Drama Romance Fiction

CW: Death, car accident

Her eyes are what I noticed first. One eye a brilliant blue and the other an emerald green. Her eyes seemed to hold a secret, twinkling as if they knew something I didn’t, waiting for me figure it out. Her smile was the same, teasing me and beckoning me to approach her. I’d never seen a woman as beautiful as her. It was love at first sight and after three years of marriage, she still looked at me with the same expression. Each morning I would turn over and get lost in those eyes, still trying to learn their great secret.

Elizabeth and I were happy, I knew I would be with her forever. That is, until that tragic night. We visited my parents and stayed a little too late, late enough that they offered us a place to stay for the night. But, we had to make it home before morning and it was only an hour drive. It was nearly dawn when we stumbled into the car, Elizabeth at the wheel. I fell asleep as soon as we hit the road. I remember thinking I needed to wake up so I could ask Elizabeth if she needed me to drive.

But when I opened my eyes, I saw a blinding light and then darkness. Elizabeth had fallen asleep at the wheel. I remember watching Elizabeth stumble out of the steaming car and hobble to my side. She was pounding on my window, yelling my name, “David, no David, come back to me.” I watched as a paramedic dragged her away from my window and held her as she cried. I heard them tell her there was nothing else they could do.

I stepped out of the car and rushed over to Elizabeth, yelling that I was alive, I was okay. But no one looked my way, no one could hear me. I glanced back at the car. And there I was, sitting in the passenger seat, covered in blood. Hesitantly, I looked down at my hands then back to my bloody body. I was dead.


I followed Elizabeth home that night. I watched her remove her bloody clothing and throw it against the wall. I watched her gently remove one of my tee shirts from its hanger and slip it over her body. I watched her climb onto my side of the bed and sob into my pillow. I knew there was nothing I could do to comfort her, but I climbed into bed and wrapped my arms around her. I couldn’t feel anything, not her warm body against mine, not her tears running down my arm, not her heavy breathing against my chest. I really was dead.

But I could hear her crying begin to slow and her breathing begin to steady. Tears still streamed down her face, but for a moment I wondered if she could feel me holding her. I stayed with her until she unknowingly fell asleep in my arms. But as I couldn’t fall asleep, I got up and wandered into the backyard. I could feel something pulling me toward it, willing me to follow. It felt safe and peaceful, it felt like something I was supposed to follow. I allowed my spirit to follow the pull. I saw a white light appear in front of me, beckoning me to walk into it. Then I thought of her, my Elizabeth. How could I leave her now? I turned from the light and ran back toward the house. I wouldn’t leave her; I couldn’t leave her.


 Since that night, I haven’t left Elizabeth’s side, which hasn’t been hard because she has barely left the house. But today is her first day back at work as an elementary school teacher and I intend to go with her. She gets dressed and makes a bowl of oatmeal which is funny, Elizabeth never liked oatmeal, that was always my breakfast of choice. She walks out the door and hops on her bike; since the accident she hasn’t been behind the wheel of a car.

 She rides to school as I run along side her, its easy to keep up, I don’t get tired anymore. We walk through the school doors and make our way to her classroom. It all looks the same. Elizabeth walks over to her desk, runs her hand along it, and takes a seat. She is unpacking her things when a man walks through the door.

“You must be Elizabeth, oh I’m sorry I meant Mrs. Wilson. I am the new principal Mr. White, but you can call me Tom,” he says.

“Yes I am Elizabeth, nice to meet you Tom,” she replies.

“I hope you noticed that we kept all your things just as you left them. We want you to feel comfortable and welcome now that your back in school,” Tom says.

           I watch this encounter from the corner. I’m glad she is back in school; I think it will be good for her to get back into routine. I watch as Tom and Elizabeth talk. I like that she can carry on a conversation with someone, and I watch as she laughs for the first time in months. That makes me smile. I see that twinkle come back to her eyes. But Tom leaves and she is left alone once again, her smile fades.

           She goes through the school day as normal; she bikes home and climbs right into bed, I follow her. She weeps quietly. I can tell that the pressures of the day was too much for her, but she was strong. I hold her tight, even though I know it makes no difference as neither of us can feel the others touch.

           The rest of the week went much the same. Wakeup, bike to school, teach, come home, and cry. The second week is the same. It’s the third week of school, and Elizabeth gets up like normal, has her oatmeal and bikes to school. We walk into her classroom and Tom is here waiting for her. I watch her smile and greet Tom warmly. I wander around the classroom as they carry on their casual conversation. The bell rings.

