A friend put forth a creativity prompt in the form of a single word – ‘Intertwined.’ This is my response:
Ginny stumbled a little as her heart missed a beat. She leaned on the counter, the bowl she had been washing hanging limply from her hands. It didn’t happen as often now as it had when Bob first died. After a moment she was fine.
She rinsed the bowl and turned, habitually, her body performing a ritual worn into her very bones by fifty-nine years of repetition. But Bob was not there to take the bowl from her. She chided herself and placed it in the new dish rack beside the sink.
She picked up the towel and paused. She clasped it in her hands and let her fingers run over the threads. How many times had Bob held that same towel as they stood here together in their kitchen; she washing, he drying. Holding it now was like holding his hand again, the patterns of his skin worn into the fabric by years of contact. She placed her palm against the towel and closed her eyes. For a moment she felt whole again; felt Bob standing next to her, his presence filling the empty space. Then it was gone, she was alone.
She sighed wearily as the evening darkened around her and shuffled to her chair in the next room.
She sat as she had every night for decades, reading. Occasionally she spoke out loud – sharing a passage she thought Bob might appreciate or voicing her opinion on the story. But there was no response. No distracted murmur. No heartbeat echoing her own. Just the dead silence of an empty room.
She closed her book and leaned back in her chair. It had been too many years since she knew where Bob ended and she began. She felt full of holes without him. Pieces of her were crumbling without the support of his presence.
She knew that life would go on, that her heart would find its own rhythm, that she would find new meaning in her days. She knew that it would never be the same again.