Sunday, June 25, 2006

Entry #23

"A Separate Journey"
By Jeff Neale

"I'm leaving you Harry," she said, her eyes filling with tears.

"Please, Catherine, don't say that, things can change," I said.

"No, Harry, the reality is we must both travel a different road now."

I reached for her hand. The same delicate hand I have held for so many years. "I don't want reality," I said. "I want things like they were before. And any road I traveled without you would be dark and lonely, like a midnight road leading nowhere."

"Harry" she said softly, while intertwining her fingers in mine. "You have been my husband for forty years. I have never once looked at or desired another man the way I look at and desire you. Together, we have raised two beautiful children who love us as much as we love them. We have so much for which to be thankful."

"Then why does it have to end this way?" I asked, feeling angry and helpless because there was nothing I could do to change the situation. It was like teetering on the edge of a cliff and frantically waving my arms for balance, but all the while knowing it was only a matter of time before I plunged into the chasm.

"I love you, Harry . . . Goodbye."


She was gone. The EKG monitor above her hospital bed confirmed the fact.

Two days after the funeral our children returned to their homes, and I began my journey along the midnight road.

[Jeff Neale is the author of several short stories, many of which are available on his blog The Write Thing. He has a short fiction piece published in the first edition of the online magazine The Picolata Review. Jeff is in the process of writing his first novel.]


For The Trees said...

Wow. I had to read this one three times, the impact is just so stunning. Really a moving piece, pointing out the frailty of our tenuous existence.

I REALLY like this story. It's got great heart.

Thanks, Jeff.

Flood said...

Very touching, Jeff. Sad and realistic. I was moved.

sandra seamans said...

Beautifully done, Jeff. You certainly know how to tug at the heart. And such a bittersweet twist. Thank you for sharing.

Jer said...

I'm not surprised at how lovely and poignant this is. You always write beautifully, Jeff.

Scott said...

There is something about this piece that kept my interest. Great ending, and the sentiment was well done.

Sury said...

Beautiful. The ending surprised me--in a good way.

Kelly Parra said...

Ah, Jeff, touching! Love it. =D

September said...

Very touching and very well written. I love the way you write.

Jeff said...

Thank you all for your kind comments. I appreciate each one. :)

k l gilbert said...

This was so well crafted. In a word...sweet. Sadly, sweet.

emeraldcite said...

Very, very nice, jeff. A great, moving piece.

JLB said...

Wonderfully unexpected closing, and very well-written.

Sue said...

This brought tears to my eyes.

I felt Harry's pain, as I've often wondered how I would ever go on if something happened to my husband and that only deepens with each passing year we are together.

It would be a dark and lonely path to travel after losing someone you'd loved for 40+ years.

jason evans said...

Jeff, his thoughts as he fights reality are very well done. The ending is tight and strong. High marks for pacing!