Your Perfume Lingers

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It feels like it has been forever since she has been gone, and at the same time as though she will be walking right behind me through that bedroom door every night. Of all of the times of day, I think that the end of the evening is the worst. Just four short weeks ago, we were still crawling into bed at night and catching up with each other about how our day had gone. We shared so much…trials, triumphs, and everything in between.

In the blink of an eye, it was all gone. She had been coming home from work later than usual because of a stupid staff meeting that had gone over. Around a mile from the house, a drunk driver had been weaving her way home from the bar and crossed the double line. There was nowhere that Maria could have gone to get out of her path. So, the intoxicated woman had taken Maria away from me when she plowed into her head on. Little did I know that she had also taken out our unborn daughter. That must have been the thing that she had told me she had wanted to talk to me about that night.

For the thirty third night in a row, I crawled into our big bed alone. Even though it’s gross, I just haven’t been able to think about changing the sheets and blankets yet.

“Oh Maria”, said Steve, “your perfume lingers, it loiters on your soft pillows…and strawberry lip gloss…our favorite taste. I must have…”

Before he could complete his thought, Steve collapsed into mournful tears. This bed, this house, it was all too empty without her. He had gone to grief counseling, talked to his family and friends, tried to keep himself occupied, and forced himself to sit with his feelings. All to no avail. A few nights ago, he had done something which he felt ashamed of. Something he’d never done before, and something which no one would understand.

He had gone into the fortune teller’s shop down by the river one evening on his way home this evening. His mind so desperately wanted to believe that Maria still lived on beside him…somehow. That she was with him, that she knew how much he loved and missed her. So he had walked in, feeling both excited and nervous at the same time. When he entered into the darkened room and sat down at the table, the fortune teller had lit a few candles. At first, he had thought that it was all an act, but then she had started talking about things which no one but he and his wife could possibly know…including the pregnancy.

While it had made him feel a little better, it had also made him feel as though he were losing her all over again when he had to leave. As he was walking out of the door with his head held down, the fortune teller called out to him. When he turned, she was waving him back into the chair he’d just vacated.

“Would you like to see your wife again? Have her come home to you? It wouldn’t be exactly the same, but I could help your wife to come back to you. This is something that not many people know about, and few would believe. So, if you decide to do this, you could tell no one…and no one could know about it. You would either have to make sure that she was never seen or you’d have to leave town and go somewhere that no one knew the two of you.”

Steve sat there looking at the woman as though she were crazy. When he looked up into her eyes though, he could tell that this wasn’t a joke.

“What is involved? How much would it cost? What would it be like?”, he asked.

She explained to him that it was best that he didn’t know what was involved, and that she wouldn’t charge him anything for it.

“It’s against the code for me to charge any money for this. All I would need to know is where she is buried. I’d also need for you to promise me that you would follow the set of rules to the letter”, said the raven haired woman.

While he was letting this all sink in, she sat across from him studying his face and adjusting her long purple dress. Finally, he raised his head and told her that he would think it over that night and come back the following evening at the same time to let her know what his answer was.

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