The Long Ride

(Again I attended my writing group on Wed. and the following little story that was written in ten minutes brought one of the members to tears when read back. Please remember when reading the story was written in ten minutes and remains unedited in any way.)

Prompt:
You’re the only person on a streetcar

3 am, the streetcar rolls along the tracks that stretch out across the city like the tracks on a Junkie’s arms. It’s been a rough couple of days without sleep and it’s hard to keep my eyes open. I begin to nod, but I fight it. I can’t miss my stop. She needs me and I promised I would always be there for her.

The motion of the streetcar rocks me in my seat like a baby in the crook of mother’s arm. I fight off the fatigue and wipe my eyes in an effort to stay awake. Just a few more stops to go.

I open the window as wide as it will open so the cool nighttime air will waken me. It only opens a mere crack, hardly enough to refresh me. I begin to fidget in my seat hoping the activity will keep me awake. Just three more stops to go.

She had been ill for quite some time, but took a turn for the worse this last week. She lost her ability to rise out of bed. We all knew that this day was coming, but it all progressed so quickly. None of us were ready.

She told me about the diagnosis a couple of weeks ago and asked me if I would aid and comfort her in her final hours and as much as it pained me I agreed. We may no longer be married, but I understand that there is a level of comfort between us that makes me the ideal candidate to be her care giver in her final hours to give her the dignity she deserves in life and in dying.

My stop is next. I get off the streetcar and walk down the empty street to the house we once shared.

T J Therien

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