When lovers turn into strangers, the universe releases a sad sigh and extinguishes a star.
The sun peeked through the bedroom curtains, casting a glow on his scruffy beard, and my head raced with excitement. We’d waited through weeks of rain for this beautiful clear spring morning. I didn’t want to waste any of it. I did have a small pang of regret for waking him. He was so peaceful and beautiful in slumber. I could watch him for hours, his normally furrowed brow at rest, long dark lashes hiding his mesmerizing cornflower blue eyes. But this morning I couldn’t wait. I shook him like a child waking her parents on Christmas morning. “Spencer. Wake up.”
After a stop at the coffee shop – black coffee for him, Earl Grey for me – we walked hand in hand to the park. I tipped my head back, allowed the sun to warm my face and smiled. “You’re beautiful.” I turned to see his grinning face, heart-shaped lips stained red from the fresh strawberries we ate at breakfast. I waggled my eyebrows at him, “Race you” then took off running, laughter bouncing off the tree branches.
When we reached Conservatory Water I slowed and approached in awe. It was our first visit of the season and I marveled at the deep blue color of the glassy water. The light wind would be perfect for sailing boats. When we were finally ready we put our boats in the water and I watched the surface break, sending wave after tiny wave out in perfect circles. We looked at each other as if we were five-years-old, the innocence and wonder of a child pure in our eyes. A simple nod was all it took – our boats were in the water, set adrift to wait for a puff of wind that would send them sailing as far as our hearts allowed.
My heels sunk into the soft grass. I didn’t care that they would be ruined but I couldn’t help but wonder why women wore heels to funerals or why they didn’t put something on the ground for women to walk on so they wouldn’t ruin their heels. It was a strange thought to have, considering the circumstances. My face showed no sign of the turmoil brewing deep within. A drunk driver had not only killed my husband, but by default had killed me too. I was only a shell left to muddle through the days as if life had a meaning. A single tear escaped my eye and snaked down my cheek. Making no move to wipe it away I stood woodenly alone. Too soon my family and friends would descend, smiles plastered on their faces, feigned concern in their voice. No, for now I was alone. I broke the silent morning air. “You bastard. How could you leave me?” Then finally, I smiled. Because in my head I could hear his voice echoing back. “You know, you’re ruining your favorite heels.”