It’s been a long time. 65 years? Maybe even more. But I remember that day as if it was yesterday.
I had woken early. Since the weather was warmer, I strolled outside with my tea to watch the sunrise. Birds were singing, and I had an open view across the fields. A few clouds stitched the sky into a golden tapestry, making it seem all the more awesome. As if heralding a brand new and beautiful day.
I was grateful for these few moments of peace, all to myself. I wondered where he was, what he was doing now, and whether he was watching the same sunrise.
Just another day
As I turned back towards the house, normality returned. I could hear the hum of traffic far away, which would grow louder as the day progressed. Upstairs someone turned off their alarm abruptly and the radio blared out the latest news.
I quickly washed, dressed and grabbed my lunch from the kitchen. As I slammed the front door and ran down the path, I could hear a neighbor brushing their teeth. I started my familiar walk to the station.
It was just a normal day at work aside from the fact that I had arrived a half hour early. That hadn’t felt quite right. Fewer people on the train. Different people who I didn’t recognise. Then arriving before Miss Jones. That was definitely a first. But it gave me a chance to catch up, and by lunchtime everything was up to date. I met up with Jean and we sat in the park to eat our lunch. Girl talk and giggling about her American pilot.
The afternoon in the typing pool was uneventful, except for a visit from a lady-bird. At first I thought it was a shiny drop of blood. Suddenly though, it identified itself by spreading its wings and changing position. It perched atop my left hand spool of typewriter ribbon. I couldn’t dislodge it, even with my confident and forceful carriage returns. When it was time to go home, I picked it up and placed it gently on my lapel. By the time the train came, it had flown away.
On the walk home from the station, the sun was setting. Grey clouds peppered the sky. The moody salmon-pink sun sank slowly and sadly behind the outline of the trees. It would soon be dark. The gate squeaked out its long complaint as usual, announcing my arrival and bringing Mum out to greet me.
I knew as soon as I saw her face.
He was gone.