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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Hot and Cold (04/09/09)

TITLE: The Elements
By nicole wian


He kneeled by his wife’s grave. It was the first time he’d been here since the funeral, two years ago. He had not been able to visit, had chosen not to despite the encouragements of his loved ones who said it might be healing. But plain and simple, he just had not wanted to face this place which held in it’s earth her dead body.

And now staring at the tombstone, he felt numb. He wanted to just walk to his car, didn’t know what had possessed him to come after all this time. There was no healing here. Just representation of what he no longer had. He almost did rise, but something held him motionless. So he waited….for anything. Anything that might bring him solace. Not that he was searching for that. He hadn’t searched for anything since her death. He had just turned off. He’d never even grieved. He’d not even shown visible signs of distress at her untimely death, though he had loved her. She had been his world, his light, but when she was gone, he too left. He went on at all, only because God had not had the kindness to take him as well.

Sure, he’d been angry, but when he quickly realized that would get him nowhere, he stopped feeling all together, immersing himself in routine. Waking, working, sleeping. Doing it all over again, each next day. He watched the news, functioned fine at work, even accepted invitations with friends on occasion. But he didn’t enjoy it. He simply was a shell of who he used to be. He had not cried since that first week, had not screamed at God, had not even talked with anyone about her death.

He’d never even packed away her things, though he wouldn’t look at them. Actually, he barely noticed them anymore. Once, he’d smelled her perfume on another woman, when out with friends, but still, had only winced and excused himself for the restroom, where he stood looking in the mirror a few minutes before returning to the table. He did not want to feel. And he refused to pray, although he had been the praying type before. Praying did nothing, he had decided after he had prayed unendingly for her to survive the cancer. He was ignoring God, and ignoring himself, and things were fine.

So, why was he here? What had brought him here, on this cold November day? Finally, when it was clear, that it had been pointless to come, he stood, zipping his windbreaker and turning. Inside his car, he turned the ignition. Nothing happened. He turned it again, but it just rolled over.

“What?”, he muttered under his breath.

He had just had this car in for a check up last week. He popped the hood and surmised the situation. He could see nothing which could be wrong. He returned to the driver’s seat where he tried again, with no results. Now, he could feel himself getting irritated. Was he going to have to call a tow truck, be stuck out here in this awful place, waiting? Gritting his teeth he picked up his cell phone to call the number on his triple A card only to find his phone was dead.

He slammed his hands against the steering wheel, hard, cursing. He pushed open his car door, flew out and kicked his car, stumbling when he did. An anger he hadn’t yet felt surfaced and with clenched fists, he screamed into the sky, “Are you kidding?” He wanted nothing to do with this place, with what was emerging, but that didn’t matter. What was happening was not about to be stopped. The gray clouds which had been threatening all day, now followed through and rain suddenly fell in torrents. An icy wind blew through his so-called windbreaker and the temperature seemed to drop twenty degrees. In defeat, hot tears, flowed freely from his eyes, as much now, as if they wanted to keep up with the raindrops. He sank to the ground, not caring if his clothes would soon be muddy, and sobbed. He visibly shivered from the cold air, his body shuddering as much from that as from the weeping and he realized he had not even been paying attention to the elements, that daily weather had not even affected him in the last couple of years. But now he was freezing, save for the hot tears streaming down his cheeks, their salty, minor warmth a true comfort.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Rachel Rudd 04/17/09
Wow, yeah the grieving process is needed. No wonder Jesus said "Blessed are they that mourn." Well-written, too!
Joy Faire Stewart04/22/09
You've captured a sad, grieving heart with raw emotions so well. Very touching.