It was a cold, damp, dreary day, and I could feel the slight drizzle of raindrops on my face. Standing at the back of the crowd in the cemetery, my heels sank in the moist earth, a metaphor for how I was feeling inside. Listening to the minister’s soothing voice speak about Richard, tears fell without end as I clearly recalled the exact moment, we met 30 years ago. My heart was pounding as it was breaking. It was hard to breathe. A million thoughts were running through my head, but mostly, why did it have to happen now before we had the chance to see each other again?

I watched as his children lingered after the crowd started to disperse. His death was so sudden. The shock and finality reflected in their bereaved faces. I waited until they started walking towards their car before moving closer to the grave. Seeing the casket lowered in the ground was enough proof to strip me of any denial.

To see his face, to hold his hand, to breathe in his scent while feeling his arms around me one more time, was what I craved. We all wish for just one more “whatever” don’t we? I screamed at the gaping hole in the ground, “How could you die now”? The rain fell harder, and the wind grew colder as I turned to leave. There in front of me, stood his three children, obviously curious of the woman displaying such grief. Removing my dark glasses slowly, I saw their emerging recognition. It was time to tell the story of us.

Cheryl Blumenthal resides in Scottsdale, Arizona. She retired after many years of working in the nonprofit sector, and is concentrating on writing flash fiction and poetry, fulfilling her passion. In her other leisure time, Cheryl designs perfume bottles using mixed media with jewelry and exotic paper.