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Tears of rain

Brady Holzhauer

     
 

The old woman sat facing a window and staring at the patterns made by raindrops upon the glass. Tears oozed from the corners of her eyes and found their way into the creases around her eyes and then dribbled down her cheeks. She could see the faint reflection of her image in the glass and the rain became tears. It was if heaven shared her grief. In thirty years the pain had not diminished and now it was only a matter of time and she would die too and the memories would die with her. For thirty years she had lived her life for others – her friends, her children and her grandchildren. In all this time her memories were her constant companions but she never shared them. Who would understand? She looked forward to death, waited for it daily and each day she cried for the love she had lost. He had died years before, the drink finally took him in its unrelenting embrace but she had not been at his side to hold him as he slipped away into oblivion. They had parted years before, because she could not bear to see him destroy himself and he could not stand to bring her down with him. He had conceded defeat and resignedly accepted his fate. Alcohol was his demon and he no longer had the will or the desire to fight. His last words had been loving words. He had held her and told her he loved her over and over again. She knew it was over but clung to those last few minutes of togetherness, drawing so deeply upon those words and his familiar mellifluous voice, absorbing it all so that she would never forget. Whenever the pain became too much she would draw upon that moment and remember. It gave her comfort as much as it prevented her from ever healing from the deep inner wounds.

 

As the sun finally sliced its way through cloud and reached out with golden fingers to embrace the verdant landscape, her eyes dropped to her hands clasped in her lap. She twisted the ring on her finger and felt the strange twist in her heart once more. "Wear it," he said "and whenever you think of me touch it and I will be with you." The ring incongruous on her hand because it was his ring and had to be made smaller to fit her finger, had never been taken off. She made a daily ritual of twisting it and gazing at the intricate patterns upon it. It was as if this was the switch to her memories and by touching the ring she entered the gateway to their 'bubble world', the world they had once enjoyed as though they were children in their own private universe. She heard his spontaneous laughter at her slips of tongue and his teasing tone when he was in one of his mischievous moods. He was such a rogue but there was no mistaking the love he felt for her. It was a love that bound them so closely they were truly one person in two parts. Neither of them could hide their feelings from the other. He had only to hear two words from her to know exactly what kind of day she was having. She always seemed to intuitively know when he was in trouble. Although their twenty months together had been filled with pain, it was that incredible love that sustained her for the many lonely years beyond. She never remembered the angry hurtful words because they had disappeared like vapour in sunlight.

The loving words, the passionate words and those tender moments remained…

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