40 years later….
“Greta, my dear, have you seen my blue spotted tie?” David asked.
“No, sorry, I haven’t. Why do you need it? You have plenty of other ties.”
“Yes, I know, but this tie is special. It reminds me of someone.”
“And who is this someone you are thinking about? You better not be cheating on your old wife,” I said suspiciously.
“No, no, not cheating. I’m going somewhere today. Greta, you’re not a day older than you were yesterday. Age does not matter.”
“I’m sixty years old. You and I should both be in a home. Where are you going?”
“It’s a surprise, my dear. We are the lucky ones, remember. Our good health prevents us from going to those types of places. We don’t need people looking after us.”
“I don’t know what to say, but I guess I should stop arguing. You are telling the truth, I believe. Just go, do whatever you have to do.”
“One, more question, just in case: have you seen my blue spotted tie?” David said.
“Far out, you piss me off sometimes,” I said, kicking him softly out the door while handing him his black and red striped tie.
Sometimes I wondered what that man was up to. He was never around or home. We both retired from work years ago. He should be home with me, snuggling in bed, watching TV, or doing garden work with me. We never spent too much time together, when I thought about it. There was not a day when he sat down and read a book.
At meal times, David would finish, then stand up and leave again. It always left me confused and the sad thing was that he never told me where he went or what he was doing. Some nights, crying myself to sleep seemed like the best option. He would arrive home most nights at midnight, dripping wet or smelling of smoke. I would wait up all night for him to return, as I could never sleep without him.
Was this how true love felt?
Tonight, I was doing the usual. Sweep and mop the house. Then I would bake sweets such as chocolate brownies or cookies all night. I would sell these around the neighbourhood tomorrow as usual and then keep the leftovers for David and I.
Oh, how I wished David would sit down and not leave the house every morning and night, only returning for meals and special occasions. I might as well chain him to our bed. But I couldn’t do that. No one would ever want to be chained to the bed. I was pretty sure it would also make matters worse, and complications would arise everywhere. So I kept it simple: I was to live doing chores, cooking, and crafts and then sleeping.
Time was passing slowly. I wished time could travel faster. I longed every moment and always got excited for the stroke of midnight. I couldn’t wait for David to come home.
I waited and waited. However, tonight was different. Where was David? It was 1:05 AM. I was still awake, but yawning at the same time. A headache was forming. I started to pace the room, staring at the clock for long periods of time. I dialled his phone. There was no answer. So I dialled again. Still no answer. I tried several times. Usually after a couple of calls, someone would pick up. Not tonight. Gosh, this was so totally not happening. Was he dead? Was he lost? Had he fallen? Ideas of what might have happened to him flowed through my brain. I was biting my nails, my eyes streaming with tears. I hoped he was okay. He always was. David would always find a way to get out of difficulties.
He had written a letter to me once. I went to go and retrieve the laminated sheet that was hanging up on my bedroom. It read:
“If I don’t come home, never worry, my dear. I will always be in your heart. Rest your head on the pillow and wait for the morning to come. If the morning comes and I am not there, know I still love you with all my heart. And by morning, I mean the sun is up and the birds are singing in the trees. Sit down and take the ice-cream out of the freezer and begin eating. If this doesn’t help, go next door to Judy. I know you are old enough to look after yourself, but you will always be young to me and I don’t want you to get hurt. Having a helping hand will make everything better, easier, and faster. I love you, my dear.”
I took a look at the letter and followed the directions. I was to go to bed.