Blades of Grass – Short Story

He got a tingly sensation at the tips of his fingers, like when he would slide his hands through the blades of grass of the front lawn. He recalled the smell, the lovely scent of fresh-cut grass, the tickling of the blades as they gently touched the nape of his neck, back when he was nine years old.

The tingly sensation turned to hard needles pressed into his flesh. The nerve damage in his hand was getting worse and worse by the day, but the doctors said there was nothing they could do. The pain in his fingers from the hardship his body endured during his 36 years with the Chicago Fire Department is just something he will just have to deal with for the few years he has left. He doesn't expect to live too much longer. Honestly, he doesn't care for life anymore. He has lived out his youth, outlived his wife, and his kids were grown with lives of their own, he just wanted to go. But he couldn’t tell his daughters that.

Since his wife passed away five years ago, life had lost its purpose. When she was alive, he would wake up two hours before he had to be at work so he could take care of all his hygienic needs and then cook breakfast for the two of them. He would have waffles and she would have pancakes. He firmly believed that you could never trust someone who didn't like bacon, but when it came to his wife, he made an exception. Five years later, he still wakes up every morning and makes pancakes for her.

He now lives with his daughter, Sara. Although she was named after her mother, she bore no resemblance to her except for the strawberry blonde hair. Sara was incredibly intelligent with a great work ethic which led to her getting her law degree from Stanford. While his other children had kids of their own, Sara worked and didn't really have time for a husband or to have a family of her own. He really wanted Sara to slow down at work and get married. Having a family was the most rewarding thing he had done in his life and he wanted her to share that same joy. Unfortunately, they fought anytime he brought it up and he was beginning to think that if he were to get out of the way, Sara could start a family.

Every night, before he goes to bed, he reads twenty pages from his wife's book. She had only penned one novel in her lifetime, but he read it over and over. Once he would finish, he would start it over again the next night. Ever since she passed, this was his nightly routine. He wanted the last words that he read and heard to be those that came from the person he had fallen madly in love with.

As he finished his nightly twenty, he turned to the front of the book where his wife left him a note: "My handsome Tommy, I gave you my heart when we were just 24, for you to hold close in this life and the next." He then turned to the author's page on the back cover and kissed her picture before closing the book and placing it on the nightstand. He turned off his light and closed his eyes. He slowly felt the pain in his fingers melt away.

 

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