Good morning everyone!
Today guest reviewer Lexi McCurdy returns with another writing treat! Because of the short story’s length it will be split into two parts. This is part one, morning edition!
As always comments are appreciated, as she would love to hear your thoughts about her piece.
Love Lives On
I poured myself a cup of coffee, the quiet morning surrounding me. It’s always quiet in the mornings since he’s been gone. He took the laughter with him, he took what felt like my entire life with him. The sun was shining out the window, but it felt like there was a storm brewing inside my heart. I didn’t feel the warmth in the summer or the cold in the winter. I was numb to it all since he had left.
The morning was always hard, but nighttime was the worst. He used to pull me into his side, his hands would wrap about my stomach. No matter what had happened in our lives, no matter how angry I was at him when we fell asleep together I knew there was no one else I’d rather be with. He made the world seem like a magical place.
I still set out two cups of coffee. Every single morning I grab two mugs and set them on the table across from each other. It had only been a year, I still couldn’t grasp that he was gone. At first I would break down, I would put it away before the pain ripped through my heart. Now it was comforting, like he was going to show up and join me for breakfast at any moment.
I ran my hand over the mug he chose every single morning, wondering what he would be doing right about now. Our lives had been connected for so long it was strange to look across the table and find him missing. I had known him my entire life, his absence was hard to handle. I never thought I’d be lost without him but I was.
He always told me I was the strongest woman he knew. He said he was jealous of my independence, he wanted me to need him as much as I needed myself. He didn’t realize that I had he taught me how to value myself. He always told me I was beautiful, that I was strong. Hearing those words every single day helped me realize how amazing I truly am. He molded me into the strong woman I am today. Now he wasn’t here to see her use that strength.
I sat down at the table and pulled out the latest book I was reading, drinking the warm coffee slowly. I hated reading the newspaper, he always made fun of me for that. It was depressing, full of stories that made this world look worse than it was. So while he would keep informed with the news I would read my books. We enjoyed our silence together, we were that comfortable with each other.
We grew up together, we were best friends. Somewhere down the road we fell in love and made sure our lives stayed on the same path. He was daring and exciting, pushing me to do things I would never do. I was rational and level headed. I thought through every action before I set it into motion. He threw caution to the wind and let his heart lead him into situations that didn’t always end like they should.
We were total opposites. On paper we would be a terrible match. In the real world we were two halves of a whole. He was my rock and I was his home. I just never realized our time was fleeting.
My phone rang right at nine like it did every Sunday morning. I smiled, seeing his mom’s name flash across the screen.
I pressed it to my ear, “hey mom.”
She was more like my mom than my own had ever been. She had been there for all my big moments, watching me grow up beside her son. She was there when we fell in love, she was there for me when I needed her the most. I was glad she was still there for me. I knew I wouldn’t have been able to handle losing them both.
“There’s my sweet girl. How are you today?”
Her voice was nothing like his, but it still stirred something up in my stomach. It was warm and reminded me of my childhood.
I sighed, looking at the empty coffee cup, “I’m good. Holding on as usual.”
She sighed, “aren’t we all. Is today a good day?”
I laughed, “I try to tell myself it’ll be a good day. But every morning I still grab two coffee mugs. Somehow that makes it a little darker.”
“Well it’ll get easier sweetheart. The pain will numb soon. It’s only been a year, give it some time,” she sighed. I knew she was saying that more for her than for me.
I wish she had come up to visit instead of called. It was easier to keep the tears out of my voice when she was staring at me, “I know. Sometimes I’m afraid I’ll forget him. That terrifies me.”
“You’ll never forget him. You always remember your first love no matter who the last is.”
I hoped she was right. Because I had to remember all the details of our lives. He was my partner in crime, my safe haven. He had taken me in when my mom checked out. I could never forget the neighbor boy who’s smile somehow stole my heart.
“I was just thinking about you two this morning. Whenever I stroll down memory lane I remember all the trouble you guys would get into,” her voice sounded happier as she sighed, “I dreamt about that time he fell out of the tree, do you remember?”
I smiled, not really remembering all the details, “no. But he was always getting into trouble.”
She laughed, it sounded like there were tears mixed in, “he climbed up to the highest branch because a little girl dared him to,” I laughed along with her. We always were daring each other. It was a game we played for years, “and then he got scared. But the same little girl dared him to jump. And he was never one to turn down a dare, so he did it.”
I tried to hide my own sobs, part of the story coming back to me, “he broke his arm and didn’t even cry. Because he had to impress me and real men don’t cry.”
“He always wanted to impress you. It was always about you.”
I closed my eyes, the coffee cold by now. I remembered his baby face, I remembered him making me laugh when no one else could. He had always been there. It was weird not having him around anymore. I sighed, sharing the silence with his mother was nice. For once I felt like I wasn’t alone in my grief.
“He never realized he didn’t have to impress me,” I whispered, closing my eyes, “I just loved him. I always loved him.”
“Yes darling, he knew how much you loved him. Almost as much as he loved you.”
I wiped away a tear, wondering how long this pain would last. It had been too long, breathing in and out with my broken heart. Pieces were shattered all over my chest.
“Well I’ll let you go sweetheart. I just wanted to check in,” she sighed and I knew she was as lonely as I felt today, “I love you.”
I smiled, “I love you too.”
We said goodbye and I hung up. I rinsed out my coffee cup. Leaving the second one sitting on the counter. It was my reminder, the only one I could find today of the boy I had lost and the love I would always hold onto.
To be continued later today!