Archive for July 2nd, 2011

2nd July
2011
written by amber

A Moment on a Hike

I have never felt more alive. Testing my muscles, too long unused, against the trail is fantastic. I’ll be stiff tomorrow, but it’s worth it. It’s been five years since I could hike and my doctor tells me it won’t hurt me a bit if I overdo things. I have the heart of a twenty-five year old. Literally.

The trail rises steeply but it isn’t long before I’m at the top. Fantastic view from the ridge, with a sheer cliff falling away beneath our feet.

My dear wife reached the top before me. I know she gets impatient. Hiking, skiing and sailing were such a major part of our lives and we were always very competitive. In many ways, this has been harder on her than it has on me – the restrictions on our life, on the things we could do. We couldn’t even take a holiday, in case a heart came available.

And one did. Just in time, I sometimes think. It felt as if she was growing away from me.

But now we can do all the things we had planned for our retirement. I’ll get back in shape for her, as quickly as I can.

I take her hand. “I’m sorry,” I say. “I know I wasn’t always easy to be around, these last few years. I’m not very good at being sick, but you have been so lovely and patient with me. I’ll make it up to you.”

She returns my kiss, and the distance I’ve noticed recently seems to be gone. There are tears in her eyes.

She puts one hand on my chest, saying, “This isn’t at all what I expected, not what I was hoping for.” And she pushes.

As I stumble back, I have never felt more attached to this life, reaching out and grasping at…nothing.

The Story 365 project is a year-long marathon of short story writing, with a new story posted every day on this website from May 1, 2011 – April 30, 2012. Stories must be a minimum of 200 words. Please help me by adding first line suggestions in the Comment section.