This story is one of the October Writing Challenge entries chosen to be a featured story.
There are 365 days in a year. Each day went by slower than the last, making 24 hours seem like 24 years. Things got easier, but he never could stop thinking about her. To him she was everywhere. When the sun would rise each morning, he would remember her free spirit, and when a leaf would fall, signifying that autumn had begun, he would remember the way her hair used to blow in the wind on a windy day. He felt lonely despite the other 7.5 billion people on Earth. None of them mattered.
There’s one day every year that went by a bit too fast. The day she moved on from this world and danced to the next. The day always goes the same way. He always wakes up to an empty space and tear stained cheeks. He stares out the window for hours, feeling nothing but emptiness. At night he goes outside to the garden and picks flowers for her. She never liked the perfect flowers, though. She liked the ones that were weathered. The ones missing a few petals. So he would pick the ones that he knew she would’ve wanted. Then he goes to her grave. He sits in silence for a while, searching for the words that never want to be found.
Then, he stares at the photo in his hands, wondering how a simple piece of paper could rekindle all the feelings that he thought he’d lost long ago. He looks into her eyes. They were a dark brown, and most people wouldn’t necessarily think anything of them. But to him, these were the most beautiful eyes to ever exist, because they were hers. He liked how they told him the things she would never dare let slip out of her mouth.
He looks at her smile and can’t help but to grin himself. He loved her smile. Nothing made him happier than to see her smile. Then he remembers the beautiful song that was her laugh, and suddenly he feels like the shell of the man he once was. Her laugh was his air. Her smile was his oxygen. Without her he remains empty.