The sky loomed overhead, gray and menacing as droplets fell from the heavens. He stood vacantly beneath the dismal clouds, the sound of the heavy rain pittering against the cloth canvas of his umbrella sounding like a drumming knoll in the back of his mind as his eyes gazed across the fancy writing on the front of the gray marble in front of him, turning an almost black color as the water hit it's hard surface.
His heart heaved a bit, his fingers numb against the chilled air. How many times did he come here? How many times did he dress up in his best clothes and cart an umbrella just to stand for countless hours in the rain and cold, staring at the same stone?
He adverted his eyes, his tongue gliding across his dry lips. He wondered what she would have said if she saw him. No, he knew what she would say. She would tell him that he needed to move on, that he needed to stop tormenting himself and attempt to move on with his life, but he could. He felt like he was trapped in an infinite loop. Getting up, showering, getting dressed and coming here to see her. For an entire year, that's all he'd done; it wasn't a surprise to him when he lost his job four months prior.
Swallowing hard he looked up at the sky, praying that she was there, that she was looking down over him, but deep down inside, he knew she wasn't. Removing his other wind bitten hand from his pocket he reached up, closing the umbrella and tucking it away under his arm. He closed his eyes against the rain, letting the freezing droplets his his cheeks and forehead with their freezing bite. It was the first real sensation he'd felt since the death of his beloved wife. Perhaps it was a sign that some change was going to happen, and it sent a flood of relief through him as he opened his eyes again.
"I'll visit you soon." He said, looking down at the headstone. Carefully he stepped forward, making sure not to tread where she would be laying and pressed his lips to the top of the stone. He held it there for a minute, making sure his kiss would travel throughout the grave to her before pulling away, making his way back to where he'd parked his car. He spared a single glance back before climbing in and pulling away, heading for home.
He didn't play music in the car as he drove, he stopped doing that when Mary had died. Every time he'd played it a song that reminded him of her would play. It was too much to bare, so he turned it off.
He didn't look at the scenery as he drove, only keeping his eye on the traffic as he emerged into the busier parts of the city. No glances at the shops, or the people. No gazing at the boats over the River Thames as he drove along it's edge. Instead he kept his eyes on the road ahead as he made his way through the city to his home.
He pulled into the driveway and climbed out, running his hand through his cold, damp hair. He shut the door behind him and made his way up the walkway and to the front door but stopped. Taped on the door was a little white sheet of paper that held the words "Eviction Notice." He sighed, his teeth gritting across his bottom lip as he dragged a hand down his face. He was surprised that his landlord had let him go this long without paying the rent, but still, he was upset. Grabbing the piece of paper he unlocked the door and pushed it open.
Placing the paper on the counter top he debated on whether or not he should pack up and get things squared away to find a new place to live, or if he should pay his landlord back. Both him and Mary paid the rent on the place, it was expensive to dish it out of pocket alone, and knowing his landlord he would be expecting him to pay it back in full. John couldn't do that.
Pushing away from the counter he turned and made his way for his bedroom, starting to pack up his things. He had already started a few months earlier -packing up the stuff that reminded him of Mary to be put in storage- but now it seemed like his plans had changed, and his landlord was kind enough to give him a couple of weeks to do so.
John didn't have much stuff, most of it was big -like his bed and his sofa and television. He was able to pack up most of his clothes and randoms in a couple of hours. Now all he had to do was find a place to live until he could get a job.
Sitting on the foot of the bed him and Mary once shared together, he fished his phone from his pocket and carefully thumbed it, flipping it over and over again in his hand. The name Harry kept popping up, flashing in his face. He didn't want to call his sister. He didn't want to talk to her right now, but he only had a couple of weeks left to live in his home and he needed somewhere to go. At least until he found himself a job and an affordable place to live out on his own.
He stared at the phone for a long moment, his mind going blank. Then with a defeated sigh he thumbed through the phone book and clicked on Harriet's name. The phone rang once or twice before he actually put it to his ear, waiting for her to pick up -which was on the third or fourth ring.
"Hello?" She greeted into the phone, the sound of running water in the background. Her lack of Hi John was an indication that she actually didn't look at the caller I.D before answering. John chewed on his bottom lip a bit, his elbows rested against his legs as he looked around the mostly empty bedroom. It's cream colored walls and white carpet looking dull in the gray lighting from the lack of sun.
"Hi, Harriet." He greeted in return, trying to hide the defeated tone in his voice. This had been the first time since Mary's funeral that he'd spoken to her and the guilt for avoiding her was beginning to creep back in.
"John!" She shouted, shocked to hear from her brother on his own accord. "How are you? Is everything alright?" She questioned, turning the water off. The sound of a metal spoon clanking to the inside of a cup caught his attention.
"Not really." He rested his face in his hands, rubbing at his eyes before pinching the bridge of his nose.
"What's wrong?" She questioned, everything falling silent on her end.
"I'm losing my house." He muttered in return, his guilt turning into embarrassment as he admitted his situation.
"Yeah." He sighed. "I hate having to ask you for this...but...you wouldn't happen to have a room available, would you?" He rests his chin on his hand, his fingers pressed against his lips as he waited for her to answer.
"Oh, of course! Clara and I are taking a bit of a break from each other so it'll just be you and I. It's not a heated fight just...I said some stupid things and she went to visit her mother. You know." She replied.
"Yeah, I know how it is." He agreed, his eyes closing. He didn't want to be there if her and Clara were in an argument, but he didn't have a choice. "I'll start sending things your way. See you in a couple of days."
"Alright," He carefully pulled the phone away from his ear but stopped when she spoke, hollering a bit. "Oh, and John!" He put the phone back to his ear, his forehead crinkled, hoping he didn't accidentally hang up on her. "I'm really glad to hear from you." And with that, she hung up, leaving him baffled on the other end of the phone.
Swallowing hard he pulled the phone from his ear and hit the end button just to be sure. Looking up he rested his eyes on the empty walls that used to have portraits on them, and the dresser that used to hold Mary's Jewelry and small knickknacks, and the end stand that once held two alarm clocks on his side of the bed so she would have an excuse to reach over him and plant a kiss on the side of his head as she turned it off.
He choked back the tears, blinking rapidly against them. Pushing himself to his feet he left the bedroom and made his way downstairs. Now that he had his living situation out of the way for now, it was time to get back onto his normal schedule that he'd followed religiously for the past year.
Grabbing a bottle of whiskey and a glass he poured himself a drink and slugged it down, the burn welcoming. It was going to be a long couple weeks.