Friday, June 14, 2019

#fotoflash Jun 14 2019: Afterlife

Here is my contribution to this week's Friday Foto Flash prompt in 500 words or less
Jenna sighed with relief as they walked down the wooden pier. Everyone had finally left. It was just her and her two year old, Alanna. She hadn't wanted to do it this way but her in-laws had demanded. Full funeral with reception after. They called it a wake but she felt anything but awake.
Alanna had cried through the whole thing, irritating her in-laws who already didn't accept them. Married only a month when he was killed in a wrong way car crash. They hadn't attended the wedding and felt she was an interloper. That she had a young child from a not-in-their-life father just made things worse.

But now they were gone. They had taken all his belongings with them and left without so much as a goodbye or keep in touch. That was okay with her. She would always have the memories. He'd been in their life since the birth of Alanna. He was the paramedic who delivered her in the back of the ambulance. They'd been together ever since.

When they reached the end of the pier, she sat down and pulled Alanna into her lap, wiping away her tears. "I want Daddy," she sobbed.

"I know sweetie. So do I. But he's still here."

Alanna looked up. "Where, Mommy? I don't see him."

She pointed to the sky. "He's up there watching over us. See that fluffy cloud? That's his favorite bed. And that group of trees over there? His best fishing spot." She placed their hands on their respective hearts. "He's always in here, close to our hearts. Never forget that. Never..."

Three years later, Alanna was now six. They still lived in the cottage by the lake. She was working at Alanna's school as an art teacher and all in all, life was good. They were in the kitchen preparing some of the fixings for their Thanksgiving dinner when Alanna quietly said, "Daddy talked to me today."

Non-plussed, she responded, "And what did Daddy say to you?"

"He told me you shouldn't be an old maid. What's an old maid?"

Jenna laughed. "Well, it usually is a woman who is old and has never been married. But since Daddy and I were married, I can't be an old maid."


"Was that all he said?" She continued working the pie dough, keeping a side eye on her daughter.

"No...." Alanna wouldn't meet her eyes.

Wondering at the reluctance, she paused to wipe her hands and kneel down. "It's okay. You can tell me anything."

The little girl shrugged. "It's a secret."

She hugged Alanna. "That's okay. Daddy and I don't have secrets from each other."

"Well, he said he was coming to visit for Thanksgiving and it was supposed to be a surprise."

Jenna stood, a bit puzzled. "That would be nice but we both know Daddy is gone. Right? He's just a memory. A good memory."

Alanna shook her head. "No he's not. He's real. He brought me ice cream during recess!"

More Stories


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.