Hey guys! Thanks so much for voting for an ending to my short story! We now have a winner! Deshipley of Ever On Word has won!! Congratulations! You’ll be receiving an email shortly! It was such a close race, and I am so very thankful that you guys participated in this fun little event! I’ll probably do another one in the future.
Here is the full short story with deshipley’s ending included.
My hands were numb. In fact, my whole body was numb, but it wasn’t from the snow and cold wind that surrounded me.
I walked with no destination in mind, needing to escape. I didn’t understand what was happening. I really didn’t understand much.
I slipped my hands into the pockets of my jeans, hoping that would warm them. Snow stuck to the bottom of my slippers. I hadn’t even bothered to put on real shoes when the letter came. I had run out the door, dropping the letter in my wake.
I was at the edge of our property. An old bench sat there, waiting for someone to come along and rest their weary feet. But, it wasn’t my feet that were weary.
I collapsed on the bench, the snow melting through my jeans. My body shook with cold chills. The wind tossed around my hair, and cold tears ran down my cheeks. I welcomed the tears. They were the evidence of some emotion coursing through my mind. It was better than being numb. Numb I couldn’t handle.
He was gone. For good. There was no coming back from this. Death was permanent.
The rushing of the water down by the creek drew my attention. I stood, running towards the water. My slippers fell off, and I tripped over a log. I picked myself up and continued running.
I came to a stop on the bank of the river. I could end it. I could end everything. The pain. The tears. All it would take was a dive into the water, pulling me under the current and taking my body away.
I closed my eyes and prayed for forgiveness. Would God grant it to me if I took my own life? The life of our little one growing in my stomach? I couldn’t live without him. He was my everything. But I couldn’t kill our child. It wasn’t fair to it. No. I’d have to find a way to live with the pain.
I caressed my stomach. I’d just found out. I was three months pregnant. He’d been gone for only two months. How could his death have happened so quickly? Why would God let him die?
With one longing glance at the river, I walked back towards the house, praying for some kind of relief.
Someone called my name as I sank to my knees, looking towards the sky. Cold snow fell on my face. My body shook violently, and I knew that I had to get inside and warm up my body for the baby’s sake. But my legs wouldn’t work. I had no will to keep going.
I sank down, lowering my entire body to the ground. I covered my head and violent sobs shook my body.
I was going insane. I could hear him saying my name.
“Traci. Get up.”
I wanted to lay here, give in to my insanity if it meant hearing him speak my name one more time.
Warm hands picked me up easily and carried me inside. A blanket was placed over my body, and a blurry figure walked away from me.
The person rested a hand on my forehead. “You shouldn’t have been out there.”
I forced my eyes open and blinked away the tears.
It wasn’t him. Of course it wasn’t. He was dead. I shivered with a fresh wave of cold, pain, and disappointment… but not from fear. I didn’t recognize this man moving around my kitchen, pouring hot water from my kettle into my favorite mug. But something about him was as comforting as the scent of steeping chamomile filling the room.
“Do I know you?” I asked as I watched him stir sugar into the mug. Two teaspoons, just the way I liked it. He sure seemed to know me.
He shook his head. “I’m a friend of a friend. He told me you were going through a rough time, so I came to lend a hand until things get better.”
My eyes flooded again as he placed the warm mug in my shaking hands. “I don’t see how things can get better. I don’t see how I can go on without him. I’m just not strong enough.”
“I know you’re not, Traci,” he said, gently smiling. “And you don’t have to be. Let our mutual friend be strong for you. Let him carry you with my arms, and serve you with my hands, and comfort you with my words. I will stay with you as long as you need me, and he will stay with you long after I’ve gone.”
I stared at him. “Our mutual friend…?”
“Has sent the relief you asked him for. Drink up, Traci,” he said, tapping the mug. “You’ll get through this together.”
With a watery smile, I whispered, “Thank you. You’re an angel.”
Chuckling, he knelt to slide my feet into my slippers – unexpectedly recovered and miraculously dry – while I sipped at the tea, and felt its warmth slowly draw the numbness from my hands.