Cool, icy snow flakes pinched his cheeks as the tram doors opened. He closed his eyes for a brief moment, then took a deep breath and stepped out.

His eyes were trained firmly on the lights straight ahead. The two Christmas stars in his living room windows. The ones his wife had so carefully chosen and hung up. Humming White Christmas as she went about it, wearing her favorite red plaid shirt. They shone all the way to the tram stop.

He had at first protested, of course, saying one was enough. But her childlike joy had eventually won him over, and now the star duet offered him comfort and warmth. Just like she said it would. Christmas, such a homey time.

When he’d come home, he’d always been greeted with delicious cooking smells and her soft voice calling out to him.

He was almost at home now. He could see it was dark behind the stars.

He couldn’t forget. And he couldn’t quite revive the memories either – they refused to become tangible. He knew that when he opened his door, it’d be quiet, cold, and empty.

She had been gone far too long. They didn’t grow old together.

He’d never taken the stars down. They hung there all year round, reminding him of happier times.

It was his way of keeping her there.

These thoughts (fiction) were inspired by an article I read about a man whose clock has stood still for twenty years… when he closes his eyes he can still see and hear his wife who passed away two decades earlier. His children and grandchildren don’t visit and he is terribly lonely.

Please visit your grandparents this Christmas! Give them a call!

15 responses to “Lingering

  1. Ahhh! Heartfelt and hard-hitting.

    Mine are all dead but I’ll go to Slovenia just before Christmas for only three days this time to have a family gathering.

    This tale reminded me of Sean Penn’s segment in the omnibus 11’09″01 September 11. He presents a tale of an elderly man who lives in a dusty New York apartment and every morning opens the closet, takes out a female dress and lays it on the bed. Obviously he refuses to let go of the fact that his wife is gone. The place is small and dark.

    And then one day the light bursts in happily as the twins fall down.

    Liked by 3 people

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