"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.]