His name was Sam Wielder, and he was an unremarkable man. He woke early in the mornings, six o’clock sharp and did not listen to the sound of crickets and cows as they called out from the farm across the way. Instead, he shut off the alarm blaring across his sparse bedroom and pulled on his worn tartan robe. He did not give way to the fragments of sunlight creeping through the tattered drapes, with time creased hands he pulled them shut tighter, fearful that the sun might flood the crevices of his empty heart. Reminding him of every scar he bared, and a love torn away from him.
He hobbles slowly towards one of two armchairs in his room, the one his wife’s cats had scratched up. It sat right next to a floral red armchair that was significantly less destroyed… the feline had always prefered his wife. Without glancing at her chair, Sam sat down on his own with a heavy sigh, stretching out his left leg. He had walked with a limp for around fifty years, an injury from his time in the trenches and a time he never discussed with anyone, not even his wife, Sally.
Although she was curious, she could see in her husband’s sorrowful blue eyes that talking about it might break his heart. It was clear that he was haunted by those days, so she never asked. His trauma showed in his brows that were always furrowed deep in thought, his mouth a hard line that rarely pulled up into a smile. Yet she loved him as he was, knowing that a soft heart lay behind that harsh gaze.
During his recovery from the war, he had realized that he was in need of a distraction, an escape from reality. So as a result, he pushed himself into medical school, and eventually became a doctor in a highly esteemed hospital. All the while keeping that strangely grumpy, concerned expression on his face. The same expression that had scared away many single young nurses, but not Sally. He hid flowers in her desk drawers and slipped love notes into her binders.
They were content in their lives, working as a team and living as one too. Just the two of them, much to Sally’s despair, she was barren. There were days when she was miserable with longing for children, she would come to her husband with tears trailing down her rosy cheeks as she asked her husband why he hasn’t left to her for someone who could give him little ones. He would smile at her and shake his head.
“You are all I need, my dear. You and those awful cats of yours.”
While their family grew, their love for each other was boundless. The wounded soldier giving every ounce of his heart to his wife, and while a little frayed around the edges it may have been, she accepted it as it was and returned his love in full.
Until four years ago today.
She had passed away in her floral chair by the window of their bedroom. The curtains wide open so that she could gaze out between the trees at the sun as it rose in the darkness. Its glowing reach flooding into the room of the little cottage, casting a light upon her heart so full of love and warmth. She sat there listening to sound of the cows and crickets, and shut her eyes as her mind faded away into the golden light of morning.