by Terri Welch
The house is so quiet now, Dear. The glow from those two old lamps we bought at the flea market so many years ago is the only light here. Do you remember the woman who sold us those lamps? You felt compelled to buy something from her stand. Her patched frock and worn shoes somehow betrayed the aristocratic gentleness of her manner. We paid more than the lamps were worth and then wandered arm in arm along the pier in the sunshine, telling each other her story. You said she was a widow whose husband had lost all in the crash of '29, before she lost him. You loved to think up these tragic, romantic stories about strangers.
We were so young then, and so in love.
Now I am the widow. What story will they make up about me? The sad, rich woman who lives alone in the big house on the hill…
Tomorrow our home will be filled with people. The children are coming, and the grandchildren. Maude will bring a quiche, bless her heart.
But tonight nothing stirs. I have only my memories for company. The dark rooms echo with traces of you. The smell of your pipe tobacco lingers with the last scent of your aftershave, but I fear that, too, will soon be gone.
Shaking herself out of her thoughts, the old woman turned off the lamps and creaked slowly upstairs, to bed.
I will see you again soon, my love.