Rain hammered upon the foul smelling taxi as it sped along the busy city streets. People scrambled into stores and underneath awnings, avoiding the cold downpour. Jonas Despeaux sighed as he looked outside his apartment window. This was the third day this week it had rained. Drawing the white curtains across the rain-spattered window, Jonas proceeded to continue his usual routine for rainy days. Lying on the leather sofa, a warm blanket draped around him, smelling of lavender, his eyes closed tightly as he imagines a warm summer sun. Inhaling deeply, the scent of lavender fills his lungs, awaking within him a memory, and the warm summer sun becomes a bright light, blinding to behold.
“Jonas, why not stop and ask someone for directions, we’re already late” The calm yet firm voice of Caroline was nearly drowned by the roaring of the rain as they drove down the quiet street.
“The Bakers gave me their address, I know where I’m going.” Some wealthy friends, acquaintances really, had invited them to a dinner party. Caroline simply sighed, curling a finger in her soft brown hair, the light scent of her lavender perfume wafting into the air. The rain continued to pour down, like wine into a bottomless glass. Jonas loved the rain, often playing in it as a child, and wandering through it with Caroline when they were first married. Lost in these thoughts, Jonas had no time to react to Caroline’s scream, and the white lights of the car that had swerved into their lane.
Biting his lip, Jonas tried to keep himself composed. Unable to continue with this part of the routine, he wandered into the small washroom, the hot water offered some comfort, reminding him of warm summer rain, of happier times. Brushing the steam from the mirror, Jonas saw his reflection staring back at him. His face was weary, his blue eyes had ark circles beneath them, and he looked dead.
“Do you know your name?” The blurriness subsided from his eyes, Jonas saw the face of an older man, a doctor, with a worried look behind a feebly done up smile. It took a while but words finally came to him.
“J-Jonas…Jonas Despeaux.” The man nodded his head, scribbling something down on a clipboard.
“Good, good!” chimed the man. “Do you remember what happened?” Jonas closed his eyes, his head hurt and his wrist was on fire.
“I was driving, there was a light…it was raining.” The man wrote some more. But what was he asking all these questions for?
“And you had a passenger…who was she?” Jonas didn’t understand, why wasn’t he asking her these questions?.
“Caroline, my wife…. where is she?” The man remained silent, the calm in his face began to deteriorate.
“She’s in another room Jonas.” Jonas felt his pulse quicken, that wasn’t enough.
“When can I see her?” Jonas demanded, his voice beginning to rise. “Your not telling me something!” Jonas was shaking now. “Where is my wife? Where’s Caroline!” The man frowned, his voice soft yet sad.
“I’m sorry Jonas, but Caroline didn’t make it.” Jonas broke into sobs, loud mournful wails, collapsing into his bed he continued to be wracked with cries.
Jonas clambered into bed, fighting the urge to scream. Stuffing his fist into his mouth, he bit hard, the sick taste of blood weaved it’s way onto his tongue; he shouldn’t be acting like this, not now. Jonas grabbed the framed photograph of him and Caroline on their wedding day. They both beamed at the camera, entirely happy together. Eventually, sleep found Jonas.
The phone rang loudly, Jonas stood in the kitchen, dressed in his fine tuxedo, his dark hair combed down.
“Hello?” Jonas asked the receiver.
“Are you nervous?” Caroline’s voice sounded. Instantly, a smile crossed Jonas’ face.
“Definitely.” At this, Caroline laughed a little. God her laugh was beautiful.
“Me too, I can’t stop shaking.” They spoke for another five minutes Jonas’ father knocked at the door.
“Jonas, it’s time.” Fixing his tie one last time, Jonas headed outside and into his father’s sleek black car. The drive to the church was uneventful. Once inside, Jonas’ heart fluttered and his palms began to sweat. The pews were full of friends and family, all smiling. Jonas stood at the head of the chapel, before a smiling justice of the peace, waiting anxiously. Then, the organ began to play. There was a collective sigh as Caroline, holding her father’s hand, walked down the aisle. Jonas looked at his soon to be wife and smiled, giving a wink. The justice began reciting the wedding speech to which Jonas only really began paying attention once the words “Till death to us part” were spoken.
“I do” whispered Jonas. But until death was not good enough. No. He wanted to spend forever with Caroline, to see the wind blow through her hair, to lie with her in the fields. The words “I do” weren’t enough. “I will” was more appropriate.
“I will” echoed in Jonas’ mind, loudly like a lion roaring. “I will spend forever, I will go on forever with you…forever won’t be long enough.”
In his sleep, Jonas’ face had grown into a smile. The fear had dissolved as he clutched the photograph to his chest.
“Forever.” He whispered as the rain outside stopped, as the people cam from their hiding places.
“Forever” he smiled as the sun burst from behind the clouds, bathing the grey city in light.