Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Postcards (08/29/05)
- TITLE: Dear Sylvie...
By Alexandra Wilkin
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“I no good for you woman,” he whispered, so distraught that the words escaped from his mouth half formed. “I no good. You better off without me…” and he did turn away then, terrified she would see the tears escaping from his eyes.
Sylvie’s throat was too tight with emotion to run through the well worn arguments but she lifted up her head, pulled back her shoulders and gave him the sight of her standing erect and proud.
“You will always be wrong about that Thomas. Go then.” Afraid that she sounded harsh and the strength of her love suddenly catching her voice into softness, she added, “I will wait for you Thomas. Take care.”
“Oh my darling,” he whispered, too quietly for her to hear above the scream of the wind. The raging beast within him forced him to close the door, pushing him into night.
“Dear God,” Sylvie prayed every night. “Be close with Thomas; help him to know you are there so that he will be guided by you. Pour your spirit on him so that he can heal and drive the fear from his heart. Help him to find you, to find the strength he will have in you. And dear God keep him safe.”
When the first postcard arrived almost three months later, Sylvie looked at picture of Notre Dame in Paris and wondered who it was from, knowing nobody on holiday there. She turned the card over, recognising instantly the sprawling script and her heart caught in her throat.
Dear Sylvie, take care. Thomas.
The postcard after that from came from Berlin, again asking only that she take care and nothing else. They began to arrive at a steady trickle from all over Europe; Sylvie was able to track his progress with the map she bought and pinned to the wall above her bed, pinning each card to the corresponding point on the map as it arrived.
“Can’t fathom why you wait for him Sylvie”, said Rosa, painlessly inserting the needle into her patients arm. “Half the men of the town would fall over themselves to take care of you. There now,” she said, wiping the flesh carefully. “That should take the edge off it.”
“Thank you Rosa,” smiled Sylvie laying back into the freshly plumped pillows.
“Do you really think he’d come home woman? He doesn’t even know your ill,” said Rosa, her sharp eyes on her patient’s tired face.
“Yes Rosa. He’ll be home.”
Thomas sat quietly in the little church, his head bowed. How it had come upon him to be aware of God’s presence in his life he did not yet truly understand, but over the months he had finally felt lighter, better about himself even. Now prayers were said daily, and the guidance of God sought continually.
“Dear Lord, keep my Sylvie safe dear Lord; I long to be a proper husband to her but can I now? Is it too late? Can I go home Lord?” For weeks now Thomas had asked this of God but had heard no reply, though he knew what his heart wanted as a man.
And then he saw a vision of Sylvie in great pain on a bed surrounded by doctors, and heard a voice say “Go to her!”
The loud knocking at the door made Rosa jump.
“I’m Thomas,” said Thomas as the door opened, walking through before Rosa’s disapproval could prevent him. “Where’s Sylvie?”
“Thomas,” called Sylvie from the bedroom. “Thomas.”
Thomas pounded up the stairs two at a time, and found his wife propped up in bed, his heart burning to see her beauty undimmed by disease. He sat on the edge of the bed and caught her hands in his own.
“I should…I left you…my darling…” and he wept openly with love and pain and regret.
Sylvie took his strong face in her hands, tears of joy coursing down pale flesh now flushed with love.
“My darling man,” she whispered. “You’re here now.”
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