(Los Angeles, September 19, 2013)
The following short story was written by Michele Watkins, who says she is, “A reformed accountant thankful for a chance to string together words, ideas and images. She hopes to bring some light into a dark world.” I liked this story because it reminded me to live in the moment and never take anything for granted:
Don’t Go Breaking My Heart
By Michele Watkins
Bonnie sat up at the sound of the doorbell. She’d been lost in her thoughts sanding the 100-year old wood floor. She glanced toward the door and then down at her watch. Who could it be? Noon on Tuesday. She hadn’t showered since sometime on the weekend and she didn’t feel like chatting. The sound of feet shuffling. Were they leaving?
She moved to stand and found her right foot was asleep. She’d been down on her hands and knees for quite awhile. It was the fourth day of pushing her body since she rose from a sleepless night early Saturday morning. She opened the front door and found a small box at her feet. The mailbox hanging on the wall beside the door was brimming with mail. She casually pushed her hair back behind her ear as she glanced up and down the street to see if anybody was out. A gardener, but no neighbors. Good. She bent down to pick up the box, grabbed the mail as she stood, backed herself into the house and shut the door. She carried the pile of loot into the kitchen and set it down on the counter next to the answering machine that blinked five unheard messages. The box was from her Mom and the mail included a card from her sister.
She sliced through the packing tape with a kitchen knife and pulled the flaps of the box apart to peer inside. The note on top read: If I were within driving distance, I’d have been there on Saturday night. Please take care of yourself. Love, Mom
Below the note and some bright yellow tissue her Mom had nestled everything a person could buy for heartache relief. There was microwave popcorn, a bottle of wine, a chocolate bar and her favorite DVD. Beneath that and another layer of yellow tissue were a candle, shower gel, body lotion and her favorite kind of pajamas. It was the closest thing to a hug that her Mom could send from 3000 miles away. Bonnie smiled at each item, but tears rolled down her cheeks.
She opened the card. The picture of two old women made her laugh. Inside her sister had written, I’ll be home in a couple of days. Love ya, Bev
And there it was, emotions on the surface. She sat down at the kitchen table and put her head in her hands. How many times would she have to pick herself up? Would she ever get to have the right guy? She really thought Mike was the one. THE ONE. Talk about loading a guy up with a lot of pressure. She didn’t want to see her neighbors or go back to work. She’d told everybody how perfect he was for her. She just knew. She’d keep this one past the third date.
And the third date had been awesome. He’d picked her up on his Harley and taken her to a great fish place at the beach. After dinner, they’d walked and laughed as the moonlight lit up the ocean. He took her home, walked her to the door, kissed her goodbye and hopped on his bike. He smiled and waved as he pulled away from the curb and drove right into the side of an RV that happened to be driving by at that very moment. Gone in a heartbeat was any chance of a fourth date.