Ding-dong! I got up from the couch and walked to the front door. I looked out the little peep hole, but I didn't see anyone. I shrugged and opened the door.
"I'm home!" It was Grace! She popped up from the right side of the door. She was finally home from The Bahamas!
"Oh, my God! I missed you!"I yelled. I wrapped my arms around her and held tight.
“I missed you, too,”Grace replied. She let go, and I helped her bring in her bags.
“How was it?”I asked. Grace smiled as she sat her bags down on the counter.
“It was a lot of fun. But at one point I had a horrible cold, so I had to stay at the hotel for a couple of days. Other than that, it was amazing! I was at the beach almost every day, and I was always walking on this road that was lined with small business shops. I went into, like, every single one! Since you know I like to support small businesses, I bought at least one thing from each store. The food stores, the food was so good! What did you do?”Grace replied. I smirked and pulled her into the hallway, then in front of her bedroom door.
“Okay. Close your eyes. When I say three, you open them. Okay? 1. 2. 3!”I yelled. I opened the door and Grace opened her eyes. She put her hand over her mouth and walked in.
“It’s amazing! How did you find the money to do this?”Grace asked. I shook my head and pushed her farther into her room.
“Don’t worry about that! Just look around and enjoy,”I answered. Grace nodded and collapsed onto the bed.
“I’m so glad you like it! I was worried that there would be too much blue, or green, but I guess not!”I cried. Grace got up and hugged me again.
“The blue and white bed...the ombre walls, the paintings on the walls...the flooring! I love it all, thank you so much. I don’t deserve this,”Grace stated. I hugged her back and then pulled her to the closet.
“Open it! I created more storage since before you left, you were complaining about how you didn’t have enough,”I said as I opened the doors. Grace gave me another hug, and then put her hand out to touch all of her new storage space.
“I don’t know how you managed this,”Grace stated. I smiled and grabbed her hand.
“I managed it with love,”I replied.
Then I woke up.
I woke up covered in sweat and tears.
I woke up knowing that it never happened.
I woke up knowing that Grace would never come back.
I woke up remembering that Grace was gone. Forever.
Grace was dead.
It was just a dream.
Just a dream.
My Grace was never coming back.
I got up and walked across the hall and into what was supposed to be her new room. It was the same as when I had given it a makeover, except for now it was covered in a layer of dust. I didn’t dare go in there and clean.
I dropped to my knees and put my hands together, my eyes closed. I prayed for Grace.
Dear Lord, please make sure that my Grace is happy there with You in Heaven. I know that she isn’t in pain anymore, but I do miss her. Please keep her happy and safe. Amen.
“I feel a little bit better,”I said to myself. I got up and walked back out to the hallway, into the kitchen.
“You were thinking about Grace again,”Jeff stated. I nodded and leaned myself up against him.
“Yeah. I’m so glad you’re here. She would’ve been happy for us. If only she could’ve seen our wedding and had as much fun as she should have,”I stated. Jeff nodded and pulled me into a hug.
“I love you,”Jeff said.
“I love you, too,”I replied. I pulled away and sat down next to Jeff at the island.
"Do you want to go over what happened again?"Jeff asked. I nodded, so Jeff got up and walked over to the other side of island. He opened a drawer and pulled out a notebook. He slid the notebook over to me.
"What happened first?"Jeff asked. I read the notebook and looked back up at him.
"I want to do this, but...She's been gone for five years now. I shouldn't need to do this. My therapy should be enough. Your love is already enough. We shouldn't do this anymore. I just need to do my therapy and be done with it. Thank you, though,"I stated. Jeff nodded and put the notebook back in the drawer. I smiled and walked over to the living room, onto the couch.
"I hate to bother you right now...But you can't forget that I have to work late and you have to get the groceries today. No rush, but just...Trying to be a good husband,"Jeff stated. I looked at him and smiled again.
"I understand. I won't forget. You don't forget that you have tomorrow off. You need a break,"I said. Jeff laughed and walked through the hallway into our bedroom.
I got up and walked over to the bookshelf we had. I crouched down and looked at the bottom shelf. I grabbed a VHS tape labeled Grace's 15th Birthday. I stood back up and inserted it into the bottom of our TV. I pressed play, and sat back down on the couch.
I watched as Grace's birthday played out on the screen. I laughed at the same parts as I did in the video, and so on. It was amazing to see Grace's face again. Even if it wasn't in person. We would never see each other in person again.
When the tape was done, I turned the TV on and laid all the way down. I closed my eyes and took a deep breath. I knew I wasn't going to sleep, in fear of another dream, but I knew that this would give me some rest.
"I gotta go! Love you, babe!"Jeff called.
"Bye! I love you!"I called back. I heard Jeff walk to the front door and leave. I was left with my thoughts.
My Grace is gone. But I have my Jeff now. We are happy, and I know Grace would've been happy for us. She's pain-free, and worry-free. Careless, and full of peace. I'm happy for her. But I miss her! I miss her so much. But she's happy. And so am I.
I spent the rest of the day getting my chores done, and making sure that Jeff would come home to a wonderful house, and a happy wife.
I would just have to fight through the day from the grief.