photo by Grant McCurdy via Unsplash
Clearly, this is NOT a Three Line Tale. But, it is a sequel to the tale I wrote for this prompt last week.
An ensuing conversation led to writer and fellow blogger Jane Dougherty suggesting an answer to my question ‘What’s on the film?’
The folder containing the prints is a brash yellow, the thin card slippery under his hand. The image inside – just a single image, the other frames were blank – would seem harmless enough at first glance.
His wife as the pretty young woman she was, wearing a floral dress, one hand shielding her eyes from the sun. She sits on a dining room chair, out of place in a well tended garden, runner bean vines arching in the sky behind her, a Labrador puppy an excited dash of grey at her feet. On her lap lies a newborn with a scribble of dark hair wrapped in a hand knitted blanket. A young woman with her baby.
He remembers the blanket lying on the bottom of their bed. Remembers the floral dress, the way it flared when she twirled on her toes. He remembers the puppy Finch – it belonged to his parents-in-law and was killed by a drayman’s wagon when it was less than a year old. He remembers the dining room chair from Sunday lunches and Christmas dinners, the padding on the seat growing flatter over the years, the fabric thinning.
All this, but there was never a baby to remember.
There was a pregnancy before they were married – he remembers her father’s threats, her mother’s weeping, finding the note the day she left ‘to think’. The agony of separation.
He remembers the phone call when she told him she’d miscarried their baby, her shaking voice, how they wept together over the crackling line. How she seemed so empty when she returned to him, just her and the new blanket.
He remembers so much. With the sight of this one photograph he wishes he could forget it all.