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A Box Full of Pipe Dreams

Updated on February 23, 2012
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A Box Full of Pipe Dreams

“You have GOT to be kidding!!”, Kim silently cried under her breath. “Just how many more things will I find…”? She opened the last box one more time...

There was the razor he used every day that she had found three days…after... She remembered how gruff his face would feel within hours of shaving. She used to tease him and tell him that he must be a ‘real manly man’, because no matter how much he shaved, it was always five o’clock on his face. She remembered the time he tried to grow a beard and the pitiful look of shame on his face when he realized, one side would never quite grow in – just a little hair around a baby smooth circular patch on his left side. And she especially remembered the one time that he had talked her into letting him shave her legs. There had been a lot of giggling, a few razor nicks, and then there had been the water all over the bathroom, but she hadn't minded the two hours it had taken her to clean up the mess. That was such a good memory…

There was the box full of letters she had found hidden in the back of his closet six days…after…. It had taken her a good part of four months to get through them all. Oh how she had loved writing to him! She imagined his face lighting up at each and every word every time she placed the freshly stamped envelope into the mailbox on the corner. That had been before email, before Skyping and LONG before cell phones. She remembered that they had never found his cell phone…that day. Who knew that he had treasured those letters for years… They brought back such wonderful memories…

There was the pipe she had found buried in his dresser two weeks….after… She remembered the first time she had realized he enjoyed a pipe, and how embarrassed and worried he had been at her discovery. They had been married for less than twenty-four hours, and she caught him on the balcony to their hotel room, long after he thought she was sound asleep. Strangely, because she had never slept beside a man before, her heart missed him when she rolled over and realized there was a void. Oh how he had stammered and stumbled for the words, only to realize that she wasn't mad. He had swept her up in his arms, and carried her off the patio quickly retracing her steps back to bed. She remembered how sweet he smelled that time, how tender that moment with him had been. That was a memory that would last a long long time…

There was the baby blanket she had found in his things in the garage one month…after. It had been hand crocheted by her dear mother-in-law when she had found out she was pregnant the first time. Little did they know then that children just weren't meant to be in their future, although they tried many times after that first failed attempt. She learned not to tell people if she didn't make it past her first trimester, so most people never knew just how many times they had suffered that heartbreak. She used to let herself imagine the blonde hair that any child of theirs would surely have. The blonde hair that always seemed to have a curly mind of its own. The blonde hair that felt like silk when she entwined it in her fingers. The blonde hair that had been covered in blood when she saw him that fateful day. She imagined them with sparkling blue eyes they would most definitely be blessed with. The eyes that could capture the heart of anyone, make them feel safe, secure, and protected. The eyes that expressed love in depths she had never known possible. The eyes that cried in pain with her each and every time they had gotten the bad news. The eyes that would never look at hers again. That was a painful memory…

There were the plane tickets she found out about two months…after… The travel agency had called looking for him. At first the sweet perky agent on the other end didn't want to disclose why she was calling. Apparently Conrad had booked a surprise romantic week away for their twentieth anniversary. The poor young lady was as much of a mess as Kim was when she had to tell her what had happened…

How do you explain to a complete stranger just what happened? She tried to put into words how he had heard someone screaming in obvious terror and pain the night they had ventured downtown to celebrate his promotion. She sobbed remembering how he had jumped out of the car and down the side street without a second thought. Her voice trembled as she remembered hearing the shots…

And then time seemed to stop for a moment.. The seconds ticked by so slowly in her mind. A replaying of the events, like some horrible B movie that got dumped to the floor.

Tick…She had run screaming with all her might, as if the mere volume of the sound would stop the bleeding..

Tick…She had raced hoping that the quick pounding of her feet would help his heart continue to beat.

Tick…her heart knew, before she even reached his side that he was gone.

Tick…the crowds gathered as she rocked his lifeless body in her lap, not caring that her beautiful dress was stained beyond repair.

Tick…She didn’t remember much after that…

Those were the ticking memories she wanted to forget…

A tear slowly rolled down her cheek, as she boxed up what she hoped would be the last of his things.

People said she would forget, that time would heal, and that she would find happiness again. She couldn’t imagine her life without him. Twenty years seemed like mere moments. Taking the pipe out of the box, she sat it on her dresser. Some things were meant to be more than memories…

If this story touches you in any way, good or bad, please feel free to comment below. Your comments inspire me, encourage me, or help me to see the error of my ways and are always welcomed!

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    • April Reynolds profile image

      April Reynolds 5 years ago from Arizona

      very touching, I could feel her pain. I'm sitting here crying like a baby! Loved it.

    • bewhary profile image
      Author

      Bobbi 5 years ago from Mechanicsburg, PA

      Thank you April.. I am SO glad you like it!

    • profile image

      Kara 5 years ago

      Another great one, Bobbi. Very touching!

    • bewhary profile image
      Author

      Bobbi 5 years ago from Mechanicsburg, PA

      Thank you Kara... I love you!

    • Becky Katz profile image

      Becky Katz 5 years ago from Hereford, AZ

      Even at the end of a long life, we still feel this way about those we love. My sister and I went through my dad's things for our mom when he died. They had been together for 35 years. It wasn't easy for us either but it was better than it would have been for her. Very touching story. She will be finding things that bring back the memories for years.

    • bewhary profile image
      Author

      Bobbi 5 years ago from Mechanicsburg, PA

      Thank you for stopping by Becky! I value your input SO much!! I am so sorry about you dad.. I still have my parents, but can not imagine what will I will be like if something would happen to them! I am happy you were able to be there for your mom.. I am SURE she appreciated it..probably more than you will ever know.. HUGS!

    • profile image

      MESunkel 5 years ago

      Bobbi, this is a wonderful story! Your writing skills are excellent - a touching story written with love and compassion.

    • profile image

      Ghaelach 5 years ago

      Hi bewhary.

      An awesome story, very sad and very touching. There are no answers so often.

      Your story is so real and more than likely has happened somewhere.

      Take care.

      LOL Ghaelach

    • bewhary profile image
      Author

      Bobbi 5 years ago from Mechanicsburg, PA

      Thank you MaryEdna! You make me smile...and bless me with your presence!

    • bewhary profile image
      Author

      Bobbi 5 years ago from Mechanicsburg, PA

      Ghaelach - Thank you so much for visiting! I am so honored! Thank you too for your kind words of encouragement.. I truly appreciate them! HUGS!

    • BlossomSB profile image

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 5 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      Great story, you got the atmosphere so well. Help! Where are those tissues?

    • bewhary profile image
      Author

      Bobbi 5 years ago from Mechanicsburg, PA

      Thank you for stopping by and offering such kind words of encouragement Blossom! I am humbled by your presence! THANK YOU!

    • weestro profile image

      Pete Fanning 5 years ago from Virginia

      Wow, I really enjoyed this...as sad as it is, I didn't want it to end! Voted up and awesome!

    • bewhary profile image
      Author

      Bobbi 5 years ago from Mechanicsburg, PA

      Thank you weestro!! It is sad.. for some reason I felt a compelling to write it - and it came to me like the ticks I described.. it was very weird, and written very fast.. I am so glad you enjoyed it, although I didn't mean to make you sad! smiles

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