a brief story of a man who has lost something important
By: Alexis Williams
Year made: 2011, August 10
It’s a silent room in a room of many, the air is still the dust motes have all settled and there isn’t a ray of light any where to be seen. Its dark, the air feels heavy and incomplete and the feeling of this one room seems to just be remembering…and waiting…and then a ray of light on the left side of the room spilling in a stirring the dust motes up again. Through a long curtain, on a white window pane with clear glass it comes through silent and unwanted yet it still comes. Soon the light grows stronger and brighter and longer until it alights on the still prone figure of a man lying on his left side facing away from the window on a bed still and quiet as the brightening room he sleeps in, and then…an alarm goes off and the silence…is broken.
A coffee pot gives a slight chirp and a beep and brews fresh coffee, the sheets bottom that coverers the man stirs and moves as the air conditioning system comes on and blows cool air up through the vents of all the other rooms, and then a phone because there has to be one there mustn’t there? Starts to ring and is promptly ignored, until finally, finally the man wakes up from the same recurring dream he has run from for so long yet keeps coming until he has grown to except it, shifts to his side and turns the alarm, rolls out of the bed built for two and walks away out of the room to the smell of the coffee pot. Soon, he is ready for work. His tie is straightened with another’s gentle fixing, his cheeks is shaved without the soft press of a child lips, and his freshly brewed coffee mug is in his hands with stickers, and a hand to give to give it to him but his own. He leaves out another room with a door that slides open with a sound a machine makes and a simple press of a button and gets in his car with a slurp of his coffee and adjustment of hi s mirror, and drives out the garage door in his car.
He arrives at his job with a suit on and a sad tired look of a man of lost and is greeted by his boss who yells and screams at him before sending him on his way to his desk with a pat on the back and a warning. Throughout the day the man works with silence when where there would have been jokes and laughter, and grunts where there would have been answers and in this way he makes it through the day with only one difference when he was at lunch.
The day is over the man grabs his briefcase and his jacket and leaves from the office to the elevator that takes him down to the parking garage over to his car which he gets in and drives making one stop before driving again in a direction not towards the empty house that waits and remembers but away…until finally the man stops he gets out and he walks with the thing he bout at the place he stopped. He walks past stones with writing on them and plaques in the ground until he reaches a place with two stones upright in the grassy field that he had crossed. He places the bundle which happens to be pink lilies in front of the first stone which is tombstone that read “Lahanettle “nettle” Redding born 2004 died 2009” and then he put his second bundle which was a bundle of red roses in front of the second one which read “Margret Redding born 1969 died 2009” the man stepped back taking with him the dead flowers he had set there last year, and remembering the year before on this very day when he had done the same. 4 years ago he had lost his daughter in a drive by on his street for someone else, a few months later he had lost his wife when she herself could not take the knowledge of actually seeing their 5 year old brutally murdered in front of her and had taken her own life is the same way…a gun to the head. Leaving the man to grieve not only his child but his wife as well, only a few months apart from the death of his child... A tear came to his eye and spilled over as he remembered those last precious moments he had with his dying daughter as he cradled her in his arms his wife’s tears of anguish mingling with his own as the car that killed his daughter sped away, never to be caught again…. The man closed his eyes trying to bat away the images that flooded his head right behind his closed lids the images of his wife rocking back and forth on the couch at the funeral starring off in the distance murmuring “I can’t take it” over and over again of having another funeral just a few months later and of him crying into his hands on the very same couch his wife had been in as people did nothing but stand over him and cry and complain about the food saying noticing nothing not even the fact that he was going to continue to stay in the big house with now empty rooms that his wife and kid had used to stay in with him…. He opened his eyes blinking through the tears that had blurred his vision as they had escaped to run down his cheek. He sniffed, and seemed to gather himself, as he said “Happy Anniversary precious…” he gave a watery smile and turned a women standing a little ways away was looking at him and smiling she was holding hands with a little girl about the age of 5 the man looked at them. The women smiled…the child laughed…and the man said “Margret?”…..