Friday Ficton #16: Without You

created by Kelly DeBie

created by Kelly DeBie

My Friday Fiction Friends and I write different stories based on the same prompt. This week, I provided the prompt. This is episode sixteen in an ongoing series. If you missed the first fifteen episodes, here are links:

7. Love
Amanda dreamed about Richard every night for a week in a row.  There were bits and pieces of flashbacks to previous memories like the first time they met and the last time they made love. She usually didn’t dream about him, but since he passed away unexpectedly, it was almost all her subconscious was working on.  The press of his lips, his muscular arms holding her, and the sound of his voice all seemed so real.  Other times, the dreams took place in surreal surroundings with imaginary people. This time as Amanda slept alone in her king size bed, he told her he loved someone else and wanted a divorce. There was no emotion, no remorse, just simply stating the facts. He wasn’t attracted to her anymore and found someone else he wanted to be with.  That was it whether she liked it or not.She begged and pleaded with him to stay with her and was so mad at him she even tried grabbing him and slapping him in the face to bring him to his senses. “I know I’m not as young, hot, and cute as she is, but Richard we have children together! I will try harder to lose weight and get in better shape. Please stay with me. Don’t do this!”But it was to no avail. Richard and his mistress, a thing yet curvacious long-haired brunette who looked no older than 25, held hands as they turned their backs to her and walked away. Amanda cried and felt completely defeated as her husband literally walked out of her life.  The woman turned back to give Amanda a sly smile as if to say, “he’s mine now.”Crying out in her sleep, she awoke to see her familiar bedroom windows and realized none of it was real. Her heart pounding and her breath heavy, she told herself it was just a dream, blinked her eyes a few times to focus and rolled over to look at the ceiling.  The fan turned around and around as her mind adjusted back to this earthly realm.Sunlight poured in through the window and lit up her wedding picture on the opposite wall from her bed. She didn’t know what to think. Her new normal included a quieter house with fewer chores and nobody to fight with or blame her for the death of their children. But her new normal also meant life as a single mom. Nobody would be there to comfort her when she had a bad dream. Nobody was there to help with the kids or to share happy times with. It felt like being alone in a crowd. Life would continue around her, but inside she knew she was alone and could only count on herself.

Her book of boudoir photos sat next to their bed. Richard died the day before the pictures came in, so he never got to see them. Amanda scoffed at herself as she picked it up and looked through all the pictures of her scantily dressed in provocative poses.  She wanted so badly to surprise him with something special and to put a spark back in their relationship. She remembered seeing the picture of his mistress wearing lingerie on his phone and a sick feeling came over her. While her nightmare wasn’t real, Richard was cheating on her in real life and wanted to leave her. Plus, she looked way better in lingerie than Amanda did.

How could he stay with me if that’s how he felt? When was he planning to leave? Was there anything I could’ve done to stop him or change his mind?  We made love the morning he died.  Everything felt nice between us. I knew he was distant sometimes, but I didn’t know…

She got out of bed, showered and went to the cemetery after she took Robert to school. Richard’s grave was right next to Anderson’s. It had a lack of green grass growing on top, just a sandy rectangle of disturbed earth. All the flowers from the funeral were gone.  It was obviously a new grave compared to the other two. She placed single roses on each one, pink for Ella, red for Anderson and Richard. She still needed to order him a headstone, so the temporary marker identified the place where the love of her life lay. She realized that’s where she would also spend eternity, next to her husband and kids. But for now, she was still free to live her life.

Angel 013

Angel 013 (Photo credit: Juliett-Foxtrott)

She sat down on his grave. Her legs felt weak as noodles. Her body ached with exhaustion and grief.  Her heart overflowed with emotions.  With a pen and paper, she started to write:

Under the earth you lie

Still as a statue
Frozen in time
Resting forever

Body entombed
Spirit free as a bird
Flying through space and time
Living in the next world

Everywhere and nowhere

Watching and waiting for us

You were so full of life
I didn’t know how fast it would end
Now the story’s told
And I’m here without you

Living, breathing, loving, learning

In the sunlight with the wind in my hair

And all I want is to be near you

Can you hear me?

Can you see me?

I should be mad at you

I should want to leave you for what you did

But I’m not glad your gone

The truth is

I wish you were here with me

I miss your smile

Your beautiful eyes

Your soft lips to kiss

Your strong arms around me

Your sense of humor

Your heartbeat

I miss you, all of you

It’s hard to be here

Without you


Here is the prompt:
Use the cliche, “absence makes the heart grow fonder” in your story (when you are not with a loved one, you tend to miss them more). You decide how to use it and if your character agrees with it or not. As an added optional challenge, use the literary device, “antithesis” (used when the writer employs two sentences of contrasting meanings in close proximity to one another. Whether they are words or phrases of the same sentence, an antithesis is used to create a stark contrast using two divergent elements that come together to create one uniform whole. An antithesis plays on the complementary property of opposites to create one vivid picture. The purpose of using an antithesis in literature is to create a balance between opposite qualities and lend a greater insight into the subject.
Example: When Neil Armstrong walked on the moon it might have been one small step for a man but it was one giant leap for mankind.

Visit the other blogs to see what they wrote with the same prompt:

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Clearly Kristal

World’s Worst Moms

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Thanks for reading this entry. Peace out!


9 comments on “Friday Ficton #16: Without You

  1. Pingback: Friday Fiction Friends 2.0 — Familiarity Breeds Fonder Over Greener Ponds | Grass Oil by Molly Field

  2. Susanne: Grief. Such a wrenching emotion to work through…you painted the internal pain of her grieving beautifully. The emotions of hating and loving Richard were the perfect antithesis! The poem at the end was a nice touch.

    • Thanks Kristal! I’m not sure how she will move forward into her new normal. As you said, grief is tough to work through. It never really goes away, we just get used to it. Thanks for reading and commenting 🙂

  3. You capture Amanda’s emotions about grief just like it goes — one minute she thinks she’s got it all figured out and is moving on. The next she’s wallowing and obsessing over bad dreams and writing poems in the graveyard. It makes you crazy.

  4. Pingback: Fiction Friday #17: Mothers | Susanne's World

  5. Pingback: (Belated) Friday Fiction #9 | BuLaMamaNi

  6. Pingback: Fiction Friday #18: Good Enough | Susanne's World

  7. Pingback: Fiction Friday #19: Honesty | Susanne's World

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