Pause for Thought – Friday Fictioneers, January 2020

As she kneels amongst the shattered plant-pots, cradling his grizzled head in her hands, she realises she can’t remember when they last touched each other.

Distant sirens herald the approaching ambulance.

“Hang on, Joseph.”

Later, much later, she climbs into his bed in the room next to hers, wondering when they opted for separate beds, then separate rooms.  She pulls his quilt around her, inhaling his familiar muskiness, wondering whether he was ever lonely in here.

Would he have said?

She’s puzzled that she doesn’t know.

And wonders whether she may be given a chance to find out.


This week’s picture from J R Hardy reminded me of a conservatory.  It also reminded me of Stephen King’s Dome, but I decided not to go there.  Thanks to Rochelle for her leadership of Friday Fictioneers.


About Sandra

I used to cruise the French waterways with my husband four or five months a year, and wrote fiction and poetry. Now I live on the beautiful Dorset coast, enjoying the luxury of being able to have a cat, cultivating an extensive garden and getting involved in the community. I still write fiction, but only when the spirit moves me - which isn't as often as before. I love animals, F1 motor racing, French bread and my husband, though not necessarily in that order.
This entry was posted in Friday Fictioneers, Just Sayin' and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

59 Responses to Pause for Thought – Friday Fictioneers, January 2020

  1. Iain Kelly says:

    I hope she gets the chance. A shame it takes such a thing to remind us of what matters to us. Tenderly written.


  2. pennygadd51 says:

    Your story is a wonderfully nuanced way of questioning the love between the couple. I hope your MC has a chance to find out her husband’s feelings, and to rebuild the physical affection between them. It’s so important and so valuable.


  3. Dear Sandra,

    For some of us there’s a lot of truth in this. Touching story in your excellent style.




  4. neilmacdon says:

    Brilliantly done, Sandra. You paint a picture of love, real love, that has become taken for granted


  5. Such yearning and sadness in this piece. Well done.


  6. Tannille says:

    Regret is probably the most awful of emotions, they are a result of one’s actions (or lack of). Pain and anger in contrast are usually out of our control.


  7. ceayr says:

    Jings, Sandra, this reminded me of Billie Holiday’s Gloomy Sunday, also known as the Suicide Song.
    Beautifully told, of course, but a bit light on laughs!


  8. Will they have the chance to put things right, or has the realisation come too late? A beautifully written piece once again Sandra.


  9. Dale says:

    This was so beautifully written, Sandra. You do have a gift for bringing us into a story. And this one is so real…


  10. granonine says:

    Sandra, I found this to be warmly touching and realistic. Terry and I have joined the ranks of the elderly who simply can’t find restful sleep in the same bed. I remember when we couldn’t WAIT to spend all our nights in the same bed! Life changes, but we don’t have to let everything change.

    I think we’ll at least start the night in the same bed tonight 🙂


    • Sandra says:

      I know what you mean. My husband seemed to be unreasonably grumpy about my turning the television on at 3am, or working on my laptop/tab alongside him. And that’s before we start apportioning blame for snoring…

      Liked by 2 people

  11. Nobbinmaug says:

    This is a chilling reminder of how easily the thing we take for granted can be taken away from us.


  12. msjadeli says:

    Sandra, your story is touching. Too often these things are realized only when it’s too late.


  13. oneta hayes says:

    A touching and realistic depiction of tragic loss.


  14. michael1148humphris says:

    A great story, a lovely use of the prompt.


  15. Russell says:

    Hopefully she’ll have her chance. Very well written!


  16. draliman says:

    Such realisation hits when it may be too late to change things. Nice one!


  17. bearmkwa says:

    Good one, brought tears.


  18. GHLearner says:

    Taking things for granted for too long, letting themselves drift apart… I hope she has a chance to find out.


  19. Liz Young says:

    A tender story – not all marriages are made in heaven, but she obviously still loves him.


  20. Very tenderly told…a tale of regret that could still turn around…such beautiful writing Sandra


  21. plaridel says:

    i think it’s time to press reset button in their relationship. it maybe tough but it’s worth the effort.


  22. kristianw84 says:

    I agree with everyone else, this is a brilliant piece of short fiction! A raw and unadulterated look at love.


  23. Lynn Love says:

    Totally crushing, Sandra. You tell us a story of decades of growing apart, of a developing coldness that neither of them thought much of until it was almost too late. Heartbreaking, truly. Wonderful story


  24. 4963andypop says:

    What a perfectly poignant first sentence. The shattered pots indicate a fall, although a murder mystery could begin the same…

    From such a sad beginning you have wrung out more than a drop of hope, and I expect there will be many more years of happiness for this couple, if the woman gets her way. And I expect she will.


  25. James McEwan says:

    Yes, I can see how they grew physically apart, yet emotionally she was always there.


  26. I found your story emotionally powerful. You evoke so much emotional distance obliquely, in a wonderfully written story.


  27. I wonder if it’s all too late. Drifting apart to a point when there is no way back… and maybe just for the comfort of not hearing him snoring.


  28. Powerful story. It really touches a cord.


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