The Eulogy of Alice Hayes

The Eulogy of Alice Hayes

A Story by GwenLark
"

A man says goodbye to his wife.

"

Her chest rose.

Her chest fell.

And once again the painful silence flooded the small, dank room - just like the fluid that crippled her lungs.

The silence he had grown to know all too well.

Would there be another laboured, crackled breath?

The hot, chemical air was suffocating.

Visitors never stayed long. The smell of sickness chased them away like, like sheep ran from a rabid dog.

They came only for a short while, to appease their conscience and to wash away the gnawing guilt in their hearts that ebbed like the passing tide whenever they thought of her.

She had been sick for so long; diseased for longer.

Only he stayed. Never leaving her side.

Forty years would do that to you. Whereas many ‘friends’ and distant relatives, feigning sympathy, secretly prayed for her to pass, he held on to her clammy, once beautiful hand. He would readily sell her soul for her to return to how she once was; to how they once were.

“It’s cruel.” they would say with a pained look on their face.

“It’s just a matter of time now.” they would state with an utter lack of tact.

“You should try and get some rest. This isn’t good for you, Emmett.” they would say with a total lack of understanding of what real love is; of what real love looks like.

Real love isn’t pretty. It isn’t all bouquets of begonias, reels of restaurants and grand gestures.

These amateurs of true grief.

Good for him?

Good for him?!

What did they know about what was good for him?

What was good for him was lying, unresponsive, a foot from him, at the end of his arm, on the bed they once called ‘theirs’.

The bed that had now been turned into a makeshift hospital cart in their own home.

The bed, that in their youth, they had spent countless Sunday morning’s in, moving only to change the vinyl on the record player.

The bed they moved with them through every apartment, every house and every home.

The bed they made love in.

The bed they planned their future in.

The bed on which they promised to stay together forever.

She broke that promise when a doctor young enough to be their grandson escorted them into his office.


“Mrs. Hayes, I’m sorry, but it’s terminal.”


He went on to talk at them about “making her comfortable” and “many fine care facilities” that would help with her “specialised needs”.

Emmett had stopped listening.

He went numb.

His best friend, his partner, his wife; his life, was going to die.

He turned his whole body to face hers. Her once vibrant being had been dwarfed by the revelation.

She turned to him, looking for answers in his eyes. Her mouth slightly open in disbelief, her lips dry from her heavy breaths.

How could he fall apart now? She needed him; more than she ever had.

He simply held her hand and didn’t let go.

He held it all the way home.

Now, deprived of food and sleep, he held it still.

Now, devoid of logic and reason, he held it still.

And, now, with the full, fear-stricken knowledge that another breath had not come,


He held it still.


© 2017 GwenLark



Author's Note

GwenLark
Please ignore spelling and grammar. This was just a quick penning. I hope you enjoy it.

My Review

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Featured Review

The ending was breathtaking (if you'll ignore the pun), and I love it. I don't mean the ending per se, but how you had written it. While I saw what was coming, your writing style had still given it a touch of suspense in the end. The story in general was catchy.

Posted 2 Weeks Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

GwenLark

1 Week Ago

That is so kind of you to say



Reviews

The ending was breathtaking (if you'll ignore the pun), and I love it. I don't mean the ending per se, but how you had written it. While I saw what was coming, your writing style had still given it a touch of suspense in the end. The story in general was catchy.

Posted 2 Weeks Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

GwenLark

1 Week Ago

That is so kind of you to say
I loved this! There was such a strong, quiet steady love. It was calming and unlonely.

Posted 1 Month Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

GwenLark

1 Month Ago

Thank you so much!
I love it. Even though I haven't been writing for long, and I don't know much about writing, this really kept me reading it till the end. Good job, Lark!

Posted 1 Month Ago


2 of 2 people found this review constructive.

GwenLark

1 Month Ago

Thanks so much Akira. Just started myself. Just testing the waters :)

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85 Views
3 Reviews
Added on September 4, 2017
Last Updated on September 8, 2017
Tags: eulogy, alice hayes, emmett hayes, goodbye, love, dying, wife, husband, old, terminal, disease, illness, held it still, holding hands

Author

GwenLark
GwenLark

Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom



About
Just exploring my boundaries. I love writing and I love reading other's creations. Just starting out. more..

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