It’s angel week in my house. March 6 is the day my mother earned her Wings.
Understandably, my writing has slipped into nostalgic melancholies for a few days, as well as day three of insomnia. I will be so glad for this time to pass. My writing takes a crazy freak trip when I haven’t slept. I never sleep well on angel week.
Mom passed this story to me. A tragic love story. For her, today, I will share.
Brushing the familiar fragrant blossoms aside, Linda gazed upon the serene river as calm as smooth glass. The full moon reflected fully, a wistful mirrored smile of grey-blue, matching the strands of hair curling behind her aging ears that listened to the soothing night song of phantom baby frogs.
So many years had passed- some full of glory, some of regret.
Her children had grown, her grandchildren were close to becoming parents themselves. Time had slipped through her fingers in handfuls of granulated moments as they slowly changed from long and graceful to gnarled, arthritic digits.
Unconsciously she rubbed the underside of gold worn thin from years of worrying. As the ring dully winked in the soft moonlight, Linda gazed down at it, her mind shifting into old memories.
The frogs’ song drifted into a soft melody, breaking through her thoughts.
Leaning on her cane heavily, Linda eased her frail frame onto the worn flat rock behind her, grateful for the concerto floating to her from behind the reeds that gently waved in ghostly unison just off shore.
Her thigh highs were slowly inching down her swollen varicose calves in a constricting roll, but she paid no mind. Her mind was drifting off, remembering, as she shifted her old hips to a comfortable position in the smooth spot in the rock she had created over time.
For the last sixty-two years, Linda had come here- sitting on the same rock, listening to generations serenading her, watching the shore change over time, watching herself change in the reflections.
This was her place. Her place to remember, and seek solace from the man she had married out of desperation so long ago.
The aroma of purple sweetness lingering in the humid night air brought memories back in a rush. Linda closed her tired eyes as the old movie unfolded against her retinas, flickering softly at first.
She could still remember the scent of his musky coat, the way his hair fell over his soft grey eyes, how perfectly his hand fit into hers, and how her fingers trembled that night when he slipped the ring onto her.
Her fingers, long and graceful now, slipped down her hips, over rustling black chiffon, sensing tiny black pearls sewn in elaborate patterns. Absurdly narrow black patent leather creaked against her youthful nylon ankles.
Linda licked her lips nervously, tasting tint of fresh lipstick that flipped her stomach as the familiar nausea of morning sickness lingered in the back of her throat.
Her eyes fluttered open, seeing it all as if it were yesterday.
Emmett stood there, his grey eyes afire, angrily arguing in silent grey words as she handed the bejeweled engagement ring back. He didn’t understand.
Linda’s mouth opened mutely in response, truly at a loss for words. Her eyes caught movement offshore, of the expensively polished black sedan watching through the canopy of young colorless wisteria clusters.
Emmett didn’t understand.
Tears swelled under her false lashes as she squeezed her eyes shut tightly. How she wished they would just go away.
Damn his family.
Emmett pried open her hand and pressed the grey gold against her perspiring palm, stepping in close to her. The words were lost in silence, his breath was comfortably cool against her cheek. He wasn’t giving up.
As if rehearsed a thousand times, Linda watched the wink of diamonds sail through the pitch black sky, a falling star slowly tumbling in an agonizing slowness, silently rippling the dark water as it sank.
She looked at her trembling open palm.
It was empty, save for the imprint left behind.
Grey blur of coat lapels slipped by her in the darkness, haze of grey tears. The silent spray of grey water spotted her dress, soaking through her nylons.
Linda’s breath hung grey against the charcoal of night with her silent cry. The churning water calmed to a black onyx glaze that swallowed her vision.
Numbness steeped into her bones.
Into his bones..
such beckoning blackness…
the calmness of a murky Heaven..
I’m coming, my love..
Linda’s heavy eyes focused into a pair of beautiful grey irises plumed with dark lashes and crow’s feet. Her daughter look concerned. “Are you okay?”
Wordlessly, Linda nodded, wincing from the stiff neck. It seemed she had been lost here longer than she thought. The moon had shifted in her view, and the frogs had tucked themselves under safety of lily pad dreams.
“Shhh,” Christina murmured in confused wonder, wiping the single moonlit tear that trickled down her mother’s deeply etched cheek. “Let’s go home, Dad’s been waiting up.” She helped her aging mother to a standing position and they started down the beaten path that they both knew by heart, brushing the blossoms aside.
Linda stopped for a moment, and shuffled herself around to face the moonlit waters as Christina supported her arm. Wordlessly she scanned what she could see in the darkness and began crying quietly with a watered-down smile. Christina hugged her gently.
Linda patted her daughter’s plump wrist, her voice trailing off. “Someday..”