Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Empty Nester/Retirement (from work) (09/10/09)
TITLE: A Final Goodbye
By David Story
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She was ready.
She walked down the stairs and sat the suitcase down at the front door.
She found her mother in the living room, sitting in her favorite chair. She was reading a book. Alyssa smiled. Her mom was always reading.
Mom looked up from her book. “Are you ready, sweetheart?”
Alyssa’s mom looked at her daughter and smiled. “Come over here, sweetheart. Close to me.”
Alyssa walked slowly to her mother. She knelt at her side and grabbed her mother’s hand. The hand was small and frail.
“I’m so proud of you,” her mother said. “All grown up. Going off to college.”
Alyssa laid her head on her mother’s knee and immediately her mother began to stroke Alyssa’s hair.
Alyssa remained quiet while her mother spoke.
“I love you. You know that, don’t you?”
“I know, Mama.”
Her mom stopped stroking her hair. She placed her fingers under Alyssa’s chin and slowly lifted her face so she could look into her eyes. “And I’ll miss you. I’ll miss you so much.”
“I’ll miss you too, Mama.” The tears were starting to appear on Alyssa’s face.
Her mother wiped the tears away. “Don’t cry, darling. This is a wonderful day. A day to rejoice.” She took her hand away from Alyssa’s face and slowly took off a necklace she was wearing.
She placed it into her daughter’s open palm.
“I want you to have this.”
Alyssa knew how much the necklace meant to her mom. “Oh, no, Mama. I couldn’t.”
No words from Alyssa’s mom were necessary. The necklace was hers now. It was meant to be.
“Thank you, Mama.”
Alyssa’s mother smiled. “Now get on out of here, your father’s waiting for you.”
Alyssa kissed her mother on the cheek. “Okay, Mama. Okay.”
She got up and made her way out of the living room, and out of the house.
Her father was waiting outside, the trunk of the car opened.
Alyssa handed her father the suitcase and watched as he loaded it in the trunk along with her other belongings.
“Well, I guess that’s it.”
Alyssa forced a smile as she looked back toward the house; toward the only home she’d ever known.
They drove in silence for a while.
Finally, Alyssa’s father spoke. “She’d be so proud of you.”
Alyssa remained silent.
Her father continued. “I so wish she could have been here.”
Alyssa clutched tightly the necklace in her hand. “Me too, Daddy. Me too.”
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