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Fiction Romance Sad

Julia laid out the soft plaid blanket, sewn by her own hands. She had pricked herself many times as thoughts of Rome flooded her mind, but she did not care. She took out some fresh bread from the nearby bakery, a plum tart, and Rome's favorite: strawberries. She sat daintily on the blanket, careful not to wrinkle her new dress. It had cost her a month's worth of wages, but it was the only garment of clothing she had that was not stained or torn.

To distract her thoughts from roaming further, as they often did, she started organizing the utensils when she heard someone approaching. She smiled as she heard the limp of a walk that belonged to only one person she knew: Rome.

"Good morning," said Rome, taking his place across from her.

"Good morning," said Julia, her heart fluttering.

"I apologize for being late," he said as he gently grabbed her hand and kissed it. "I had just received a new leg from the doctor."

"I was wondering why your walk sounded so different," she said. "May I?"

"Of course," he said, "you need not to ask."

Julia reached out towards his right leg, fingering the metal and springs, getting an idea of what it looked like. When she was satisfied, she pulled her hand back and smiled.

"That doctor certainly has improved it," she said.

"Yes," Rome replied as he started removing some roast duck from his own basket. "He is a working a century ahead of us, it seems." He smiled as he spotted the juicy, red fruits laid beside Julia. "I see you have not forgotten the strawberries."

"Of course I haven't," she replied, grabbing some strawberries and handing one to Rome.

"I have something for you," said Rome, pulling out a small velvet box. He placed it on her lap and smiled as she began to open it.

"Nacional Chocolate!" she gasped. "How did you..."

Rome grinned. "I mustn't give out all my secrets, now. There's something else in there as well."

Julia's fingers roamed the box until she felt a cool metal chain. She pulled it out and fingered the pendant. She stopped, recognizing the swirled rose and small jewel in the center.

"It can't be..." she whispered, tears streaming down her cheeks.

Rome grabbed her hand and kissed it, a smile on his lips.

"How did you find my mother's necklace?" she asked, her voice trembling.

"I found the person it was traded to by your aunt," he said.

"It must have cost a fortune," she exclaimed. "You didn't have to do this for me," she said, running her fingers along the swirl as she used to when she was little.

He grabbed the necklace from her and clasped it around her neck.

"Oh, but I did," he said. "How could I have done anything else for the love of my life?"

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Rome knocked softly on the hospital door, anxiously waiting. The doctor opened the door and stepped outside.

"I am sorry," the doctor whispered, not wanting others to hear. "There is nothing else even I can do to help her."

Tears streamed down Rome's cheeks, sobs threatening to burst out of his lungs, but he had to be strong. She had to see him strong during their final moments together.

"May I come in?" Rome asked, willing his voice not to break.

The doctor nodded, opening the door wider for him to step inside. Rome's breath was caught in his throat in the hopeless position he saw his wife in. Her face, usually blushing and full of life, was now almost as white as her bed sheet. Her thick, black hair laid limp and loose, not in her usual braid. She opened her eyes as he walked into the room, hearing his footsteps.

"Rome," she whispered, a small smile forming on her pale face. "Where are the children?"

"They are with Vivian," he answered, kneeling down beside her.

"She was always a good friend," she said, reaching her hand towards his face. She fingered his sharp nose, and high cheekbones, making her way down to his lips, ingraining the memory in her brain, holding on to them for as long as she can.

"I'm sorry," she whispered, dropping her hand onto his.

"No, it is not your fault," he said, kissing her hand.

Julia took a deep, shuddery breath. His heart raced, knowing her time was near.

"I asked the doctor to organize a little surprise for you," he said. The doctor walked in, carrying a small machine that linked to a headset. Rome held Julia's hand as the doctor attached the wires to her head. He grabbed the small framed photo Rome had given to him and covered it with a white cloth, which had other wires attached to it as well.

"Are you ready?" he asked.

She nodded slowly, as if using all of her strength to do so.

The doctor flipped a switch on his machine, holding his breath, hoping it would work.

"I... I can see!" she exclaimed. Her faded eyes seemed to stare off into space, but he knew that she was 'looking' at the photo he gave to the doctor, the one of their family.

"It's you! And Lily! And Aurora, and Jack, and... me!"

Rome smiled, happy that his wife could finally see, even if it was for a few short moments. Tears started streaming down her cheeks as she pointed out little featured she could never see before.

"I never knew you had brown hair," she said. "I always thought it was blonde."

Rome laughed, something he hadn't done since they first had to run for the doctor 2 weeks ago.

"Thank you," she whispered, fingering her rose necklace.

"I love you, Julia," said Rome, wishing this moment could last forever.

"I love you too," Julia whispered, as her eyes fluttered shut. She had a smile on her lips as her breathing slowed to a stop, happier than she had ever been in her entire life...

February 17, 2021 17:23

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80 comments

wow, the emotions tho. great first story, but it wasn't all sad. The beginning was quite well. Romeo and Juliet, I see what you did there ;)

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Radhika Diksha
14:57 Mar 10, 2021

The story was so deep and the ending moved me. It was so sad. I feel sympathetic towards Rome, you did a great job with this story. Considering your first story, your writing skills and plotline were best. I loved how you manufactured a simple yet remarkable story with words and descriptions. Keep writing.

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Angel {Readsy}
00:43 Apr 23, 2021

I highly acknowledge your writing. Your are amazing writer not in this universe but also in the space 6 stars to your marvelous story

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Danny E.G.
12:29 Mar 04, 2021

Heya Abigail :)) how are you? Hehhehe lol, more sane comments~

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Danny E.G.
05:31 Feb 26, 2021

Aww, a short and sweet story, I love it! Congrats on posting your first story...and second as well! How are you liking reedsy so far? :)) Awwwwwwww, I loooove this story, I love reading romance... everything's written so well and the dialogue flows nicely too...lol I sweaaaaaaar, I've read too much of plot twists for the valentine prompts, but this, I did not expect that...but I guess the first statement from the first bit of the story, the part where she pricks her fingers sewing the blanket, made sense....ughh i love this foreshadowing he...

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Thank you so much! When I first wrote this I thought I had gone too fast and I almost didn't post it because romance is not my strong point XD. Glad I did though! I love Reedsy, so glad there's a community full of writers like me!

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Danny E.G.
13:31 Feb 26, 2021

Of course! :)) Ohh, it ended up wonderful :D what made you get into reedsy? :)) hehe XD

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I was just searching on google for writing prompts and came upon the website. When I found out what it was, I was instantly hooked! I logged in, chose my pen name, and wrote my first story. I didn't expect so many likes and feedback so quickly (even if its only 3 rn), ;)

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Danny E.G.
13:51 Feb 26, 2021

Ohhh, you'll get more soon! I'm sure, your stories are great! Glad you found reedsy :)))))

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Thank you so much! When I first wrote this I thought I had gone too fast and I almost didn't post it because romance is not my strong point XD. Glad I did though! I love Reedsy, so glad there's a community full of writers like me!

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Thank you so much! When I first wrote this I thought I had gone too fast and I almost didn't post it because romance is not my strong point XD. Glad I did though! I love Reedsy, so glad there's a community full of writers like me!

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