Marie stirred from her sleep. Groggily she noticed that the bedside radio alarm clock was dark. “Damn power cut.” she thought as she rolled over to make herself more comfortable. As she returned to gentle sleep again she listened to the storm outside. Rain rattled her bedroom window in waves backed up my the strong gusty winds. “Probably blown a power line down.” she thought and snuggled down further under the warm comforting bed covers. The bare branches rattled their leafless twigs against the window like small impatient elves trying to get in from the cold November weather outside. God knows what time it was but at least she had set her mobile phone alarm as a backup for 5:30. “Lucky.” she thought thinking of the now dead bedside clock.
She had been in bed early tonight ready for an early morning start. She had to pick Michael up from the airport. His flight arrived at 8am and she would need to be up by 5:30. “Dear Michael.” She murmured dreamily. Michael, her lover, had been back to England visiting relatives for the past month and she longed for his return so the damned bed wouldn’t feel so lonely. As she slowly returned to that dreamy half state between wakefulness and sleep she could imagine his strong arms around her once more as they met at the arrivals gate. She knew they would visit the airport shops so Michael could buy her flowers. They both loved flowers, particularly roses. Sleep reclaimed her.
A while later she returned to wakefulness with a start. The storm still blew outside but her attention was on the warm body beside her now in the bed. She heard a low chuckle and realised that Michael was beside her. She could feel the warmth from his body. She started to exclaim in surprise but his forefinger touched her lips. “Shhh sweetheart. It’s OK I arrived early and thought I’d surprise you.” that light chuckle again that she knew so well. His body melded itself to hers as they kissed deeply, lovingly as only Michael could. The room was still dark so the power must still be out she thought as she felt his beautiful hands exploring her willing body. She trembled at his touch. That always happened. She could climax just from his soft gentle touch sometimes.
And so they united in passionate darkness. She could just see the outline of his hair in the tiny amount of light from the window. Dreamily she sighed as he entered her and made sweet slow love to her. And afterwards, contentedly she dozed off again in a warm glow of love for her Michael. Before she slept she hugged him and whispered. “ I love you Michael. Promise you’ll never leave me.” Returning her hug he said quietly. “ I will never leave you Marie. I will always be in you heart as you are in mine. I love you. Please never forget that.” And as she finally succumbed to sleep she imagined she heard Michael sob quietly.
Marie awoke to the persistent beep of her mobile phone alarm. She stretched, yawned and rolled over to see her Michael. The power must have returned as the bedside clock radio flashed at her. She would have to reset it later. But Michael wasn’t there. The other side of the bed had not been slept in. No imprint of her lovers head on the pillow. She was aware of the moistness between her legs though and smiled. “Michael. Even when I dream of you I get turned on you git.” It must have been a dream as Michael definitely hadn’t been there. Not a sign, but it had seemed so real. She swore she could still smell his cologne but well. She shrugged inwardly and got up.
The storm had subsided. It was still dark out but quietness now ruled. She even noticed that the bedroom pendulum clock had stopped during the night. No gentle tick tick she thought and saw as she switched the bedside light on that it had stopped at 2:45am. “Damn batteries need replacing.” she sighed as she threw on her dressing gown and walked through to the lounge to prepare coffee. Her coffee first then she would shower and dress before leaving for the airport. She switched on the TV for the morning news as she readied the coffee machine. It had certainly been a stormy night and she hoped Michael’s flight wouldn’t be delayed. He was a nervous flyer at the best of times so she prayed that it hadn’t been too bumpy a flight for him either.
She busied herself with the coffee maker and half heard the TV adverts before the news began. Yawning, she leaned back against the kitchen counter and sipped her coffee. Hot black and sweet. Just how she liked it. The TV news started.
“Reports are coming in of an air disaster.” The news anchor looked grim. “Flight IC354 from London disappeared from radar screens without any warning this morning at 02:45 over mid Atlantic.” Marie dropped her coffee and suddenly was wide awake. She felt the shaking begin as she suppressed a scream. “That was Michael’s flight! Oh my God what has happened? The newsreader continued. “Nearby ships have been diverted to the last known location of flight 1C354 and there are preliminary reports of debris and an oil slick being sited. US Navy ships are on their way to the area now but it is unlikely that anyone could survive a disaster like this.”
“Oh Michael!..” Marie felt the tears begin. Her vision blurred and in a daze she knelt down to mop the spilled coffee, as the TV continued with other news. With forlorn sobs and unstoppable tears Marie returned to the bedroom in desolation. Suddenly she remembered her clock. The pendulum hung there unmoving and the hands were still stuck at 02:45. The time the flight had been lost. The strength in her legs gave way and Marie sank down onto Michael’s side of the bed. She sobbed uncontrollably face down on the covers and her hands reached under to try to find some vestige of Michael’s dream warmth.
“ Oh Michael. I really thought you here with me.” And she remembered his words from the dream. “ I will never leave you Marie. I will always be in your heart as you are in mine. I love you. Please never forget that.” And as her hand felt something under the cover. Rescuing it, Marie’s silent scream became real as she saw what she held in her hand. A single blood red rose!
© 2010 Stan Rogers. All rights reserved.