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22nd September
2011
posted by amber

After He Died

After he died, she was never the same. My auntie’s life had been illuminated by love and hope. Before he died, she sang constantly as she moved through her days of drudgery. She mopped the halls of the old folks’ home, singing. She emptied the waxed-cardboard spittoons, humming. She wiped bums, smiling through her involuntary tears.

He waited for her at home. His picture on the wall, his recorded voice at the tips of her fingers. She saved her money so that once a year she could visit him in person. Those brief encounters would sustain her for the coming 364 lonely days.

She was at work when she heard the news, and it was a good thing a doctor happened to be there at the time. She keeled right over, a huge event considering how large she was.

She took a week off work to mourn, but they wouldn’t give her any longer. Really, it was a kindness that they gave her that much.  She never sang again. Music had been the expression of her love, and that love had been a foolish love. She wasn’t simple-minded, she knew her fantasies could never come true. Every time she looked in the mirror, the impossibility of any man finding her beautiful was made obvious to her.

Why shouldn’t she have had her Elvis?

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.

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