Valery watched as a fly made its way to the top of the large picture window. Once at the top, it descended, flying, hitting the glass a million times a second, bashing its small body against the unforgiving barrier between it and freedom.
She turned from the window and picked up a 1984 issue of Family Circle from the table next to her. She decided to turn right to the beauty personality quiz, to learn what hairstyle would have been right for her twenty-some years ago.
Before she could begin, Anthony stepped out of the office with the doctor. Valery flipped the magazine closed and replaced it on the table as she rose to greet him. The look in his eyes was telling. She braced herself for the worst.
“It’s not helping, hon. The cancer’s got worse since I started chemo,” Anthony’s eyes began to glaze with a film of tears.
Valery quickly glanced to the doctor for confirmation, and his expression was grave. She turned back to her husband and reached for his hand. “Let’s go, then.”
He nodded, and followed her to the car. “Where are we going?”
“Do you remember when we were kids, we went on that picnic in the park? We always said we’d go back, but we never did?”
Valery stopped by a deli to pick up some sandwiches. Pastrami for him, and turkey for her. They spent a few hours forgetting current events and reminiscing about the statue that used to stand just there, the one they’d eaten under all those years ago.
Valery cried, remembering that day. She sat in silence for a few more minutes, regaining her composure before bidding Anthony’s grave farewell. She knew he would have appreciated what she’d done as he lay there, beneath the statue, at last.
Did I follow all the rules? I do believe I did. But I’ll have you know it hurt to delete the bit about the twitching fly and the bit about the fabulous bathroom facelifts. Welcome back, Ms Rose!