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Saying Goodbye (standard:drama, 1401 words)
Author: Chris CraineAdded: Oct 29 2007Views/Reads: 2176/1080Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
A woman learns that saying goodbye is sometimes harder than you think.

Saying Goodbye By Christopher Craine 

Kate‘s mom pulled under the gnarled oak and placed the car in park. “Are
you sure you're ready for this Kate?” She placed her hand over Kate's 
right hand. The cast felt hard and cold under her fingers. Kate 
fidgeted with the wreath sitting in her lap, straightening the flowers 
that weren't crooked. Her chest heaved slightly and painfully as her 
eye's slowly connected with her mother's. “No Mom, I'm not sure but 
what choice do I have? He was my husband for Christ sake!” Kate's 
mother winced at this, absently touching the bun in her hair. She hated 
when Kate took the lords name in vain but said nothing. Kate dropped 
her eyes and her voice, intertwining her fingertips with her mother's. 
“I'm sorry Mom. It's just that the funeral was six weeks ago and I 
promised not only myself but Steve that when I got out, I would say 
goodbye. He was a good man mom. He deserves that.” The accident had 
happened just under two months ago. Steve and Kate were traveling home 
from there honeymoon. A whirlwind of romance and passion surrounded by 
a cabin in the forests of Flagstaff. The roads were icy and it was 
late. They could have left earlier, perhaps if Kate had not fallen 
asleep on the way home, maybe if the other guy would have had just one 
less beer. It was a world full of maybes clouded over with a storm of 
perhaps but it had changed nothing. Steve was still dead and Kate's 
face was a mask of eternal scars. The first time she had looked in the 
mirror she felt another part of herself die. Scars crisscrossed her 
forehead intersecting with another gash that dragged down her temple, 
across her cheek and down to her chin. She had lost nearly all feeling 
on the right side of her face and her auburn hair had been shaved 
completely off due to the multiple surgeries. Never again would she be 
the beauty that once graced the cover of not one but two different teen 
magazines. She had wanted to cry, willed herself to but in the end 
found herself swallowed by the absence of tears. Kate's mom reached up 
gliding her fingers through her little girls hair. “It's not your fault 
baby, sometimes God has his own plan and there is nothing we can do 
about it but lift our chin and go forward.” Her hand moved down to 
Kate's chin gently prodding it until there eye's met. “I love you Kitty 
Kate and I want you to know that I am here for you.” She looked out 
towards Steven's final resting place. “I'll go with you if you want.” 
Kate felt her throat tighten. She wanted to let her mind carry her back 
to the land of medicated non existence. A place where Steve still held 
her hand and nuzzled her neck. She swallowed, wanting to vomit and yet 
somehow found the strength to return her mothers gaze. “I have to do 
this on my own Mom.” Kate gingerly pulled her head back, reached for 
the door and slowly climbed out. The sky shined with an eternal 
cerulean vastness as Kate limped up the hill where Steve's grave was 
located. Spring had laid it's egg and Kate could feel sweat making it's 
way down her brow following her scars like a roadmap. Standing at the 
top of the hill was a small elm, providing little shade. Kate paused 
feeling slightly winded and gazed at the end of her future. It lay 
there written in ice cold stone, “Steven Anthony Riley 1976-2007” It 
was true and it melted her heart. Her body began to shake and she fell 
to her knees, dropping the wreath. She buried her head in her hands. 
“Oh Steve why did this have to happen? Why? We had so much to do, so 
many plans!“ Her world twisted and turned like a rainstorm on  an 
anthill. She looked up from her hands and stared at the tombstone 
digging inside herself for the tears she knew were there but guilt had 
buried. A hand gently rested on her shoulder and Kate nearly jumped out 
of her skin. “It's okay to cry. It's God's way of helping us heal.” 
Kate had lost her father a couple of years back and these were the 
words Steve had whispered into her ear as she stood over his grave at 
the funeral. She turned around fully expecting him to be standing there 
but was instead greeted by a little boy. He had short brown hair, eyes 
that sparkled green and a smile that reminded her of  a long summer 
walk with Steve. He looked to be no more than seven but the harder Kate 
tried to guess his age, the less sure she was. “My Dad said it's okay 
to cry, it's a band-aid for the heart.” “Your dad is a very smart man,” 
Kate said. She absently wiped her hand across her eyes, pulling it back 
dryly. “My name's Kate.” The boy took a step closer. “You are very 
pretty.” Kate placed her hand along her cheek, sliding it down the 
scar. “Thank you.” She looked around for the boy's father but saw no 
one else. “Where's your father at?” “He's around. Were here visiting my 
mom.” His eyes lowered and he kicked at an imaginary rock. “It was a 
car accident.” A small ping hit Kate in the stomach. “I'm sorry. That's 
how I lost my husband.” The boy pointed at the tombstone. “He still 
loves you.” “I know he does and I still love him.” Kate slid her hand 
underneath the boy's chin, raising his eyes to meet hers. “And your 

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