A Short Story


She dressed this morning as she normally dressed – tastefully.

25 degrees outside, she decided upon black suede ankle boots, with black stockings for warmth. She wore dresses for the most part, and the cold outside wouldn’t deter her affinity toward them today.

A black wool dress, with a thin strand of lavender colored silk around the waist was chosen. Pearl earrings and an understated pearl necklace finished off choices of her attire.

She donned her heavy wool winter coat in the entryway of her townhome.  A speckled black and grey coat, with a military style collar. She then reached for a scarf to wrap around her neck – a cashmere scarf of black, gray, and a bit of rose colored throughout.

She checked herself in the mirror before leaving.  The slightly upturned nose that she wasn’t fond of, the bright green eyes, her long, dark red hair, with loose curls beyond her shoulders, and those annoying dimples in her cheeks when she smiled – everything was as it always was, except the one item about her that was out of place – her health.

She arrived at the appointed time for more blood work to be done. She checked in, was told it would be a few minutes and sat down in the waiting room.

She couldn’t quite fathom why she was here…again. From all medical accounts, she was dying, given 6 months at best. 42 years old and this is what it had come to. But she kept on with it all, hoping for something.

Her mother, who passed away just a year ago, had always kept at her to believe in miracles. She no longer believed in miracles of any kind. Countless prayers unanswered, innumerable pleadings to the heavens that fell upon the deafness of eternity – she knew her time had come.

She looked at her hands – hands that once played the piano, fingers that glided over the keys effortlessly when she was in her early twenties – now, she had trouble with opening a jar of anything.

Her body hadn’t completely fallen apart. She still had her curves, still the long and shapely legs that her mother told her to show off before it was too late. Those words had been her constant companion for the past year…too late.

It wasn’t all bad, she thought.  I have no children, no husband and few relatives left to deal with my passing.  Just my Dad, who looks at me each time with the stare of eternity,  and I see him, thinking, good God, why?

Still, he holds onto me tighter with each visit.  He holds my hands longer, he cooks nutritious meals for me almost every night. And when I start from his door after leaving after dinner, I pause outside, and hear him crying behind the closed door.

Mom was always the stalwart who believed in God and eternity…Dad – dear, lovely Dad – he just believed in me, she thought, staring ahead of her at nothing in particular.

The young boy who was sitting across from her in the waiting area caught her attention. His Mom had gone back for blood work and he was left in the waiting area. He kept staring at her. It wasn’t a troublesome stare – just a stare of slight bewilderment.

“Momma always told me to keep treasures in my pockets,” he said as he slowly walked towards her. “I saw a tear coming from your eye.  You brushed it away, but I still saw it.”

Melissa self-consciously took her finger to wipe away the tear that had been wiped away a few moments ago.

“I have treasures, you know,” the young boy continued. “They’re here…in my pockets.”

The young boy reached into his front pants pockets, and with effort, brought forth pebbles – everyday, ordinary pebbles.

“The angels told me one day to put pebbles in my pockets. And that’s what I did – I took the treasures from the ground and put them in my pocket. They told me that one day I should give them away. So here,” he offered, with a pebble between his fingers.

Melissa opened her hand as the young boy dropped the pebble from angels into the palm of her hand.

“Maybe if you could…could you please bring it back to me when you and momma are better?”


Tonight’s musical offering:

Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 5 in E‑flat Major “Emperor”,  (2nd and 3rd movements) – Rosalía Gómez Lasheras

Photo by Michael Dziedzic on Unsplash


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