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Sunday, June 6, 2010

Where Love Has Gone



Image is by @Nicocu

Where Love has gone – A short story by Stani

On June 6, 2010 © Stani. All rights reserved

I remember vividly the day I received the news. It started out like any other and now i think back on it, I still get goose-bumps all over my body. I never could get my head round it all and I believe I will go to my grave still trying to figure it out. I suppose it makes sense if I start from the beginning, the days before the news and take you through, all the way to the end.

People always said Flora and I would end up as man and wife, our destiny was that predictable. We hit it off right from when we met in junior infants. Well, to be honest, i was the one who ‘hit it off’ initially. To my young mind, I had finally set eyes on an angel, albeit a rude one, for Flora could not stand me initially. She thought I was a pesky little brat and she said as much to me whenever she could.

I persevered though, and I gradually won her around. I still remember the first time she kissed me in second class, after I gave a wonderful account of myself in Mrs. O'Dea's play. Okay, okay, it was not really a kiss, just a peck on the cheek, but to my wildly imaginative and over-active mind, it was a kiss and nobody was going to take that away from me.

So we progressed on in life, having great fun, enjoying each other’s company and before we knew it, it was time for college. It was not such a big deal anyway, she was going to Trinity and I would be just around the corner, so to say, in UCD, so we could always arrange to meet for drinks and lunches. We also went for walks as well, it was all very well and nice.

We were both in final  weeks in college when she got pregnant and we decided to move in together. It was a plan that was a long time coming. I had being begging for over two years that we deserved to live together and probably start a family but she was of the opinion that we needed to be financially balanced to do all that. Well the pregnancy took care of that.

We both got good jobs, but all that euphoria and happiness was dashed when she miscarried and she never really got over that. She could never forgive herself for what she thought was failure on her part to take better care of the baby. She threw herself into her job and no matter what I tried we could never make another baby.  We continued to love each other though.

Three weeks ago, she had to go to Cork to see her parents. She had not seen them for sometime. I was supposed to take her but somehow, a last-minute deadline at work that had to be met, meant that i could not go. She got to Cork safely and she called me to say she was going to spend the weekend. On Monday, I took the last few hours off work. i got home around 4:00pm. She had called to say she was on her way home and I wanted to make something real nice for her.

When I got home, I took a shower and while i was drying myself up, i got a big scare when I raised my head up and there she was standing right in front of me!

“Oh! Dammit, Flora, you scared the hell out of me!”

She laughed, '’Thought I’d surprise you baby'.’

I hugged her and told her how much I missed her. I said, ‘I did not hear you drive in though?’

‘I left the car at the mechanic’s, some funny noise I thought they should look at. Hey! Forget about all that. What do you think about taking some days off work? I already arranged with my office. I was thinking we should work on making that baby we both want so much! What do you think?’

i was speechless for a little while, but I agreed and called my office immediately. I presented something about some family issue i had to take care of and my manager was okay with me taking about five days off!

Suffice it to say, those were the most beautiful, wonderful, exhilarating days we ever spent together. Just loving ourselves, giving and taking. It did occur to me that we should have at least kept the phone on-hook, but Flora was adamant about our spending quality time together after such a long time of being apart emotionally. She did not want any phone calls coming in, no TV, nothing. I was enjoying myself so much and I thought nothing of it.

I was due to go in to work on Monday. On Sunday we talked about stuff, just lazed around in bed drinking ourselves in. We talked about everything and anything.

She said, ‘If you died tomorrow, I would always love you and I would never get you out of that special place in my heart’

I was a bit taken aback by that and I told her I would always love her and even if she died I would go on loving her. i held her, oh, I held her to me and she started crying. i asked why she was crying, she said, ‘I just love you so much, babes, I really do, and never having to hold you again will kill me and I don’t know if I could ever take that.’ I whispered endearments in her ears and and told her not to worry, I was not going anywhere. We made love, sweet love and she promised me that baby again.

At that point, the bell rang. She asked me not to go. I said, ‘Honey, I gat to get the door, it might be important.’ She looked so sad, she looked at me so longingly and I almost didn’t go, but I had to. I went to the door, peeped out the keyhole and some a couple of Gards outside. i yelled to her, ‘Honey, it’s the gards, be with you in a moment.

I opened the door.

‘Hi’, I said, ‘How can I help you guys?’

The female garda introduced herself to me, ‘Garda O’Loughlin and Garda Mooney. Was wondering if we could have a few words with you?’

‘What’s it about?’ I asked

‘We are sorry to have to tell you this, but your wife has being involved in an accident and we would like you to…….’

That’s as far as they got  before I lashed out and asked if this was some sort of sick joke? How could my wife be involved in an accident when we have being cooped up all weekend together?

‘Look my wife is inside right now, and this cannot be possible. I mean, we have being together all week long. When did this accident  happen?’

‘From what we can gather, the accident happened on Monday morning. Seems her car flew off the road. It has only just being discovered because it happened on a lonely stretch of the Cork road and some farmers only reported this today.’

I laughed, ‘But my wife is inside. her car has being at the mechanic’s since Monday, so you must have the wrong address. Hold on let me get Flora.’

i asked them in. I went into the bedroom to get Flora…….she was nowhere! I couldn’t find her, not in the bathroom, kitchen or any place. I was like a mad man, I was in a frenzy! How could this be?

‘Sir, we are going to have to ask you to come with us to identify the body. Would you like us to call an ambulance?’

I refused the ambulance and went with them to the morgue and there she was, my sweet, sweet Flora, dead as dead can be! I couldn't understand it. Who did I spend the past week with?

I woke up later in a room at the hospital. Apparently, I fainted after identifying my wife. I woke up to see her parents and my parents at my bedside. Grief-stricken though her parents were, they could not accommodate the thought of losing me also.

We buried her a few days later. I still shudder when I think about all that happened. Was it really Flora I spent those days with? Was it just a piece of her that did not want to let go? I don’t know, and I don’t know if I will ever know. I cry myself to sleep every night. i pray and i beg for her to come back, even if she is a ghost I don’t mind.

She has not answered me yet. Maybe she has crossed over? I hope not, i hope she is still around. Maybe she can even come and take me with her? That would be a blast, our love continuing on the other side. So many questions, so few answers, no answers at all. I am still waiting though, hopefully, i won’t wait in vain.

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