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The Face Behind The Net Curtain

Tags: alone

Behind her faded net curtains, she indulges herself by watching her neighbors pass by. The lineaments of her face are partially hidden. She stands in her "slightly untidy" living room, which affords her a better view of the street. Faded family photographs, placed in a neat row, smile at her from their ornate frames. She dusts them dutifully every morning, "Just in case someone visits."

The hands of her grandfather clock tick-tock monotonously. He strikes each hour like a hammer in her head. Each hour passes much like the others during her lonely day.

The morning sunlight reflects the color of auburn: Still visible in her gray hair.

Sixty years ago this very day, she walked down the aisle, a beautiful young bride, her hair adorned with a wreath of orange-blossom.

In contrast, far too soon, she walked down the same aisle, wearing a veil of black. No one would ever realize her anguish upon receiving the telegram informing her of her young husband's death. She was three months pregnant at the time.

She never remarried. Tom had been her childhood sweetheart.

Henceforth she gave birth to a son, working "all the hours God sends" to provide him with a good education.

She felt so proud when Peter eventually left the university to become a teacher. In brief, two years later, he emigrated to Australia. Her heart broke on the day he left, thirty years ago next month.

So, there she stands behind the net curtains... Maybe one day, he would walk down the garden path.

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