Happy Anniversary

They had been driving for a couple of hours. The radio was on, tuned into the local station and the interstate had been left behind half an hour ago. They were now bumping along on little more than a well-kept track, which should see them at their destination in six or seven minutes. Tony tried to remember when they had been here last - must be three or more years ago. They had spent a lot of anniversaries up here once the kids had grown old enough to be left on their own, monitored by the neighbors next door. It was an opportunity to relive and remember the first ever time they had spent the night together as twenty somethings in Tony’s grandfathers old log cabin. Most would probably have abandoned it after the old man died. Nobody would buy it, that was for sure, and little had been done to change or improve it over the years, but that’s the way that Tony wanted it. He paid a local woman to come in every few weeks to check on the place, light a fire in the winter to keep the damp out, clean the cobwebs away and check that the one modern convenience –an outside toilet, still flushed and had water flowing into it. Peace and tranquillity were guaranteed when they stayed there. There were no neighbors, postmen, passing traffic, TV or phones; nothing but nature in its various guises, all the way from beauty to destruction; but the cabin had survived through it all, still going strong a hundred years later.

It had been a long three years. Three years that Tony hoped he would never have to endure again. The pain still hadn’t gone and most likely wouldn’t ever go. He looked across at Jenny, her legs curled up on the seat, staring out the passenger window at the breath taking untamed scenery which had appeared as soon as they started to wind their way up and around the mountain, the sheer drop below them increasing with every metre they climbed. She used to be terrified of them hurtling to their death, forced off the road by some demented lunatic like you would see on a horror film, despite them never having seen a vehicle up here before. Tony could see a tear in the corner of her eye and he wiped it gently with one of his fingers.

“Are you okay Jen”? he asked “We can go back if you want”.

She turned her head and smiled delicately. “No. I don’t want us to change our plans. I’ll be fine, promise”. She turned to look out the window again, dabbing her eyes with a tissue.

Tony was used to seeing his wife crying; he often did so himself, something that had become a fact of life for them following the murder of their oldest son, Daniel. Only eighteen, minding his own business by all accounts, hit in crossfire from a drug dealing gang members drive by shooting. Of all the people in that street at five pm on a Friday evening, only Daniel was struck, and so severely he died instantly. How can that be?

Tony had asked himself the question a million times, and others like it. How can an innocent boy leaving a library after studying be shot dead? If he had left ten seconds earlier or ten seconds later he’d still be with them today. How can someone so young and so beautiful in so many different ways, have such bad luck? Tony felt himself welling up. He gritted his teeth, took a deep breath and stopped this train of thought. He didn’t want to be upset in front of Jenny and cause her any more stress. Tony looked across at her again. The recent years had taken their toll on her, on both of them. She had aged more in three years than in the previous fifteen. It was amazing they were still a couple. If it hadn’t been for the other kids, perhaps they wouldn’t. Through all the guilt and anguish, tears and tantrums, anti-depressants and sleeping tablets, they still had to care for Daniel’s younger siblings, the only thing that kept Tony and Jenny human and probably kept them together, although it was touch and go on many occasions. Tony would never have walked out. What would be the point living with all that pain on his own; but there were other ways out, which he had often considered.

About me

This is me: home-writer, book-reader, dog-lover and occasional poet. I make this website to share my and my friends texts with You, dear Reader. Please: read carefully, don't be scary, upgrade your mood and be king and leave your comment. :)