The Bloody sun, I hate it

Submitted into Contest #99 in response to: End your story with somebody stepping out into the sunshine.... view prompt

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Fiction American

He head the phone answer machine beeping sound.

 “Hi Dad, Mark and ,I are going to the lake this weekend. It would be fun to have you join us. We can pick you up at ten thirty. I’m sure the kids will love to see you too. Call me when you get this message. Bye! Love you and we miss you! Talk to you soon” 

Another beeping sound was heard before a machine voice added.

“End of message”

He stood there for another minute thinking about how to reply. He was tired and did not want to go anywhere. He saw the trees and grass in the backyard from where he stood. He walked slowly, leaning on his cane and sat on the small table by the window overlooking the outside. 

“Those damn flowers are dying again” he wondered.

“Maybe I should go with Annie?” he said out loud.

“What do you think, Hilda” he continued staring at the empty chair next to him.

“You don’t know?” he replied.

“Who am I kidding, you can’t hear me can you?” He added with a half chuckle in his voice.

He was both amused and saddened by the chuckle. A faint attempt to mask the silence in the room. He wanted the chair to respond but he knew it was not possible.

He reached out on the table and picked a picture of a woman. It was a white balance of black and white. She wore a long dress and a hat as she leaned on a van. The picture was encompassed by a black fiber frame. He stared at it quietly for a few moments.

“If you can hear me just know I miss you, Hilda.” he said.

A small drop of water ran down his glossy face. his throat began dry but his eyes remained fixed on the picture. After another silent moment he lifted his head and looked outside again, his hand still gripping the frame firmly. 

He noticed a fat squirrel digging through the flowers. He woke up from his chair and rushed to the window.

“Aaaaaah! Rhaaaaaa! Shuu Shuu! Get out of there you damn rodent!” he yelled. His throat cracked a little and he coughed with concerning agitation.

“Those damn pests are going to kill all the flowers.” He continued. 

He walked back and sat at the table and picked the picture up again.

They say you should cry when you lose a friend, grieve when you lose a spouse, smile when your enemy falls, but what happens when you lose a purpose? What are you supposed to do when the reason to live is taken from you? The memories, especially the good ones become a living nightmare.

Every time I close my eyes I see her, smiling and waving. I see her on her knitting chair. I see her next to me in bed. I see her in the kitchen, garden and every living space she had once been. 

Time slows down, minutes become hours and days become months. I never had many friends to begin with, but the few I had have all passed on. And one of them was my life and joy, my everything. I have been married for sixty five years and now I do not know what to do. 

Twenty years ago I lost my eldest child, my princess, my love and my other light of my life. But we survived, held together by the radiating sun I knew as Hilda. She was a tough one. She made everything easy, every dull moment a firework and every minute of my life a never ending love story.

Now I sit here alone and wonder why she did not take me with her.

We survived a war, a death and cancer, only to be separated by a common cold virus. 

I feel confused in my own house, the rooms once crowded are now but empty shells. The home I built with my bare hands, the wood I cut and nailed to the floor that creaked with rioting steps, now sit silent. The roof I cleaned and the grass I cut all seem to have stopped changing.

I think I am getting too old. My head feels a little heavy. It getting harder to keep my eyes open. Maybe I should rest my eyes for a bit. May be I will see her soon, just maybe. 

That last thought was all I remembered. I was awaken by the noise in the house. Children running running around and laughing so loud. I walked slowly towards the noise and the house was so bright. They were so many people in the house. I can not remember the last time it was like this.

“ What are you doing standing there? Come here” a woman said. I turned my eyes slowly and it was Hilda.

That bright yellow dress with white poker dots was one of her favorites. She walked slowly and grabbed my hand dragging me to the couch.

There was a birthday cake in the center.  

“Happy Birthday Maggie” it read.

Immediately my memory jumped forward. This was Maggie’s tenth birthday. Hilda had made this cake that morning. The whole neighborhood was here. Joe, Mrs. Saks and her children, Renee and the Parkers were there too. 

“Do you remember that night” she said. “ The hospital, the annoying nurse and how you cried” she added.

“Of course I remember” I thought with my lips still shut.

“She was six pounds and two ounces, a very tiny baby only eighteen inches long” I continued.

I was unable to hear my own voice but somehow Hilda understood every word I said. She smiled and looked at me, her hazel eyes glimmering with the beautiful smile on her face.

Suddenly we were all outside. It was a picnic and we were seating in the yard. The flowers looked bright yellow. The blue was so blue and the red so red. I used to hate the sun but somehow I forgot that.

Annie was seating next to Hilda. They were counting something on the ground. I could hear the birds in the sky and the wind howling gently. I could hear Maggie’s voice in the distant. She was singing something I could not understand.  

Then it was all gone and I was in a room that was all white. The smell was so chemical like alcohol and disinfectants. It irritated my nose. The white coats and blue garments were hard to miss. They also irritated me. People were always rushing around. 

And I could see Maggie, poor Maggie laying on the white sheets. She had lost some weight and her skin so pale. She had lost all her hair too. She was looking too weak. 

I felt so helpless. Her eyes looked just like her mother’s. I wished I could trade places but wishes are not horses. She waved at me with an empty smile. I reached out to touch her but her hand was too far. My eyes went dark and when I open it was at the cemetery.

Baam!!…A sharp sound echoed in the room.

I open my eyes and realized I was still on my chair in the dinning room. The picture frame had fallen off my hand onto the floor.

I stood up and checked the calendar. 

“June, huh” I mumbled. 

“It’s Maggie’s birthday again” I wondered.  

“What would Hilda do” I thought. “Maybe get some flowers” I continued.  

I took my keys and walked outside the door. The sun was too bright and hot. I put on my hat and walked to the driveway. The heat was intense. I could feel my feet getting hot through my shoes.

Part Five: Gerald walks out

“The bloody sun I hate it” I mumbled.

June 26, 2021 03:48

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