What Is Going On?
What Is Going On? bittersweet stories
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aknier
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I wake up on what seems to be a normal day

What Is Going On?

I wake up on what seems to be a normal day

My husband is in bed beside me, snoring lightly

I'm surprised, though, by how late it is.

He's never still asleep at noon

(even if I often was)

I try to shake him awake, but he doesn't seem to feel me, so I tiptoe into the kitchen

There sit several huge baskets of flowers I'd never seen before

As I peek into the fridge, I see it's full of casseroles and cakes

What is going on?

In the living rooms, the drapes are drawn, and a huge cardboard box sits in the middle of the rug, untouched

I'm about to open it when I hear my husband start to stir, so I run back to the bedroom

When he opens his eyes, they're red and bloodshot

He has dark, tired circles under his eyes

But he slept till noon!

"Are you alright, my love?" I ask

He doesn't answer me, shuffling to the bathroom instead

Well, maybe he's still waking up.

I sit on the edge of the bed, waiting for him to come back

When he finally does, however, he just brushes past me into the kitchen.

"Baby, is something wrong?" I ask

I'm very unsettled at this point

We hadn't fought the night before, had we?

No, I was quite sure we'd had a lovely night

As I'm thinking this, something catches my eye

The calander

This can't be right

Yesterday was Saturday, the 10th

The calendar says its the 20th

What is going on?

My husband turns on the coffee pot, the water dripping

He mustn't be mad at me,

because he doesn't like coffee

He is making it for me

I smile, and hug him from behind

He doesn't seem to notice, instead grabbing the orange juice from the fridge

"You're quiet today" I say

And he doesn't even nod in response

All of a sudden, he seems to snap out of the haze he was in

He stares at the coffee pot that's slowly dripping

And all of a sudden, he begins to sob

At this point, I'm completely confused

What's wrong?

Is he okay?

What is going on?

I sit by his side, rubbing his back gently, and his sobs slowly quiet

Eventually, he's able to raise his head from the table

But instead of looking at me, he picks up a photograph from off the table

It's a picture of us, on our wedding day

We're standing under a sign that says "Josh and Aiden Forever"

He strokes the picture, running his finger along the side of my face

"Baby, why are you looking at that? I'm right here!" I say

But suddenly, I'm unsure

I look at the flowers, the cards all around

And I see one that's sitting on top of the rest

On the front, it says "The loss of someone we love is the hardest thing we can go through"

All of the cards have some variant of that statement

But there's no time to ponder them, because now my husband is leaving the room

He goes into the living room, where the mysterious box was

Taking his pocket knife from his belt, he slices open the box

Inside, is a tall, curved vase

As he turns it around, I realize it has an inscription

And I watch as my husband's tears land on the urn that reads,

"Josh Weston, March 6th, 1995-April 10, 2018. Friend, son, and the best husband the world has ever known."

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