Prompt Nov 24th – Thank You


“Thank you for coming” his voice was quieter than she remembered, almost a whisper. But she still caught the rawness that made her breath catch in her chest. She shivered. Pulling up the collar on her coat, she swallowed. The temperature dropped 10 degrees. She wasn’t even sure if the chill was real, she looked around, no one else seemed to notice. In the corner of her eye she glimpsed a child, not more than five or six, in the room opposite. Platinum tipped ringlets bounced loose on the little girls shoulder as she tapped a ball back and forth across the wall.  Sensing she was being watched the little girl stopped, looked up and smiled.  Jenny couldn’t help but smile back.

She watched, mesmerised as the child turned back and carried on playing. Time moved so fast, she thought, as she wiped at a silent tear trailing her cheek. She looked back across at him. His eyes didn’t quite catch hers. It was as if he was looking past her, through her even. She remembered a time when those eyes had reached to her very soul. Dazzling black orbs that darkened to such a sheen she would catch her own reflection looking back. She coughed.

“I had to, I wanted to say thank-you”

She thought she saw a familiar flicker in his cheek, but he didn’t speak. A subconscious awareness perhaps, but then the mask fell back into place and the moment was gone.

“Thank you for making me strong, for making me understand what real love is” she gulped trying to keep her voice even.

She’d spent so long rehearsing what she’d say she didn’t want to lose it now.  She took a deep breath.

“I’m grateful for every day we had, I’m grateful you gave me the strength to be more than I was”

She was sure the tic in his cheek seemed more prominent.

“Without you I wouldn’t know the joy of being alive, of waking each morning and smiling at what might come, or feeling the sun on my face or the rain on my fingers.”

She didn’t take a breath, she just wanted to get it out,

“I wouldn’t know what real passion felt like, or know the fear of burning from the heat when we made love. To cry tears of happiness at the smallest things or feel my heart burst when you cradled the children we made”

She stopped as the words caught in her throat. The tears burned at her eyes and she let them fall.

A noise at the door made her turn.

“It’s time, Mum” her daughter gestured towards the Doctor standing to the side.

“No, no, he spoke, I heard him” her eyes filled with pleading as she looked across at her husband lying still in the bed.

“Mum, he’s gone, let them turn the machine off, let him go”

Jenny hesitated for a moment then looked up and slowly nodded.

“Thank you, my love” she whispered,  as the noise of the flat line filled the cold sterile air.

About helenmidgley

Helen Midgley likes to think of herself as a cross between Dawn French and Kate Moss. She has been in the witness protection programme for a number of years and once lived in Brighton as a bearded mechanic called Dave! Her current incarnation is as a part-time Journalism & Media tutor at a small FE College in Yorkshire. She has survived cancer, dandruff and athlete’s foot and has a penchant for black humour and red wine.

23 comments on “Prompt Nov 24th – Thank You

  1. Reblogged this on helen midgley and commented:

    Written for the last prompt for a while on The Community Storyboard. This is the last prompt on the storyboard until it’s re-launched into something even more fabulous. Take a look over at the brilliantly creative contributions that have made it such a great community.

  2. This was lovely and made me tear up a bit

  3. Helen,

    It’s not just the subject matter — your writing is some of the best, most genuine writing I’ve encountered, and any time you pop up on my reader I’m delighted. You don’t over-write with purple prose, but nor does your scene ever feel empty. I love your perspective on things, and how you leave the reader enough mystery to keep them reading to find out exactly what is going on here. Even though I caught on that somehow death was involved in this story, I didn’t know how until you made your reveal. So well done, darling.

  4. You spin a good yarn, Helen. This was really touching.

  5. Wow Helena Hann-Basquiat’s words are echoed here. I could not have said it better. Your faithful contributions to the storyboard have not gone unnoticed and your beautiful writing style and content could sell volumes. You already know I am a faithful and devoted fan. Keep writing 🙂

  6. This is wonderful, Helen. I can’t top Helena’s comments … just reread hers and know that I share her enthusiasm for your writing 🙂

  7. this is a heart breaker. if i could define the work bittersweet and heartbreaking, this piece would be it. Lovely – Helen you have managed to tug at my heart strings with this one. xx

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