Arnie Schmidt had put off the chore as long as he could. His sweet wife, Casandra had been gone for over a year now. She had always been so afraid of breast cancer or an automobile accident ending her life but never something as small as a bacterium.
It happened so fast, from a perfectly healthy, vibrant lover of 35 years, to a cold body in a morgue in just under two weeks. Her doctor had thought it was just an allergy at first but by the time all the tests were run; it was too late to save her.
Arnie had been devastated and still was.
His grown children could do nothing to console him. Hell, they had lost their mother too, but at least they had their own mates to comfort them. They did not have to live in the house haunted with memories and fragrances. The odors were the worst. Open a closet and the little bags of herbs she spread throughout the house would assault his senses and it was as if she was there once again.
The Ladies from their church had come, taken away her clothes, the children had taken her jewelry, and as many mementoes as possible without stripping the house bare. But still her fragrances he tripped over would render him sobbing, curled into a ball like a frightened child.
He had finally decided the only way to aleveiate the problem was completely refurnish the house. He could not leave and sell the house because they had raised two children here. That was the spot over there where so many Christmas mornings were spent with excited children discovering what new treasures they had from Santa under the tree. Then there was the garage, where he had taught a son and daughter how to change a tire, and check their oil. The back yard play set that he hoped one day grandchildren would reanimate with squeals and laughter. No, he had too much here to leave the house, but hopefully removing all the furniture might allow him to go for more than a day without the weeping.
The men from the church arrived to pick up the furniture. She had spent so much time selecting each piece. She would only allow solid, quality pieces into her home. The couch she had re-upholstered herself, twice. The first time shortly after the kids got over that stage where they spilled drinks everywhere they told not to take them and the last time when she got a wild hair up her ass and just had to have everything in the same matching color of leather. That in its self had occupied her for over two years. The dressing table she had found at an estate sale and brought home all dilapidated, looking like a drag ass dog with its cracked varnish, and sticking drawers. She had taken over the garage for four months as she painstakingly stripped and refinished it herself until it glistened like a masterpiece. Then it was fit to reside in our bedroom.
After it had been removed Arnie noticed an envelope on the floor. Yellowed with age; nothing written on the outside. Then he recognized it. Early in their marriage they had played a game where they would leave notes for the other with role play scenarios they wished the other to play. So which one was this one? He took the envelope with him into the back yard and took a seat in the cast iron love seat under the tree he had planted the week after their first had been born. He opened the letter and began to read.
It was a glorious day. The air was fresh and warm, a perfect day for a motorcycle ride in the country. I love to ride the back roads and country lanes, all alone, little traffic, zipping up and down, or just puttering along enjoying the scenery. I love the feel of the throbbing engine between my legs, the vibrations varying with the engine speed. I love the wind on my body, stinging my nipples.
.... There is more of this story ...