[Author’s Note: Most of my writing comes in the form of nonfiction, but in January I posted my first piece of fiction. This post might be a continuation of that piece. Or maybe not. You be the judge.]
The memories and what-if’s and might-have-been’s slowly overtook her mind. They were like tall shadows, growing long and fuzzy in the late afternoon sun. As she lurked there in the shadows, she wondered how everyone else could go on as if nothing had happened. How could all those people spend their days laughing and bickering and holding hands, as if the world were still spinning? Going to work and taking vacations and making last minute trips to the grocery store for a gallon of milk? Didn’t they realize that the world had stopped spinning, leaving only dark shadows?
Of course, they didn’t. Their worlds were still spinning predictably. Their mornings were still filled with rushed cups of coffee and lost car keys and quick good-bye kisses. Their days were still occupied by traffic-heavy commutes and nothing-gets-done office meetings and blinking cursors on blinding computer screens. Their nights were still consumed with soccer games and piano practice and uncomfortable conversations about the mounting credit card bills.
Those other people out there – all those lost souls and restless hearts and blissful individuals walking in the sunlight – didn’t realize that, for her, all that remained were the shadows, each one filled with bittersweet regret.
She knew that she had loved deeply and with a consuming passion, which is more than some. And yet, love hadn’t been enough. So much time had been wasted, so much armor had been worn, so many words had gone unsaid. The armor was ripped off in that cramped hospital room, but she knew she couldn’t get the time back.
She lived in the shadows now, the shadows of memories and what-if’s and might-have-been’s. Maybe if she said all those words that had been bottled up inside of her, she could warn everyone else so that they could avoid making the same mistakes she did. She would say those words loudly – she’d scream them if she had to – so that others could hear.
Maybe then they wouldn’t end up like her, in the shadows, waiting.
This post is also part of the weekly Photo Inspiration Challenge. Special thanks to Angie McMonigal Photography for her fabulous photos. Make sure to visit her website or facebook page. Her work is both stunning and, well, inspirational.