Short Story Fiction
His lips feel tender as we kiss. I inhale his scent, and get high on his passion. He gives me his full attention…and I take it selfishly.
I will always remember this first kiss. It is that powerful…
As the years go by…marriage, child bearing, child rearing, careers, funerals and other life events…it’s him and me experiencing it, side by side. We are there for each other, two kindred souls on this life journey. He is my rock, my foundation, and we are as well threaded and comfy together as my favorite jeans and his flannel shirt.
But the years go by quickly.
Our children are soon parents as we become grandparents, and look toward our retirement. And his caress and his kiss still brings out the passion in me… making the years fall away as I relive that youthful first embrace. No matter how many times we have kissed and made love through the years… each time is special, energizing, and renews our bond.
I love that... and many other things about our relationship.
Like the way we finish each other’s sentences, and sense each other’s needs. He is the one I tell my darkest secrets and most daring dreams to. It is to him that I still rush home to, the one I miss most when I am away.
He is like soft suede against my skin…pliable, but sturdy… familiar and strong.
At his funeral I feel numb. We would have celebrated our 60th Anniversary next month. During the service I am surrounded by our children and their children, and we have a great-grandchild on the way. But I feel isolated as I now face the future alone.
No one can replace him. There will be no more kisses, cuddles, inside jokes or reason to rush home. No one who knows me as well as him. For he has gone ahead of me… onto the next leg of our spiritual journey… wherever that is.
Will I find him when it’s my time to go? Will he meet me when I arrive?
That night, he visits me. I awaken and find him near the bed. He has been watching me as I sleep. He tells me he’s okay.
The days and months turn into years. I do my best to adjust to life without him. And while I appreciate my friends and family, nothing is as it was. Each day I look for him... a sign, a sound, a feeling. Each evening, I sit next to his empty chair and wonder, Is he still thinking of me? Does he remember me?
My granddaughter and her husband have come to visit. We have been looking at photographs from before she was born. I tell her about my youth, and getting married and raising my family.
Then we discuss the memories we share... camping, boating, holidays and special events with her parents, her grandfather and me. At the mention of her grandfather, I sense him sitting with us. I tune everything else out as I focus on his presence. I feel a peck on my cheek and raise my hand to touch the spot. Was it just my imagination?
Then, I become aware that my granddaughter has been speaking to me – and has asked me something.
“What did you say?” I ask her.
“What do you miss most about Granddad? His smile? His laugh?”
Without hesitation, I answer. “His kiss.”
That night I have the most wonderful dream. I walk through a tunnel of light, and see him there. He greets me. I rush to him, him with open arms. The essence of the loving bond is still there. We are at last reunited, and we kiss.
Copyright 2009 Lynn Seeley Thomas
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