The Promise

Alone in her bedroom, Bella sat in her rocking chair by the window, lost in the memories of years gone by. Photographs of her loved ones covered the chest of drawers near her bed. Every day, she wiped them with a soft cloth, ensuring they would last her a lifetime. A gentle smile came to her as she looked at the faces of those she had cared for so many years ago.
A single bed faced the window, to catch the first rays of the sun rising over a new day. The furniture in her room was simple, she never liked frills. On her lap, an old tabby cat was curled up asleep. They had been together a long time. Lovingly, she stroked the animal’s fur with one hand and held a photograph to her breast with the other.
The day went by slowly as she gently rocked back and forth in the rocking chair. Staring out the window, her mind went to another place in time. Feeling tired and sad, she lay down to rest, folding her thin arms across her chest, a habit she developed many years earlier. As she drifted off to sleep, the face of the man she loved for so many years appeared before her.
Holding out his arms, he called softly to her, “Come, my darling, it is time for us to be together.” Taking her hand, he helped her to stand and gathered her into his loving arms. Together, they walked towards the light. Briefly, the old woman looked back to the figure lying on the bed. She was peaceful and serene. “Goodbye, Dear”, she whispered.

The next morning, the gardener arrived for his weekly inspection of the grounds. He was concerned, for Bella did not appear at the window to watch. He knocked loudly on the door and called out to her, but there was no answer. A sense of foreboding came over him as he ran around to the back of the house. He knew where she kept a spare key in the laundry. He unlocked the door and went inside, calling out to her as he went.
Quickly, he ran through the house, checking each room. At the door to her bedroom, he stopped in his tracks. Just inside the room, he could see her lying on her bed. She looked so peaceful, as if in a deep sleep. The tabby cat had not moved. It hissed at the gardener as he approached the bed. Looking down at Bella, he felt tears well up in his eyes. This woman had always shown him great kindness. As he turned to go and telephone the police, he noticed the photograph still in her hand. He couldn’t see the photo, but there was a message written on the back of it. The handwriting was faded but he could still read it.

“My promise to you, my darling, is that we will always stay together, even in death.”

The Promise


Joined April 2007

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