It’s been a long time. 55 years. But I remember that day as if it was yesterday.
I had woken early and since the weather was warmer, I put on my slippers and strolled outside with my tea to watch the sunrise. Birds were singing, and I had an open view across the fields. A few clouds stitched the sky into a golden tapestry, making it appear all the more awesome and special, as if heralding a brand new and beautiful day. I was grateful for these few moments of peace, all to myself. I wondered where he was, what he was doing now, and whether he was watching the same sunrise.
As I turned back towards the house, normality returned. I could hear the hum of traffic far away, which would grow louder as the day progressed. Upstairs an alarm was abruptly turned off and the radio blared the latest news. I quickly washed, dressed and grabbed my lunch from the kitchen. As I slammed the front door and ran down the path, I could hear a neighbor brushing their teeth. I started my familiar walk to the station.
It was just a normal day at work aside from the fact that I had arrived a half hour early. That hadn’t felt quite right. Fewer people on the train. Different people who I had never seen before. Arriving before Miss Jones. That was definitely a first. But it gave me a chance to catch up, and by lunchtime everything was back to normal. I met up with Jean and we sat in the park to eat our lunch. Girl talk and giggling about her American pilot.
The afternoon in the typing pool was uneventful, except for a visit from a lady-bird, who came to inspect my typewriter. At first I thought it was a drop of blood, until it spread its wings and changed position, perching itself atop my left hand ribbon. It would not be deterred, even by my confident and forceful carriage returns. When it was time to go home, I picked it up and placed it gently on my lapel, but by the time I got on the train, it had flown away.
On the walk home from the station, the sun was setting. The sky was peppered with grey clouds, and the salmon-pink sun was moody and sad as it sunk behind the outline of the trees. The gate squeaked its complaining squeak as usual, announcing my arrival and bringing Mum out to greet me.
I knew as soon as I saw her face.
He was gone.