.
‘I know, what great news! It’ll mean more hours at work, but the pay is fantastic. It’s everything we wanted!’
She sat and waited at the window, watching the darkness. He held her heart no longer; she had taken it back. She wiped at her face, delicately smearing the drying blood into streaks.
Constructive criticism welcome.
© 2007 Damian Herde
This story was written as a collaboration with "Cathie Tranent ":http://www.redbubble.com/people/cathiet.