           Tom turns to leave but stops and says, “Elizabeth I know that you might not be ready, but I would love to take you out to dinner. Please consider and let me know.” With that, he walks out of the classroom as the children pile in.

           I stand there in shock. I can’t believe that man had the audacity to ask my wife to dinner with me standing right there. Then I remember… I am dead. She isn’t my wife anymore; she is my widow. She has the freedom to date if she wants, but how can she? I hadn’t died very long ago and anyway… I’m still here.


           When Elizabeth and I get home that night, I’m still fuming at the thought of her going out with that man. She goes about her nightly routine, and I follow, huffing to myself. But instead of climbing into bed as usual, she walks to our living room and stares at our wedding picture hanging on the wall. Then she speaks.

“David, I don’t know if you can hear me, but I got asked out by another man today. I still love you very much, and I always will.” Her words touch my heart. I move in front of the picture and look into her beautiful eyes.

She continues, “But I also need to move on with my life. I accept that you are gone. I don’t know if I will ever love again, not like I loved you. But I want to try to be happy again. Tom makes me happy. I only hope that you can give me your blessing.” Her eyes tear up and she walks away.

           I stand there, unsure what to think. She wants my blessing to go out with that man. Does she really expect me to give that? I can’t watch her go out with him and I’m not ready to move into the light. So no, I don’t give my blessing.


At school the next day, Elizabeth accepts Tom’s offer, and they make dinner plans. Over the next several months, they see more and more of each other. This infuriates me. But, before every date with Tom, Elizabeth walks over to our photograph and asks for my blessing. She doesn’t even tear up anymore.

           I follow Elizabeth to every one of her dates and I watch as she becomes happier and more alive. I see more of her twinkling eyes and smile. She comes home at night and falls right asleep, most of the time on her side of the bed. Then I watch her wake up in the morning and turn on music as she gets ready. She doesn’t eat oatmeal anymore. And today, I watch as Elizabeth gets into our car and drives to school. I can’t deny that she is moving on and Tom is helping.


           It’s been over a year since my death. Elizabeth and Tom are going out again tonight. As I watch my beautiful wife pick out her outfit and do her makeup, I can’t help but feel like I’m not needed anymore. Over the last year, I’ve watched my wife come out of her depression and move on with life. I’ve watched her laugh and dance and sing, all things she couldn’t do right after my death. Now here she is, preparing to go out with another man and she looks happy. She doesn’t need me to cuddle her at night or catch her tears. She doesn’t need me to watch over her.

           There is only one more thing I can give her… my blessing. For a year, she has been asking for my blessing to move on and find happiness, even if that is with another man. I’ve been reluctant to give it because I can’t bear the thought of letting her go. But seeing her now, reminds me of what a strong and beautiful woman she is. I was lucky to call her mine. Any man would be lucky to call her theirs, including Tom. If I love Elizabeth, I must let her go.

           I watch as Elizabeth put on the last touches of makeup and stands back to look in the mirror. “Your beautiful,” I say to her. She walks down the stairs and over to our picture. She stands in front of it and once again, I move in front of it to look at her twinkling eyes. This time, my eyes swell with tears, as I prepare to let her go.

“David, I love you. I always will love you. I only hope that you can give me your blessing to move on,” she says.

           I stare into those beautiful eyes and place my hand on her cheek and say, “My dear Elizabeth, you have my blessing.” Then I lean in and kiss her forehead. When I pull away she looks directly into my eyes and gently touches her forehead. For a moment, I could feel her cheek in my hand, the touch of her body, the warmth of her skin. She smiles and says, “Thank you,” then turns away and walks out the door.

           I stand there for a moment, taking it all in. I glance at our home, filled with our furniture, our pictures, the markers of our life together. Then I slowly walk toward the backyard, allowing myself to be pulled in. My body glides toward the light, I don’t resist. I know my Elizabeth is going to be okay. I walk into the light and for a moment there is nothing, then there is peace. 

October 21, 2021 22:34

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Danny G
00:03 Oct 29, 2021

A story filled with beauty and sorrow. Easy to read and flows very well. It conveys what David is feeling and his acceptance in the end. It's a great read (though sad). Well done.


Lucy Barnes
15:45 Oct 29, 2021

I'm glad you enjoyed it. Thank you for your comments!


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Chris Riffle
13:46 Oct 28, 2021

Wow I definitely teared up reading this one. This was a wonderful and sad story and you did a great job of pacing it so that we could feel for both characters. Well done!


Lucy Barnes
18:13 Oct 28, 2021

Thank you so much, I really appreciate your feedback!


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