One Final Time


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As I scraped the remnants of the powdery substance across the table top the squeaking noise invaded my calm and crawled rapidly up my spine. The substance took the shape of a line on its own accord or so I convinced myself. Just as the straw found its way to the dining room without prompting.

Hesitant at first, of dividing the grayish powder into perfectly equal piles, it had become a series of robotic movements. Divide, scoop, weigh, take note; divide, scoop, weigh, take note. The monotony cancelled out the emotion with only my own heartbeat arguing otherwise.

The disconnect failed when at last there in front of me lay eight perfectly flattened, air-tight plastic baggies. The result stared me down as an unprecedented November sunbeam cut a channel across the table. Revealed were years of faded nicks and scratches in the glass capturing the dust and revealing my handiwork.

Ah, November. The month of the dead;  mois des morts. The month of remembrance. It did not surprise me that I ended up taking on this mission today of all days. It was really very fitting. Eleven o’clock on the eleventh day of the eleventh month. To me another reminder to bury my sorrow, encircle my memories in stone to visit fleetingly from time to time and to go back to wearing my favourite colours of the desert. Or maybe jewel tones, since time has now has gifted me with silver locks. To stop wearing the black my mother loathed.  Time to move on from almost eight years of black days and restless nights.

The short straw in my hand was a testament to my biggest weakness – my heart’s one and only desire for Luis to come back and be a part of me; inside and sharing intimacy one final time.

The packages and single line continued to stare at me; penetrating and rattling my composure. Seven of them were destined to line the bottom of my suitcase with one slotted to be left behind, tucked into a safe place, awaiting my return. A morbid undertaking and an act of pure love. An oxymoron, just like me.

Deep in my heart, I knew it was time to let go. Luis’s ashes were destined for the proverbial seven seas the moment I laid eyes on his twisted body. As a professor and a philosopher, he would sure to be charmed by the concept. As an artist inspired and as a man, my lover would be touched. Nostalgia almost always moved him to tears. Luis’s tears were so very different to my own. He had the appearance of merely weeping gently, when in fact his heart and soul were reeling. His range of emotions were mine alone to recognise.

Nostalgic, yes. Travelling the seven seas, post mortem. Re-visiting our beloved and favourite shores. Swimming together freely as we say our poignant goodbyes. Luis would be set free to mingle with his first love. The seas and oceans in depth and glory and magnitude. Water was the only suitable resting ground for him because the ocean never rests.

I placed the straw against the glass, satiated by my plans and prepared myself for finality. I lined up with the edge of the residue and took a deep breath, clutching Luis’s love as he entered me at last, one final time.

*This short is a product of a timed free write. It is quite amazing to me what comes forth once that timer is activated.

Lesley Fletcher is a writer (freelance, books, content, lyrics,stage plays) as well as a visual artist specializing in monoprints. To learn more about her please visit the tabs here on WordPress, her website at or Amazon Author Page