Cabo T-shirts and Star Wars Marathons
This king size bed isn't meant for just one person. It's cold without the space heater of a man that made me a widow. I roll onto my left side and reach out my hand, as if he's still there. Almost feeling the warmth of his body. I wrap the blankets around me and close my eyes. Praying for sleep, for some sweet oblivion.
A tear falls and hits my pillow. The call from the hospital runs through my mind on a loop.
"Hello, is this Mrs. Beckett?"
"Yes, this is."
"Mrs. Beckett, I'm sorry to be calling this late. My name is Dr. Sandra Grierson. I'm calling from Callingwood Memorial Hospital. This evening your husband, Nick, came into the Emergency Room with-"
"Is he okay?!"
"I'm so sorry Mrs. Beckett. Nick suffered severe injuries. We did everything we could but there was too much damage. Your husband is dead."
I hung up the phone after those words and sat, staring at nothing. No tears, just a severe pain ripping through my chest. My husband is dead.
That feeling hasn't gone away. Maybe it never will. I can't imagine living the rest of my life without Nick.
I'm sitting on the edge of our bed. In our beautifully decorated bedroom of greys and light blues. Dressed all in black, staring at the equally black heels I'm supposed to wear today. The last few days have taken the life out of me. After going to the hospital to make preparations for the funeral home to pickup Nick's body, there was so much more. I felt like I was just going through the motions. Disassociated.
We had talked about the possiblity of this happening but we never thought it would happen. I never thought it would happen. I didn't have to worry about buying a plot at the cemetary, he already had one with his family. When the time comes, I'll be cremated and buried with him in the same plot. He wanted to have an open casket. He also said he wanted to be buck naked but I kept that to myself when going over the details with the funeral home. It made me chuckle and shake my head. The funeral home director looked at me like I was crazy but I kept it to myself. It was a good memory among all the darkness surrounding me. They wouldn't care about his sense of humor or how he could always make me smile.
It seems he's still doing that, everytime I start to let myself go into the darkness and let myself be consumed, his voice wafts through my mind. Making me laugh at almost the worst moments.
In my thoughts I hadn't realized I had walked to his dresser and grabbed one of his shirts. It was his favorite. The one he wore whenever it was clean. It was from Cabo, nothing special, grey and had Cabo written on the front, but he had bought it on our honeymoon. I brought it up to my nose and inhaled. Tears came to my eyes and started falling almost immediately. It smelled like him. It still smelt like him and I wanted to envelop myself in that smell. I never wanted it to fade.
I shoved the shirt in the purse I was going to use today. I needed something of his today. I don't care if someone catches me with my face in his shirt. He was my rock, my everything. I threw the heels back into my closet and took out some flats. If I'm going to experience the worst day of my life, I'm going to do it in damn comfort.
I walked out of our bedroom and across the hall to my son's room. Our house is moderately sized. Three bedrooms and two and a half bathrooms. Bedrooms upstairs with a rounded staircase. When Nick and I were looking to buy a house, I instantly fell in love with it.
"Greyson? Are you ready to go?" I asked through the door.
No response. I put my ear to the door and heard slight sobbing.
I opened the door. The sight broke my heart all over again. My 14 year old son was sitting on the ground at the end of his bed, with his head resting in his hands. I see a picture of Nick sitting beside him.
"Oh, sweetheart." I said, as I sat beside him and wrapped him in my arms. Greyson began sobbing harder. I held him close to me and started rubbing his head. "Shhh, baby."
I grab my purse and pull out Nick's shirt and give it to Greyson. He looks up at me with a confused look.
"Smell it." I said.
Greyson brought the shirt up to his nose and inhaled. He looked up at me with a slight smile. "It still smells like him."
"He must have worn it the day before the crash." I said, staring into my son's eyes that are so like his father's. "We're going to take it with us today."
"Okay ... he should be wearing this shirt, he hardly took it off." Greyson stated, with a mischievous glint in his eyes, "we should lay it over top of his tuxedo, give Grandma an aneurysm."
I looked at him in confusion.
"I overheard your fight with her about what he should be wearing. I could hear the shouting through your phone. And I was upstairs at the time. She shouldn't have spoken to you like that." Greyson said, looking down at his hands. "They haven't been around for years and now they decide to come around?"
"Oh, sweetheart. Your Dad was their son. Even though we haven't seen them in a long time doesn't mean they shouldn't come to his funeral. Your Grandma is a hard woman but we need to do this. For your father. And besides, this was his favorite shirt and I'm going to be a little bit selfish and keep it for us." I said, secretly wishing she would have an aneurysm. Nick's parents haven't called or visited in five years. Greyson was right about her not having a right to an opinion on the funeral but I just couldn't deal with her incessant calling anymore. I gave her a job and that was to dress my husband in his final clothing. She chose an expensive tuxedo and tried to make us pay the tab. The conversation Greyson didn't hear was the one of me cussing his Grandmother out. Not my proudest moment, but I had had enough, I threatened to pay for security to make sure she couldn't attend the funeral. She hasn't called since and paid for the tuxedo herself. I was not excited to see her, to say the least.
I stood up, pulling my son with me. I grabbed his shoulders and looked him in the eye. My face a foot from his. "We will make it through this day. Then we will come home, and remember your Dad the way he would have wanted to be remembered. With a Star Wars marathon with popcorn and root beer."
A tear fell from his eye, "Dad would have drank real beer." He said.
I laughed and pulled him in for a hug, "yes, he would have, but your not getting any beer. Nice try though."
Greyson pulled away from our hug and walked towards his closet. Pulling out a black button down and black pants.
"Do I need to wear a tie?"
"Only if you want to." I say, he grimaces and shakes his head.
I walk out of Greyson's room and downstairs to the kitchen. I stared at the fridge, trying to decide if I should try to eat. I haven't been able to eat in two days. Nothing is appealing anymore. Looking down at my left hand where my wedding band sat, I twirl it around my finger as I remembered the day he proposed, then our wedding day. Tears begin to fall from my eyes. I grab the nearest thing to me and threw it without thinking. I stared as it hit the wall. My knees buckled and I fell onto the ground. There's no way this can be happening. Hatred started seeping through my veins. Hatred for his boss that made him stay late at work. Hatred for the paramedics that took 30 fucking minutes to get to the crash. Hatred for the Doctor that couldn't save him. For the people who kept on driving instead of trying to help by stopping the bleeding. Hatred for the bartender who decided not to take the man's goddamn keys. Hatred for the man who decided 5 drinks was okay for him to drive home. The fact that he made it out of that crash alive makes me want to cross those pearly gates myself and throttle God himself for letting fate take the wheel for the night.
"Mom? Is everything okay?" Greyson yelled. I heard footsteps pounding down the stairs as he came to me.
"I'm okay, I'm okay." I say as I try to calm the fire burning through my body. I take a few deep breaths. He stares at me and pulls me into a hug just as I had five minutes earlier in his room.
"Today is going to be rough," he said.
"Yes, yes it is."