By Liam S.
Mr. Lewis carefully placed the delicate china plates upon the worn cedar table. The table had been a wedding gift from his aunt Matilda who, until recently, had written him a letter almost every week.
“I’m sure she’s just busy, after all, her husband is the mayor.” His wife would say when he brought it up. The cuckoo clock sounded midnight as Mr. Lewis began to place the fine silverware beside the plates, taking special care that they lined up exactly, and that they were the same distance from the edge of the table. Eventually he sat down across from his wife, who smiled at him with such adoration. Evelyn had soft brown eyes, the kind that seemed to radiate calm. Her dark hair was tied into a bun tonight, a small strand hanged loosely on her cheek, next to her olive coloured skin.
“This pork really is quite delicious Frank.” Evelyn said in her usual high voice. Mr. Lewis merely grinned and nodded his head in thanks. For a few minutes there was only the clinking of knives and forks mixed with the noise of chewing. Evelyn’s jaw moved slowly, her eyes never straying from her husband’s face.
“I’m so looking forward to seeing the children next week, it’s always a joy.” Her eyes always lit up whenever she mentioned their children. Though, they hadn’t visited in many months. A silence passed between the two of them, Evelyn’s dark eyes unblinking as she held her gaze with Mr. Lewis. She really was quite a stunning woman. Her neatly rounded face, and dimpled chin gave one the impression she was younger than she really was…as if she never aged past thirty.
“Dr. Thomas says I’m recovering nicely, and that you and I will be able to take strolls again soon, do you remember those dear?” Mr. Lewis simply nodded his head again, his mouth busy with a spoonful of potatoes. Evelyn smiled, a flame of longing resting within her eyes.
“Those long walks along the riverbank outside our home, talking about our future, oh I miss those!” Evelyn turned her head, finally breaking her gaze from her husband to peer out the window. She stared for a long minute, her lips moving but not speaking. Mr. Lewis merely watched his wife, a sad look smeared onto his face. Quickly he returned to a smile when she turned to face him again.
“In fact…I think I may be well enough to take a short walk, what do you say Frank?” Mr. Lewis bit his lip in thought, he began to shake his head and parted his lips to tell her otherwise but Evelyn had already stood up.
“Please dear, I haven’t left the house in weeks, I’ll only walk to the river and back, please?” He knew he shouldn’t let her, it wasn’t right. But there wouldn’t be any convincing her; she had made up her mind.
“Won’t you join me dear?” Mr. Lewis was nodding his head, but his lips had already formed the words.
“Not tonight my love” Not tonight…two words that ripped through his heart and shattered his will, haunting his dreams like the bells of the infernal pit. Evelyn frowned, but proceeded to go anyways, she walked very slowly, but Mr. Lewis could not move from his seat. As she walked out the door, tears began to trickle down his face, carving their place into his cheeks.
Outside the window, the young gardener peered inside. Old man Mr. Lewis sat alone at the table, and, like it was every night, it was set for two.