he awoke at 9:30 a.m.
and stayed in bed
for a while
trying to adjust his
eyes to the dark.
He imagined he was a child again,
playing with his favourite
toy car and
action figures. He saw his
parents on Christmas Day,
sitting by the fire. He remembered
his mother’s face and how
his dad looked at her
as if his heart had elevated
from his chest and wrapped
itself around her. He heard
his uncle say ‘Merry Christmas!’
and stroke his mustache. There
was always the prettiest tree
in the corner of the living room,
and he wondered why
the stars had never stopped
shining on him. The world
was beautiful then.
He knew only of the world
in his bedroom. Time went by,
people moved on. Christmas
wasn’t so special any more. When
he looked in the mirror,
he was a middle-aged man,
and he wondered why
the stars had stopped
shining on him. He turned
to the other side of the bed
and felt the cold,
hard pillow beneath
his hands. He kept
forgetting she was gone. ‘God bless her’
he thought. ‘We will be together
soon.’ He wiped the tears
from his eyes and went
into the bathroom. Everything
was the way he had
left it the night before,
and he prayed
as he looked in the mirror
that today wouldn’t
be the day
that he succumbed
to the silence.

he slept at 10:30 p.m.
after spending his time
looking at old photographs
of his wife. He still couldn’t believe
how beautiful she was. Then he went
to the park, and fed the ducks.
When he got to her gravestone,
he tried his best not to cry,
but he could hear her voice
in the wind, telling him
it was okay. He didn’t have
to be afraid any more.
He told her about his day,
and how not a moment
went by that he didn’t think
about her. He kissed
the roses that he
put on her grave
and said goodbye. He wondered
if the stars would ever
shine on him again.

They found him at 2:30 p.m.
with his arms wrapped
around his wife’s pillow. He had left
a note, asking to be buried
next to her. ‘God bless them,’
they thought. ‘God bless
the stars that shone
for them.’

The End.