The Stone

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

This story is about the kind of love that rips out your heart and leaves you gasping,coupled with the overwhelming emotions associated with loss.


I stand beneath the baking heat of the sun wracked with melancholy. The grey marble of the stone is before me, and slowly I reach out a hand to touch it. It is smooth apart from the inscription. I run my hand slowly over it, the tips of my fingers tracing each word. Of course I know it by heart by now, and every time I fail to sleep, lying starring at the ceiling in my perpetually dark bedroom in my cold bed, I recite the words in my head, like a dismal mantra.

Standing here, my head swarms with memories of you. I remember one where I walked into the kitchen to find you drenched in water and the room flooded, after you had attempted to fix a problem with our sink. Another time when you came home from a haircut, looking sheepish and anxious. I tried to be tactful and console you by saying perhaps you’d get used to it, before we both erupted in giggles at the actual horror of what was supposed to be just a trim.

These memories and an anthology filled with others are so vivid to me, so searing in their attacks on my mind, that sometimes I simply cannot convince myself that you are gone, truly gone and haven’t just gone to the newsagent’s for chocolate and wine they way you always used to. Of course the rational part of my mind, which is perhaps diminishing under the strength of the erratic half, knows you have gone. Knows I went to a funeral on a similarly blistering day, wore a black veil and fell to my knees with grief, my hand clawing at the dirt as I sobbed wildly. And later…going home to the oppressive emptiness which still resides, in a house meant to be filled by two, which instead has only one lost soul as its tenant.

Sometimes, standing here I lose all focus, all sense of time and am suddenly startled by the reality that several hours, or on occasion the entire day has passed me by. The strength with which I miss you seems to obliterate everything else with its fierceness. Holly doesn’t make so much effort anymore. She says she understands but I need to try and create a life for myself now, which is what you would want. I screamed at her, told her that was absolute crap. People say that to make themselves feel less guilty about moving on, but that we’d always acknowledged the only true tribute to your partner is to mourn them eternally. After that she has been cold with me, perhaps she finds me cruel; I lack the energy to care regardless. As for work, its something on a joke. I’ve been given much less demanding tasks, in the hope I may be able to complete them adequately and without a scene. John lives in fear of me making a scene. I write pointless, 200 word articles of human interest and then crawl back into bed, where I stare at the walls you painted and fail to sleep, fatigue crushing my chest. I know they’re trying to give me the benefit of the doubt, but that soon, one of them, maybe John or more likely Andy will firmly suggest I go on unlimited sick leave.

One thing I never do as I stand here is talk to you, not aloud anyway. I observe others who do this and their mix of desperation and hope unsettles me. I want to be a realist about death, and know that if you really are truly dead and gone forever, that I can’t talk to you ever again. We used to joke about heaven and hell, scoffing at those who believe in either. But now I wish I did, wish I could change myself from a collapsing cynic, into someone who consoles herself with the thought that it is never really over.

Under my pillow is an old notebook with faded pink roses on the cover. Inside its pages I write everything I want to tell you. There aren’t as many things as I would have told you if you were still here, because then I behaved like I was living. Yet the book is almost full, and I have written in the most cramped cursive possible. I’ve listed interesting TV programmes, good and bad films, album reviews, and the ratio of good songs to rubbish ones on the radio. I’ve also written letters to you, overindulgent ones confessing our great passion, which of course you knew of already. Sometimes, as I am furiously writing in my notebook I feel a sharp stab of sadness. While you were here I took you for granted, thought we would have so many more years to share. Now I truly realise you were my best friend, confidant and partner all in one and I will never find that again. The sadder I feel the faster the words come, until they feel like they are pouring out of me and flooding the pages. Sometimes, after an especially lengthy entry I manage to sleep for a couple of hours, always dreaming of you.

Today I’ve only lost a couple of hours standing here, remembering you and feeling the huge emptiness where you should be. I touch your name on the stone fondly, adoringly. As I prepare to leave, I think of another memory of you, a snapshot of you turning to me on a cold day and wrapping your scarf around my neck. I always experienced the cold more than you, and slowly it has seeped further and further into my bones.

Submitted: February 04, 2007

© Copyright 2022 harriet. All rights reserved.

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Add Your Comments:



sounds like something you really needed to write--wondering if it's true ? Very well done, at any rate.

Sun, February 4th, 2007 10:18pm


A powerful and moving tribute. A well-written and compelling text. Please post some more!

Sat, February 10th, 2007 6:27pm

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