Lost Days

It was a cold afternoon the day that he had buried his wife here. Now, fifty years later, Drew just stood here thinking how when she was here everything was a little nicer, the grass a little greener and the flowers always smelled a little sweeter. Ever since she left him, the winters seemed colder and the nights were always darker. It’s funny how when someone you love is suddenly and violently taken away from you, everything around you changes.

They had met in high school, and Drew knew from the very moment he saw her, that he would spend the rest of his life with her. Crazy how some things you just knew and felt you always knew. She had set his world on fire, you could say, although he hating using cliches to describe how he felt. They began dating – high school sweethearts together at last.

Drew went to the same college as she did, only because he could not bear the thought of being away from her for long. He soon realized that college life was not for him, so he dropped out and embarked on a writing career. He had always loved to write – even if he had never had anything published or even read for that matter. It was just something else that he knew; he wanted to write, so that’s what he did. It seemed that from the moment he began, he was on his way. He began getting offers from publishers to print a collection of short stories. He loved the idea of making a living at something that he truly loved, since not many people now-a-days get to do that.

After she graduated with a degree in education (something she had always wanted to do), they were married. Now they were living the perfect life they had always dreamed of together. Drew was writing his books of short stories and poetry, while she taught third grade at the local elementary school.

Everything was perfect, they could never ask for another life to give them any more satisfaction than they already had – until one night, quite unexpectedly – that new life came with the full force of a hurricane.

Drew was away on a three-day trip to New York to discuss with his publishers a deal on a new book of short stories when the call came. He was awakened in his hotel at three-thirty a.m. The desk clerk told him there was a very urgent message to call the hopital back home. He knew his father was having complications from a long battle with heart disease, and he was suddenly struck with the realization that he would soon be attending a funeral to see his father put in the ground. As he picked up the phone and began to dial the number the clerk had given him, he thought of how sickening it would be seeing his father put in a box and put in the ground like an old, worthless piece of junk.

He hung up the phone still not knowing what exactly he had just heard. How could she be gone? She was so young and full of life. The doctor Drew spoke with said something about an apparent suicide, and that no note had been found on the scene. He was told to get on the first flight back to Denver to begin making arrangements for her funeral. Her funeral. God, how could he go on living without her? He wondered what possible reason she could have for taking herself from him and their perfect life together. He would never know. He arrived at the hospital the next afternoon, only to be told she had already been taken to the mortuary. Once there, he asked to see her. He could only stand and look at her – so young and beautiful – thinking what had gone through her mind in her last moments.

The funeral was a pleasant one to say the least. All the right flowers were sent, and everyone he knew came to tell Drew how sorry they were for him. He knew there were lots of people there, but he saw none of them. His eyes never drifted from the box up front that contained every reason he had to go on living. After the service, he stood and stared at the ground for hours, trying to piece his life back together. The coldness of the afternoon seemed to fit perfectly the way he felt inside – cold and gray.

Even now as he stands here fifty years later, he still feels the same way he did on that cold November afternoon. He still had the same unanswered questions. He never found another person that made him feel the way she had, but then again, he had never really bothered to try. He made his visits here every week – every Thursday afternoon, the day they had met all those years ago – and put down fresh flowers. He still talked to her and hoped that somehow she could hear him. He tells her what he’s doing and what he’s done. He’s written well over thirty books of short stories, and now devotes all of his writing time to poetry.

Standing here today, despite all the things he had done since she left him, the only thing he could think about were the days that were lost forever on that one November night fifty years ago.

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