Shadows were turning into charcoal patches of midnight when Eva reached for one of her favourite books. Her right hand groped for the bedside tiffany lamp. Click. The shadows almost disappeared.
The light bringer huddled closer to the bedside table and knuckled her glasses a little tighter to her brows. The first page pulled a smile from her lips and a twinkle from her eyes as she automatically looked across the bed at the still form of her life-long love.
“Do you remember that first day when we met in the garden? Our first Kodak moment. Click. Click. Click. You kept yammering away telling me that God had made me a model. It was like we had always known each other. I can’t believe how shameless I was letting you snap away like that.”
Another page flipped. “Oooh! Not this picture. I thought I’d lost you when you realized he wasn’t coming home. Those boys were the heart of my world. Yours too. Things did not click with them. The whole world changed for us that day. I wasn’t sure I’d ever breathe the same. It would have been harder to go from full to empty without you.”
Eva stretched out on the bed and let her mind wander. ‘How long had it been?’ She couldn’t remember a single day without him. She briefly turned back toward the face of her one true love, looked for the familiar rise and fall of his chest, scanned for a grimace from a dream in progress.
Flip. “I forgot how hard things were. Remember the flood? Squeezed in that attack space in the dark? Trying the lights? Click. Click. Click. Getting nothing. And the rain seemed so unending. I loved to hear you pray in those days. You always seemed to have so much faith.”
More pictures of family times leaped from the pages. Eva finally swung her legs off the bed and shuffled into the kitchen where she made a cup of chamomile tea. No sugar today. She stirred the tea anyway out of habit. The spoon had its own melody against the side of the cup. A click, click, click of its own.
A saunter into the living room stopped at the fireplace mantle where wedding pictures, family pictures and a myriad of holiday pictures jockeyed for position on their perch. The observer spoke as if her love had risen to join her in that hallowed place. “Do you remember how annoyed you were in those airports with all those little suitcase wheels going click, click, click? Endlessly echoing off the walls. You couldn’t wait to get out of there. You loved the destination. Just not the journey. I think I’m starting to know how you felt.”
The octogenarian cradled her fine china and headed back to her bedroom. She scanned the pages to come in her memory. “Do you remember coming to see me at work? I was wearing those high heels on that linoleum and you started saying ‘click, click, click’. You could hear me coming and know it was me even if you were blind-folded. You made it easy to come to you. You sure taught me how to dance.” The sips were slow and tentative.
Eva turned and moved to the closet. Her left hand held the tea cup and the right hand opened the door. She stared blankly toward the shelf for several minutes as if forgetting why she was there. Finally, she shook her grey head and reached for a small cherry wood box. A key was set in place ready to open the secrets within.
She froze in place with the tea in one hand and the box under the other. Her mind refused to choose the next step until reluctantly she turned and placed the tea cup on the dresser.
Both hands closed on the box and moved to the bedside. The key was turned. Click.
Eva looked up at her lover one more time. “You know if I open this then all my dreams are gone,” she said. He didn’t move.
She slowly opened the lid and took out a single piece of paper. With tears in her eyes she reached for the ancient phone and heard the soft click as the receiver left its cradle. Her fingers hesitated above the numbers.
Then the act of endless love. 9 click. 1 click. 1 click.
“Hello…. Yes…. Ambulance…. Yes…. My Adam has gone…. Yes, I’ll wait right here…. Thank you.” Click.
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