The Alley Nook – A Short Story

It is amazing how much a few short years can diverge you from a path that once seemed so destined. After so much time I was back in the same town that had changed my life so long ago.

I used to take this alley home from work everyday.

The smell of garbage still filled the front entrance. Its over powering stench had not changed.

I walked further, in the same footsteps where I had walked once before. Over the musty old hill I found the place of peace I used to share with the love of my life just years before. The small little nook in the wall was still as we had left it. I stepped upon the old concrete steps as though I was stepping into the past.

Streams of memories engulfed my mind, as I looked over this place in present time.

It was nothing special, an old stone stairwell set back in an alley. Large green vines, battling against the elements to stay alive, still covered the outer wall. The stairs were made of stone and were now worn and covered in soot. Tiny pieces of cement were beginning to loosen themselves from the concrete slabs where he and I used to sit.

Just above the steps was a small wooden door that always raised a question in my mind. I had never seen anyone enter or exit through this door, yet it always contained so much life. The vines had moved there way up the fragile wood and walls. The place really hadn’t changed much except for the love that we shared within it.

Staring there now, I could almost visualized the two of us so long ago. We were so in love.

He always used to tell me, “Our love keeps these flowers alive, and where there is no love there is no life.” He always had a way with words and a way of making me feel them so intently.

We would make our getaway at least once a week and journey down to this little nook in the wall. It is strange how much power a place can have over you even after several years of not giving it a thought.

The breeze was cold as it hit the back of my neck, making the hairs stand up on end.

I closed my eyes for a moment, taking in the fresh smell of dirt and grim and the immense feeling of heartbreak. So long ago we shared this place full of beauty and life and now it is all I have left to remember the man who swept me off my feet. He has been gone three years now but somehow I can still feel him near me. I can almost hear his voice calling me to come home.

Its amazing how much nature can stand still, preserving memories in the beauty of its environment.

Taking one last breath, I stood up and began to detach myself from the emotional memories that were beginning to flurry in. As I took one last moment to remember the feeling of love and the overwhelming power of pain, a small red flower caught my eye. It was growing on the vines that had engulfed the door behind me.

One single flower, its leaves ripped and petals worn and bruised. I picked it up gently and placed it in my bag.

Looking up at the sky, all I could think to say was “good night sweetheart”


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