Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: SKELETON IN THE CLOSET (11/30/17)
TITLE: Mirror Mirror on The Wall, Who's the Biggest Hypocrite of All?
By C D Swanson
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Beverly Ivaars nodded in response to my condolences, and then grabbed my hand. “He was a one of a kind. I don’t remember life without him.”
I felt a pang of sorrow as I watched her huge blue eyes water up. I searched for words but found none.
“Things will be so different from this point on. I realize this is life and we always knew someone would be left behind one day, of course. But, it doesn’t make it any easier when the thoughts become a harsh reality. It hurts like the dickens, and I feel such a deep ache in my heart. It’s like I can’t breathe.”
“Beverly, grief is suffocating. The sudden change is paralyzing to our senses, yet at the same time…it’s like stepping outside of our body.”
“Yes, I keep hoping this is a dream and I’ll wake up soon. But that’s not going to happen.”
I sat and chatted with her over a cup of coffee. Her eyes sparkled when she told me how they’d met. At a grocery store. “It was while I was holding a bag of Eight O’ Clock coffee when I first heard his baritone voice. He said, ‘coffee smells much better than it tastes.’ And, that was it, I knew right there that he’d be my husband. I know that sounds corny, cheesy, or whatever it is they call it these days, but it was love at first sight for me. Later on Walter would confess that it was mutual.”
I enjoyed seeing her smile and speak about her beloved Walter. The multiple photographs on the wall, and on the piano, boasted their love and held a lifetime of memories. Each one a different country, or city…but all of them filled with their special love.
“Walter was a card and loved to tease me and others. It was his nature.”
The doorbell rang interrupting her loving tribute. It was June Halverson, a very intrusive individual, and president of the condo association. She believed being on the board was license to probe into people’s lives.
“Hello Beverly, I hate to bother you at this time but you haven’t paid your condo dues this month yet. I stopped by to see if I could wait while you write out the check. I know how sometimes people forget.”
I could hardly believe what I was hearing. I wanted to tell her where she could wait…but my faith and good manners prevented me from doing so.
“Oh, I’m sorry June. It’s been a horrific two weeks since my Walter died. I guess I kind of forgot. Anyhow, he used to take care of all the bills for me. I guess now is as good a time as any. I’ll be right back.” Beverly looked my way and said, “Excuse me Melissa.”
“Oh, I see you’re here visiting. Sorry for the intrusion, but these things can’t wait. She’s late…but I am in charge of the finances as you know.”
“Yes, so you’ve said many times before.”
She didn’t appear to like my retort. I watched her as she looked around the kitchen before her eyes stopped on a bottle of wine. “Oh, we have a drinker in the house.”
Before her words penetrated, Beverly appeared with check in hand. “Here you go. Sorry for the delay.”
“Okay, thank you. I ‘ll let you two get back to your drinking.”
That night I was disturbed by June’s comment and prayed she wouldn’t start rumors as she had in the past. She had a penchant for gossip. However, the next day during my morning jog, I stopped to catch my breath by June’s house, just in time to witness a delivery.
The truck pulled into the exclusive driveway at the end of the cul-de-sac. The man hauled a large wooden crate from the truck and brought it to the door. Within seconds she answered the bell.
“Hello June, so good to see you… You’ve locked into a great monthly deal with our Vineyard. Let me know how you enjoy this new crop of wines. You’re our best customer! We’re so grateful for your business. Have a great day, see you soon.”
She stood motionless on her porch, her face flaming red.
Smiling, I jogged away…
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