Anthony's Nose

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic


ANTHONY’S NOSE

by Michael Jefferson

 

Some people have a bucket list. Pete and I had a “we’ll get to it” list.

At the top of the list was climbing Anthony’s Nose, the 1,000-foot mountain that loomed behind our house.

By the time Pete made Vice President at IBM, and I was head of sales for Gamble & Rush, we barely had time for a passing peck on the cheek. Weekends became business trips, flow charts, and an occasional glance at Anthony’s Nose.

Our life together wasn’t all regrets… There was the family dinner food fight… Pete’s look of pride when I won Salesperson of the Year… My sister’s smile when the nurse laid her baby next to her while Pete whispered to me, “It’s time we had one of our own.”

Then Pete stopped eating and was always tired. I begged him to see a doctor, but he said, “I’ll get to it.” I was 300 miles away the day he collapsed during a presentation. By the time I got to the hospital, the doctors had removed one lung and discovered that cancer had spread throughout his body. Pete hung on for a week, promising, even as the light left his eyes, that we would climb Anthony’s Nose.

After the funeral, I finally checked the messages I’d been neglecting. One was an old one from Pete, recorded a few days before he got sick. “Hi, hon, it’s Pete. I just wanted to let you know I’m home and I’m okay. How about we climb Anthony’s Nose?”

I climbed up Anthony’s Nose today. For a while I sat at the very top, looking down at our house. Then I shouted out “I’m pregnant, Pete!” my laughter echoing throughout the valley.


Submitted: July 19, 2021

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