Picture it and write: How Much

by joetwo

Hello there! This is my offering for this weeks picture it and write by Ermilia’s Blog here. Once again, the picture is not mine, it is only for inspiration. If you like this story or any story on my blog then feel free to make it your selection for my new book of poetry and stories. I want my readers to do the selecting and give a few words about why they like them. It’s an ego thing. More details are here. Anyway, Enjoy!

How Much

“How much will you miss me?” That last question came suddenly, as if out of the blue. I was still reeling from what she had told me. A year is a long time for a six year old, I had only known her a year. We had the whole of Junior Infants and a gloriously long summer together. Now she was going, that very Friday. I had no idea what a placement was or why it was temporary. I just knew she was going. We were sitting on the dock, her red hair flowing over the wooden boards, throwing stones and watching the ripples. She lifted her head and looked at me, expecting a response. “I will miss you a lot!” I said, “You are my best friend. You are fun to be around. I always have a good time with you. I will miss you loads!” She jumped on me, giving me a great bear-hug. “Good answer!” She squealed, “I will miss you loads too!”

“How much do you like me?” I had dreaded that question. We had known each other since we were children. Been as inseparable as any friends could be. But lately things had started to change. At thirteen I was beginning to notice different things about her, things I couldn’t believe I had missed before. It didn’t help that she had taken to wearing dresses during that summer, dresses that showed far too much for me to cope with. I had been struggling to think of something to say for a while now, afraid that I would ruin what we had. But I was on the spot now and I had to speak. I went through everything I had practised. “I, I , I,  think you’re cool! I think you’re smart and, and, funny! I really like you, a lot!” She smiled, grabbed my hand, and gave me a kiss, short but sweet, on the lips. When I opened my eyes. She was staring right at me, grinning like a maniac. I felt my face redden too. I needn’t have worried. It was a good answer.

“How much do you love me?” She said it softly, her hand caressing my back underneath the silken sheets. We had just made love and were enjoying the feel and scent of each other. It was a perfect moment, A wonderful end to a graduation day. “I love you more than life itself.” I said “You are the woman that I have been searching for my entire life, I feel blessed that I found you so early. You are my soul-mate, you make me whole, complete me. No words can describe how much you mean to me and how much I love you!” He felt her arms pull tighter around him, pulling him closer. She sighed contentedly, it was a good answer. I remembered my tuxedo. The small box in the inside pocket. I was waiting for the perfect moment to ask her. I decided to do it then.

“How much do you hate me?” She said through sobs and tears. The obstetrician had just stepped out, giving us time to digest the news. I held her hand, tightly. “I do not hate you!” I said through my own  tears “You are my wife and I love you. You have given me a daughter and a son who I love dearly. This, This just happened. It was no one’s fault. I do not hate you, I cannot hate you. You mean too much to me!” She pulled my hand up to her face and kissed it, her tears dripping onto my skin. It was a good answer, it was all I could say. I didn’t move or say anything else. I just sat there, helping her in grief.

“How much do you care for me?” I looked at her over the rim of my glasses. She looked as good as she did when I married here, even with a little grey. I couldn’t believe that it had been twenty five years. We were setting out decorations for our anniversary party. Geoff, our oldest, had just gone out to get some more snacks and we were awaiting the arrival of Sam, our daughter. Sam said she had an announcement for us. We had already kind of figured it out but we kept silent so as not to ruin the surprise. I sweeped her up in my arms and said “I care for you more than anything else. You are my wife and the mother of my children. We have had good times and bad times but I wouldn’t trade a single moment of it. I love you, more than I ever have!” She looked at me, smiling, “Good answer!” she said and gave me a pick on the cheek. She then walked back to the table, doing that thing with her hips that still made by blood run red! “She’s still got it” I thought.

“How much will you miss me?” She said it frailly, barely audible over the noises of the hospital. I held her hand, gently so as not to do damage. She had been getting so weak. I leaned in close and said softly “I will miss you more than anything I have ever missed before. You completed me and without you I am only half of what I was. We have known each other our entire lives and have shared everything. I will be lost without you but I know that we will see each other again.” I then remembered a little piece of our childhood and finished with “I’ll miss you loads!” I waited for her to say something else but there was nothing, not even the sound of her breath. I held her hand, waiting, until the day turned to night and her hand felt cold. I never knew if it was a good answer.