Who could imagine wedding plans exploding the good sense of this practical family, her father refused to wear his new Sunday suit, her niece wanted to steal the show—somersault down the aisle—her mother invited everyone she knew to just drop by.
So Mary said, "George, we're eloping. Tonight. Let's take the 6:58 to Reno, we'll be there by nine, married by eleven, start tomorrow as Mr. and Mrs."
Best decision they ever made.
Oh, she did love that man, fifty-three years seemed like fifty-three minutes. Isn't the quiet something awful? And the cold, so damn cold without him. Why does death seem to make even a closet of neatly hung clothes look abandoned? The old woman closes her eyes to rest in his favorite wing chair that imitates the comfort he gave her.
She dreams. Hums. Behind her, in the valet tray, his keys, change, frayed wallet holding that perennial token of his love, the fragile near-transparent blue ticket stub from that starlit bus trip long ago.
Diana Rosen's work has appeared in the anthologies Kiss Me Goodnight, Those Who Can...Teach, and Bold Ink plus the journals Lucidity, convolvulus and RATTLE, among others.