Forever

Submitted by Willow Whispers to Contest #12 in response to: Write a story that involves a mystery — it doesn't need to be crime-related, it should just include something that remains unexplained until the end.... view prompt

There was a splatter of bird poop on the car window again. Jenine studied it with interest. It was the color of frosting that was used for the local supermarket’s carrot cakes, with a few specks of inky-black and chocolate-brown. It stood there for a while, and they watched each other.

Jenine sighed, and slowly unfolded the stained tea towel.

She rubbed it against the window, and in a second, it was gone.

Just like everything else in her life was.


Dear Heri,

I wonder how you are doing. Life is so different without you, and so strange at the same time. I lay awake every single night thinking about you. Do you still remember the glow in the dark stars that we stuck onto the walls of my bedroom so many years ago? Well, it’s still there, though most of them are peeling off and three have fallen down. I still look at them the same way that we used to. I sometimes stare at them and think of you. 


Jenine gently folded the rosebud embroidered dress. The sky blue one, made of soft silk. Her hands trembled, but her face was stern, and showed no fear.

The memories creeped into her, like the vines growing on a fairytale cottage.

She could feel them slowly walking up her arms and legs.

Jenine shivered.

She bit her lip, and swallowed them whole. 

And yet they kept coming back.


Dear Heri, 

              How are you doing right now, so far away from me? I miss you so much. Today I went to the ice-cream shop one last time. You know, the one painted pink and sunshine yellow run by Mr Dince? He’s retiring next week, and the government increased pension. He’s old. Remember how he used to tap dance for us and then give us free ice cream afterwards? Well, now he can barely walk.

I chose the red velvet flavour today. Mr Dince sold different flavours every week, but to this time, he still keeps your favourite. I never like red velvet that much, but today I actually cried while eating it. You would’ve started laughing hysterically at me, but it’s true. 

Mr Dince still calls me Jeni-girl. And I think that he will never stop calling me that, not ever.


Her eyes were filled with tears. She tried to shake them out, she tried to be strong. But nothing would work.

Jenine stared at the stars, and counted them one by one. They were dazzling, and shimmered like a thousand diamonds in the dark night sky. They didn't show off like the sun, they weren't blinding. Instead, they watched over everyone, a guardian to the world.

“Star light star bright. First star I see tonight.” she whispered hoarsely to herself.

Her legs were weak. The freezing cold surrounded her.

Jenine muttered furiously.

She could not. No, never.

“I wish I may…”

She fell to the ground and wept.


Dear Heri, 

               Yesterday I had to go back to work. I don’t work at the office anymore, that didn’t suit me at all. I changed soon afterwards. I was hesitant. More hesitant than I should be, since you were so happy when I got employed. We celebrated with a supermarket carrot cake. Do you remember? And that was the day you gave me my rose kimono. I still wear it occasionally, and I love it so much. I work at a design company now. I hope that makes you happy. After all, you always said that I could do any job I liked, and that you wouldn’t mind.

My new job pays pretty well. And I like sitting in front of my laptop and designing new enclosures for the capybaras coming to the local zoo.

But something is missing.

You.


Jenine stood impatiently, waiting in the line. 

She drummed her fingers along her purple cargo pants. It as one of the only pair of pants that she owned.

Her eyes hovered over everyone.

“Morning. What would you like?”

Jenine’s eyes hovered over the menu. She pointed randomly at one.

“That one please.”

The lady serving her frowned worriedly, as if she was a little kid without an adult.

“You okay there?”

Jenine glared at her. She knew the lady was only being nice, but she didn’t need somebody poking their stupid nose in her business.

The lady no longer looked sympathetic. She passed Jenine a sign with the number 4 written on it.

Jenine walked away.


Dear Heri,

               My boss started an argument with me today. I know that you won’t be proud. You never like it when I get into trouble. There was one time when I came home with a cut on my arm from when a man on the street who started fighting with me when we disagreed on some little thing. I was scared stiff when i saw. But I didn’t tell you. You noticed anyways, and even though it wasn’t very deep you were still the most worried I had ever seen you. You didn’t know a lot about medical attention, but you still tended for it, even when it was barely noticeable anymore.

I miss you so, so much.


Tick. Tock. 

She listened to the continuous ticking.

Tick. Tock.

Her eyes fluttered open, and her palms were covered in sweat.

Jenine couldn’t stand it anymore.

She was thinking about…

No. She couldn’t. 

“Pull yourself together.” she told herself. 

She slipped on her faded dressing gown, and stepped into the kitchen. 

Her hair was matted to her forehead, filled with grit and oil. 

Jenine staggered to the sink and cupped her hands together, then ran them over her face.

Her eyes half closed and her body swayed.

She took out a dusty old can.

Don’t do this Jenine, don’t.

“WHY DO I CARE WHAT YOU THINK!” she screamed.

Yet his words were still there.

She popped open the top, and drank.

The bitter, familiar, addicting taste of alcohol.


Dear Heri, 

               I really can’t stand it anymore. Life is running ahead off me. I hate everything. I hate everyone. I don’t hate you though. You’re the only person that I don’t hate. 

I didn’t go to work today. I phoned the boss and told him that I had a fever, and put on a hopefully convinving voice. I don’t think you will be too proud, but I really didn’t know how I was supposed to stay in the same room for hours. I spent the day cuddled up in a blanket, watching the news and drinking alcohol. I’m sorry. 


She clutched the it like it was her child.

Her love for it grew more everyday. She hadn’t liked it when it didn’t belong to her.

But now… It was the key aspect of her life. Without it, she had nothing.

Jenine kissed it on its soft belly. 

It was a funny thing, old and brown with clumps of fur missing and wooden buttons for it’s eyes.

But she loved it. 

And she would continue to love it. 

It was his…


Dear Heri,

               I’m worried that I’ll get fired. Anytime soon. I’m missing work so much and when I do go, I’m usually half drunk. Last week I screamed at a worker from the zoo when he told me that it was late, and I’m just so confused now. I have a headache nearly everyday, and it doesn’t seem to get better. I’m useless now. My boss likes me, but he’s starting to despise the way I go to work everyday. Life is a mess. I’m a mess.

And I’m still waiting for you. I'll always be waiting for you. Forever.

                                                                                                                   

Jenine popped the last letter into the mail box. She knew that they would never go anywhere, damp and creased, forgotten at the very bottom. But it was a way to tell her…

She shook her head. 

She needed to forget about it.

Jenine stepped into her car and drove away.

She was going there. 

She stepped out, breathing in the fresh air. Her hands cluchted the bouquet of roses.

Jenine walked over to the one on the far left.

It read:


In loving memory of Heriton Marcustus Agerman

Son of Grentia Jegu Agerman and Kenfry Georyi Agerman

Husband to Jenine Elizabeth Wate

1965 - 1998

Died of Cancer

Will forever be in our heart

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4 likes 1 comment

16:57 Mar 30, 2020

This story cuts deep! Your story is gripping and emotional. Please keep up the great work!!

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