Emptiness

The old man stood in front of stairs of the St-mary cathedral, the destination to the clues he’s followed for almost a year. The postcard which had “I’ll see you there” written on the back had been in the coat, which was hanging in the unused and forgotten section of his wardrobe. He’d seen her wearing it on the photo so started looking for the garment. The photo had been one of the things hidden in the dust-collecting chest in the corner of the spare room. The key had been sitting in an envelope, thrown in one of the messy drawers, found when looking for a birthday candle so he could pretend to celebrate it. Alone. He’d been terribly lonely, but that should end now. Is she going to meet him here?

The sound of the organ coming from inside urged him to lift his head up and look towards the door. The choir began to sing. A memory, the memory, all memories, assaulted him.

He had removed all of her photos and possessions to the chest, locked it, wanting to throw away the key but couldn’t make himself do it. He’d wanted to forget about her, tuck the memories of her away, remove the pain they caused.

They were standing in front of the cathedral, holding hands. Their love for each other after all those years had only grown stronger. Being old didn’t stop him from giving her postcards to invite her on trips. He knew she liked it. The choir began to sing. Her smile, the most gorgeous smile in the world, started to sag on one side. She let go of his hand and clutched her left arm. Pain contorted her face and she collapsed.

“You awright, auld yin?” Someone touched his arm, helping him up. He’d sunk onto his knees, tears flowing freely on the wrinkled parchment-like skin of his face. “I’m fine, laddie, thanks for helping me up aye.”

He turned around, leaving the young man alone with his questioning and unbelieving look. It was time to finally acknowledge that she was gone. It was time to accept the pain of the emptiness she’d left.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

This is based on these words, given to me by a friend: 72 yo lonely man, a memory, Edinburgh, mystery

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