Know

Together Forever

In Creative Writing, Writing (all kinds) on May 3, 2016 at 3:00 AM

By Marco Biscaini

Marie Johnson is a stay at home wife. She spends her days alone and practices mental rituals and obsessions for hours on end, until maybe the phone rings.

For this brief period she snaps out of her own mental abyss and quickly associates herself with her life and surroundings. It’s her sister on the phone and she has called to catch up on time spent away from each other. After a lengthy conversion about who knows what; Marie ends her call and stares at a picture of her husband Rick. She proceeds to outline the picture with her finger, picking up dust particles along the way. Then she cleans the dust within her outline as if she was adjusting his collar. Once that’s completed she would go get the Windex from the bottom cupboard and clean the whole picture frame. She begins thinking of Rick and worries that he may be hurt fighting a war that only few people understand. She starts panicking and breathing heavy. Nothing can be done now to stop these sensations. She steps back to try and grab a hold of herself but only catches the edge of the dinning room chair and stumbles; falling right on her ass. Crying and breathing heavy is all that follows, while she desperately tries to climb to her feet, but all she can do is draw on the hardwood with her finger, outlining her husband in the hardwood, and then erasing it.
***********

Rick is lying in the middle of an abandoned town. His platoon is scattered throughout the dust and dry air that surrounds them. Trying to breathe is difficult.
For one, the air is so thick that his lips feel as if they are pieces of sandpaper interlocking with each other. At the moment, water would simply absorb into his pores before he managed to swallow any of it.
Secondly, there’s a bullet lodged right under his right lung and there’s certainty that something else has been pierced and is bleeding in his insides. As he continues to gasp for air he begins to think of his wife Mari. The sounds of screaming and gunshots begin to fade. Rick closes his eyes and continues to think of his life at home until he takes his last breath and smiles foolishly as though he has accomplished something in his life.
***********

Colonel Michaels is standing at the front of the Johnson residence, knocking for the 4th time would be redundant. He fixes his uniform collar and he finally decides to make his way in. The door is unlocked… as he steps in he immediately gets a scent of cleaning products. The house is spotless, washed tiles, and pledged wooden countertops. He hears Marie and is alarmed at the sight when he enters the dinning room. She is lying on the floor gasping for air, holding her chest in pain. She has blood coming from her mouth and she is holding the picture of her husband, at the same time drawing him out on the hardwood over and over. She looks up and the expression in her eye is of joy and pain.
“Mrs. Johnson, are you alright!?”
She stares directly into Colonel Michaels’ eyes.
***********
Marie ends her call with the United States Army. She is excited of the thought of her husband coming home. She clearly is confused and has no idea that a colonel is on his way to report that Sergeant Rick Johnson has been killed in action. However, she ignores this fact and finishes washing her already clean dishes that she used yesterday for lunch. Later, she makes her way to the dining room… she sees some dirt on the picture frame of her husband and begins outlining his face and shoulders. She cleans it twice and then a sharp pain in her chest forces her to her knees.
“He’s here. Ricky is really here!”
“He told me he would come back.”
“I love you so much Ricky.”
Moments later, Marie is staring at her husband, fully uniformed and smiling with eyes full of tears. “I’m here Marie; it’s time for us to go.” “Ricky, you came for me… I knew you would come for me… you said you would come for me as long as I waited. Thank you Ricky…”
***********
Colonel Michaels sits alongside the gravestones of Mr. & Mrs. Rick Johnson. The air is cool and there’s a wet mist from the rain that fell earlier. A bit perplexed he revisits the events that he had witnessed: His brave soldier killed in action, but smiling as he took his last breath. Then, when he went to inform Marie of Rick’s death, Marie was lying there waiting for him in her final moments. “Had Marie thought that I was Sergeant Johnson?” He felt as though he was a messenger of death and it scared him. He could feel Sergeant Johnson by his side when he was attending to Marie. Was it just a hallucination of Marie’s mind or was Colonel Michaels an angel who went to collect Marie to be with Ricky Johnson. Whatever it was, Michaels reread the passage on each of their gravestones.

“- Together forever, Rick and Marie Johnson -”

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