On The Fourteenth Day
by DewRina Lee
There was an audible thud of metal against wood, arousing my attention. Reflexively directing my eyes away from my alluring book, I clipped a gold star-shaped bookmark between the pages and quietly placed it on the polished coffee table, smoothing out the cover’s edges that never seem to settle down fully.
I held a steaming cup of black coffee in hand, leaving a perfect ring of water on the tabletop, and unfolded my legs. I passed a picture frame of my husband; his arm slung over my shoulder in delight as my finger trailed over the wooden framework instinctively and I tentatively continued on to peek around the corner. The mail-slot rubbed bronze from overuse swung aimlessly back and forth, hinges squeaking tirelessly. I stuck my finger out, stopping its progress and kneeling down to gather a lock.
The arrival was never late. Though I have yet to know the sender of these items. It couldn’t possibly be my husband; he has yet another week to come back from the Army.
Its elaborate design of curls and spirals has always seized to strike me with awe as I wrapped it firmly around my hands. Still warm.
I made my way to my backyard, bordered with endless forest-green trees. There, a laundry-line hung delicately between two sturdy ones like a hammock, gently persuaded by the wind. I clutched the swaying line, untying the knot on one end, and sliding the lock in securely, then binding it back again as it moved in its steady wave-like motion.
I slumped down on the grass, twirling it around like my own hair and gazing up at the collection of lockets as it clanked together like wind chimes.
Thirteen and counting…
Such a mystery, it was.
Another one? No…
But what’s this? A note instead?
The lip of the envelope opened easily, letter fluttering out onto the ground. It was pink, red lace wrapped around the border and white swirly letters popping out like a beacon.
I grasped the letter between my two fingers and a smile played on my lips when I read the contents. The door’s knob became unlocked at that precise moment, the door opening seamlessly, and a man stood mimicking the same exact facial expression. His clothes were a washed out color of green and brown with matching worn-out boots and a pack was casually slung over his shoulder. But his eyes were bright and his arms were wide open.
I embraced him, his heart pressed close to mine, pounding against each other as I smelled the years of wood and fire and gunpowder.
The letter quivered back to the ground mutely, reading:
The fourteenth heart is mine to give.
Pieces Inspired by this Image
'Chain of Hearts'