Hudson Street was a quiet and cosy street on the day that Steve found himself stood outside number Fifty Nine which was his parents' house and that was where he had found himself for the first time in years, feeling anxious and reluctant to go inside. He looked around and noticed that all seemed calm and nobody seemed to be around. The sky was blue with a friendly cluster of fluffy white clouds. He couldn’t remember ever seen such a calm and perfect day ever when he had been living there. All he could recall was rain, commotion and more rain but on that day everything seemed perfect. Too Perfect. Steve didn’t want to go inside through fear that the perfect scenery outside would be the opposite of what he would find inside. Steve had fallen out with his family a long time ago because of an argument that his older brother John had instigated to which he had refused to apologise and Steve had refused to talk to him ever since. Their father Alan had tried to talk sense into the both of them which led to an argument and then what had happened? Steve was confused about that. There he still stood outside his parents house with the realisation that he honestly couldn’t remember what had happened the last time he had been there. Falling out with John had been on the cards but why had he turned his back on his parents? What had he fallen out with John about? There were several gaps in his memory and he was just starting to realise that he was forgetting something important but he couldn’t put his finger on it. Determined to put the thoughts out of his head he knocked on the front door and awaited an answer.
Steve waited and waited but there was no answer. He knocked again; he waited again but there was no answer so he tried the door handle and the door was unlocked. He walked in and got the instant feeling of nostalgia, his childhood home looked exactly as he remembered it and he was overcome with emotion. He was greeted by the same cream carpeted hallway with wall to wall family photographs. He took a slow walk forward taking it all in and then noticed the door to his left which had always been the dining room and he assumed still would be. He walked in and found the dining room that he remembered. Just like the hallway it had remained unchanged. He noticed his father and his brother sat at the table and as soon as they saw him they both smiled and John got up and met his brother with a handshake that Steve reluctantly accepted. He had never expected it but it felt so right and he instantly knew that he had his brother back but even more than that, he had found his oldest friend. It was then that Steve spotted his mother at the back of the dining room where she must have just entered from the rear door which connected to the kitchen. She smiled and there was a tear in here eye. She was happy, as were they all. Soon they were all seated and having the most glorious family meal they had ever had. Steve’s mother had always been a fantastic cook, but she really had outdone herself this time. It was the most exquisite roast dinner Steven had witnessed and tasted and he could tell by the looks on heir faces that his family were all in agreement. There was turkey, stuffing, pigs in blankets, roast potatoes, mash, carrots, sprouts and the most luxurious gravy known to man or at least known to three men and one happy mother at least.
The happiness in that room was out in the open for all to see and feel. They were a family repaired and Steve was happy, his parents were happy and his brother was happy and he felt content but the feeling that something wasn’t right kept resurfacing but try as he might he just couldn’t place it or remember what he was missing.
Happiness may have been contagious at Fifty Nine Hudson Street but it wasn’t the case everywhere. Lisa Wilson had awoke in the middle of the night again. It had been three weeks since her husband had gone missing and she was beyond worried. She just knew that something wasn’t right and that something terrible must have happened. They were a very happy couple; they were inseparable. They had been married five years, and they still looked at each other as though it was the first few weeks of knowing and loving each other. Lisa was in turmoil. She missed her husband, and she worried for him but her mind was getting used to the idea that she never would see him again. She knew that he never would have left and that left a terrifying option that she was thinking but didn’t dare speak aloud. When Lisa finally got back to sleep she had a nightmare in which her husband had met a gruesome and untimely end which led to her screaming his name in fear and awaking in a cold sweat.
Suddenly a dark cloud rose over the head of Steve Wilson and one by one little things in his mind began to click. He remembered his wife Lisa and suddenly became aware of her despair which instantly spread to him. He loved his wife, and he hated that she would be feeling that way. He felt ashamed at himself for forgetting his one true love and guilty for feeling happiness at being with his family and then he remembered everything. He remembered the fight with his brother. They had argued after Steve had been late for their mothers funeral and when their dad tried to patch things up, it had got even worse and Steve stormed out thinking his dad was taking his brothers side, with no mother around to keep the family together they went their separate ways. What Steve wasn’t aware of was that Three years later their father died too but Steve had never got the call for he had changed his address and his phone number and so John had no way of reaching him. John passed away two years after that in a violent motorcycle accident and again nobody could reach Steve and so he never got the information.
The three weeks that Steve had been missing had felt like a million years to Lisa but felt much less to Steve. He had been taking a walk in the city when he was mugged by a gang of youths on a bridge overlooking the city. When he refused to cooperate, they panicked and the gang leader through him over the bridge into the river below. If he survived the fall, then it would have been the current that killed him as it dragged him away and his body was eventually found months later miles and miles away but as soon as his body had ceased to function Steve had appeared outside his parents house and with this all on his mind it occurred to him that this was his afterlife. He was with his family and while this didn’t seem real it had to be. He realised that since arriving at the house and reuniting with his family, none of them had spoke to one another and yet they had understood each other completely. Communication was no longer required for Steve, not in this place. He was happy with his family but he always thought of Lisa and worried about her immensely. There was no way that he could watch over her or even see her because the afterlife just didn’t work that way, no matter what movies would have you believe, but he knew he would wait to see her again and one day he did. She had remarried several times by that point but when they met again, they too smiled at one another and knew they were still the best of friends and she had her own family there to visit but she was always welcome at Fifty Nine Hudson Street.
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This is a great start to your reedsy portfolio. Breaking up the big paragraphs will help the reader, but that's not a big thing. Great story, Gordon.
Thank you. I appreciate the feedback.