The Slippers

One Word prompt: slippers

She walked into the house and went straight back to the bedroom.  She was beyond tired.  People had been so nice.  The service was nice. Everything was so damn nice she wanted to scream or slap somebody.  The fridge was full of food.  She would be trying to decide if she wanted chicken or ham for supper for the next week.  There were pies and cakes and jello molds.  A neighbor had brought the potted plants home and set them on the driveway next to the porch door for her.  She would find somewhere to put them.  She never could stand waste.  Was that a noise? Something ticking?

Maybe…maybe she could stand it a little bit right now.  She really could care less about the stupid plants. There was a little bit of mad filling up her throat but it got tamped down again by the numbing sadness.  Did she hear something?

What was it all for?  She had scrimped and saved.  The kids were grown.  They should be traveling, enjoying life now.  She had tried to get him to watch his diet, take better care of himself.  He worried about every little thing that happened.  He worried and ate and ate and worried until his heart just exploded.  Now what would she do.  Nothing she could do except write thank you cards and pay the funeral home.  There was some business to take care of. Notifications to make.  Loose ends to tie up.  There.  She heard it again.  She was sure it was something ticking.

She sat on the edge of the bed and slipped off her shoes.  She reached for her slippers and there, under the edge of the bed, she saw them.  Right next to her pink fluffy house shoes.  They were worn out.  The leather was soft and the inside was lined with red plaid flannel.    She put her head in her hands and wept.

4 thoughts on “The Slippers

  1. paschal

    I hope she put them on. I love how they match his condition in the end, and I love this sentence: He worried and ate and ate and worried until his heart just exploded. It reminded me of when my younger brother died almost thirty years ago and how the loss really doesn’t begin to set in until all the “stuff” is over, the family and friends have gone home, and finally, it’s quiet enough to hear the ticking of the rest of the story.

  2. Bernard S. Jansen

    I really hate to admit it, but I just don’t “get” the end. The ticking, the slippers. Because I didn’t get it, I was dissapointed with the end. I’d been working up to the end, and was confused. Oh well.

  3. Dee Post author

    When you have been married for a very long time, you become accustomed to the noise of another person in the house. You know the sound of their chair as it creaks, the sound of the refrigerator door as they go for a snack, them calling from another room or putsing about in the garage. The silence of knowing those sounds are not only not there but will never be there again is a different level of silence. There is the noise of people coming and all the mundane things that need to be taken care of and then all of a sudden, nothing. Then is the time to feel the loss. However, the need to explain means I didn’t do my job.

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