The picture frame

The picture frame

A Story by Mary Gatlin

An old woman discovers a lost picture from her past flooding her with old emotions and memories

 Looking in the mirror I see the reflection of an old me. What used to be flaming red hair was now nothing more than a few strands of a faded grey, just as the eyes staring at me. It is amazing how the world can seem to go unchanged despite the years its seen, when I myself am touched countless times by the years. Slowly withering away until I become nothing but a mere spec of dust on a vast desert.  Walking up the steps to my quaint bedroom I think about all the things that have happened in this house. 80 years of life well spent have gone through here. Happiness, marriages, births but also deaths. So many things, so many memories.

   It was in this walk down memory lane that I stumbled upon a hidden picture behind one of the frames hanging from the wall. The frame itself was fairly new, enclosing a picture of myself with my two beautiful children, however the clandestine picture was the complete opposite. The corners were torn and the color was faded to almost not being able to decipher it, but I knew what it was. I immediately dropped to the floor, thankfully I had reached the top already and my fall was cushioned by the carpet. It didn’t cushion the drop my heart made when having laid my eyes on that picture.

    In the 60 years that have passed since that day I can still remember it as if it were yesterday. The grass had been freshly cut, the flowers in full bloom, and the sun shining high. Everything was perfect. Nothing in the world could make it not so.

  Walking down that aisle towards him was like walking on thin air. There was no one in that room but him and I. My dress flowed perfectly with every step, the delicate detail on the lace couldn’t have been more enchanting. The veil cascaded down like a thousand snowflakes falling from above. It was like walking in a dream, the soft hum from the violins intoxicated my body and pulled me towards my love. All I would ever want and need was standing right in front of me. So it was obvious that those two words would be nothing but a breeze. “I do” was all that stood between living the rest of my life in complete happiness.

   Just as the priest said you may now kiss the bride, a nearby photographer took sight of the magical event and snapped a picture of us just in the right moment as we kissed. David held me tight in his arms, while my arms were wrapped around his neck. Our lips intertwined just as our souls were and would be forever.

 One thing I should mention despite all the glorious happiness that surrounded us, there was one thing missing, my family. They did not approve of my relationship with David and much less my marriage. So when it came down to choosing my family and love, I chose love. Just as we were walking out of the church the photographer handed us the picture. It depicted nothing more and nothing less but love in its honest and pure form.

   It was a cold winter when David first fell ill. At first it was nothing but a mere cold that quickly subsided, but then a second winter came, much more arduous than the first.
At that time doctors weren’t as well knowledged as now, maybe if they had been David might have survived his encounter with pneumonia. When I was told he wouldn’t survive, it felt as if someone had punched the air out of me. He was what held me to the ground, he was my reason to live. What would I do without him?

 After months of desertion I finally saw my family. They came to pay their respects at David’s funeral. We hugged and cried, but it would never be the same. I knew their tears weren’t honest but a facade of relief. They hoped I would then finally marry someone more suitable to their tastes, but I wouldn’t be able to desert my love for David so easily. I felt just as dead as he was and as cold. I believed no one would ever be able to touch my heart and soul as he did.

 The years passed and I eventually did meet someone. He might not have been David but he made me happy, he helped ease the pain. What once before was nothing but a mere carnal relation soon came to be something more. Unlike my love for David, this love was more mature. Perhaps cause I was older or because the love between Peter and I grew from nothing to something unlike with David that had always been there.

  I stare into the picture, feeling the icy trails of tears streaming down my eyes. My wrinkled hands shaking at the memory of my love. My heart begins to beat rapidly, the air escaping my lungs, I soon begin to feel as if I am falling in a never ending hole. It is at that moment when I open my eyes and see David standing there, stretching his hand out towards me. He looks just as he did before. The same warm honey brown eyes gazing lovingly at me that had once enraptured me long ago. I begin to feel like a young schoolgirl, my heart fluttering like a butterfly while I soon become giddy at his sight and touch. When I grab his hand I notice that my wrinkly hands have now turned smooth as milk, I stare in astonishment. How can it be that I have turned young again? Surely I am dreaming, but there laying cold and limp was the body of an old woman who had died from love, but also revived by love. I walked away hand in hand with David, ready to live the life I should have lived.

© 2012 Mary Gatlin

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This truly put a smile on my face. I love the idea that she was reunited with her first love. Absolutely lovely. I agree with Marie...spiritual and romantic.

Posted 11 Years Ago

This is a beautiful story. I don't see it as supernatural, but spititual.

Posted 12 Years Ago

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2 Reviews
Added on July 19, 2012
Last Updated on July 20, 2012
Tags: lover, time, new beginning, picture frame, recondite