Sara didn’t normally sit at bars, but life wasn’t normal anymore. So she took another drink.
The cool wine slide down her throat and held back the tears. Nothing would be the same anymore, and she didn’t really know how to go on. Mark was her life, her soul, her motivation. Without him, she was just a shell. Nothing really mattered, though she had been putting on a good show for friends and family. Everyone knew she was sad, but they saw her moving on with life. She went to work and the gym. She even managed to be social with friends on occasion. It is what everyone expected so she tried to ease their worries. Sara half thought that if she stayed busy, the pain would subside. But it didn’t. Instead, it grew with time.
It had almost been a year since Mark died, and she only felt more lost without him. There wasn’t a moment that didn’t go by where she didn’t think of him or yearn for him. Every night she cried. Every night she dreamt of his smile, his laugh, his touch. It was as if part of her heart had been ripped from her chest. How did someone recover from that? How could people live with half a heart?
Numbly, she motioned the bartender for another drink. As he brought it over, a lady two stools down caught her eye. She looked sad too, Sara noticed and thought, ‘I know that look. Maybe she could use a friend.’
As Sara grabbed her wine, she looked over and gently smiled at the lady. “How long has it been?”
The sad stranger paused, and rested her lifeless eyes on Sara. “Is it that obvious that I am mourning?”
“I recognize the look since I see it in the mirror every day,” Sara replied.
“Oh. It’s two months today. How ‘bout you?”
“Eleven months and two weeks.”
The stranger took a sip of her drink and after a long pause asked, “Does it get easier?”
“I wish I could say it does…but so far no.”
“So it’s like ticks and tocks of essential time, sink the spirits lower than wine?”
Sara looked into the grieving lady’s eyes and offered kind smile. “I have never thought of it that way, but yes. That is exactly it. Though, I am not sure if you will ever see that on a sympathy card.”
The sad stranger smiled ever so small, “Yeah, I suppose not. I guess I may as well drink then. Maybe it will help me forget some of that time.”
“I hear you. I’m on the same mission.”
Sara and the lady nodded to each other and sat, sipping their drinks, and soothing their pain. ‘At least one person understood me,’ thought Sara.
So they sat in comforting silence.
After a few minutes, Sara offered, “I know nothing I say will really matter as nothing did to me when everyone spoke. But, I will offer you this. I know what it’s like to be alone now and want people around, but yet don’t want them to speak. So, if you need a friend who gets that, just give me a call. We can hang out and not say a word.”
The lady looked up from her drink, with tears in her eyes. “I think I could used that. What are you doing Friday?”
Sara smiled. “I guess I will be sitting here.”
“Great. I think I could use that friend.”
“Ticks and tocks of essential time, sink the spirits lower than wine.”
- Include the above sentence somewhere in your work of fiction. (Required.)
- Keep your word count at no more than 500 words this week. (Suggested.) Do NOT let your story suffer because of the word count limit. Remember, it is a suggested part of the prompt.