A short on V-day

Valentine's Day alone? No way...

Valentines day is here.  The crappiest day of the year, and walking home in this cold weather doesn't benefit me at all.  Well, there is the getting home part, but I'll just be spending it alone.  The cars speed by, and the wind finds the worst times to bully me to a halt.  A few times, I even saw a couple holding hands, and walking into a shop, or their house.  Do they even know that it will all go away?  Probably not. 

My house comes into sight.  It is a small house wedged between two other houses in a quaint suburb that has been around since the sixties.  I once stayed up late drinking my wife out of my head, until the day she died in my bed.  I can't say that it was her fault, but she did have that hacking cough that she cured with smokes.  I even tried to help her quit.  I think it was just her time, just as it will be for all us old folks.

The door knob is cold, and I can tell that through my gloves.  A few steps in, I can smell the tea that I left on the stove.  I love making tea.  I used to always heat some up for Ethel.  She loved tea.  We would sit in our dining room sipping camomile and honey while reading week old newspapers.  We would never have any up-to-date news.  It was sad, but funny.  The water has come to a gentle boil.  Steam, no bubbles.  Only the ones on the bottom of the pot. 

I turn the stovetop off, and walk upstairs into my room to take some medicine.  Some is an understatement.  Augmentin for an ear ache.  Hydrocodone for my back pain.  I haven't taken the cialis in a while.  And a few vitamins.  I save the rest for a rainy day.  The edge of the glass of cold water is refreshing.  I take a few drinks to get all those pills down.  I begin down the stairs.  Each step gets more and more difficult to manage, but I've had worse.  I grab the railing that I built for Ethel so many years ago. 

She said, "Benny!  Get to work on that thing so I's down fall down these damn stairs."  I would laugh.  I don't do that much anymore.

The kitchen floor is warm beneath my socks.  Hot water pipes in the right spot are a miracle for flooring.  I scoop my mug into the pot and begin sipping it down.  One side is a bit warm, but I did scoop it, instead of pouring it.  The walk to my sitting room was a bit weird, but I always get creeped out at night.

Valentines Day is here.  The crappiest day of the year, and my meds begin kicking in.  The tea isn't as hot as it usually is.  Is that my tooth hurting, or my ear?  Who cares?  I don't.  My feet disappear under a blanket, then the rest of me.  That damn lamp never lights this place up.  It always makes things look yellow. 

"Ethel.  How has your day been?"  I ask her. 

She sits in the love seat by the window.  She says, "You know Benny, I have no one to blame for what happened." 

I look at her face, so weathered and wise.  "You know the only person to blame is me."  I begin to get teary eyed. 

I lift the blanket off of me, and as I set the mug of tea down, I realize that my hand was a bit sticky.  But I don't care.  I have business to attend to. 

"I don't blame you, Benny."  She looks back out the window. 

"But I do!  I love you more than myself."  I stand and begin to walk to her.  The damn coffe table beneath me catches my sock, and drops me to the floor.  I reach for her, and I am just too far to touch her hand. 

"There you are again.  On the floor."  Ethel gave me her hand to lift me, and I reach for her.  Her feet begin to drift away, and then her body.  Ethel's hands disappear in ethereal mist, and then her face.

I wake up and find myself on the floor.  My hand has carpet fuzz stuck to it, and my glass of water had spilled on the carpet.  Monday, February fifteenth.  I best get to work.

The End

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