Julia looked out the third story window. A light rain was falling, and it was near twilight. Doctor after doctor had told her that her health was getting too frail, that she shouldn’t venture outdoors anymore after six. The damp air wasn’t good for her lungs. Frankly, she didn’t give two bits about her lungs. Or her health. Alfred had died nearly 6 years ago now, and she missed him more than anything. Life had grown steadily gray since the day he had been laid to rest. Yes, there were still things to make her smile. The ducks who swam in the pond in the park, for one thing. And French pastries for another. But ducks don’t tuck you in to bed, and French pastries can’t sing you love songs.
Julia glanced at the clock. The hands showed it was just past eight thirty. Now would be the perfect time. It was still light enough. Everything would be perfect by the time she got there.
Julia pulled on her heavies shoes. Then her thickest wool coat. She twirled a scarf around her neck, for good measure. She held a small cream envelope in her hand. With a slight hesitation, she laid it on the table in the entryway. Then she stepped out the door.
Halfway from her home, she heard the bells. By the time she got there, the couples would be gone. The lights were on, the bells wouldn't ring for a while. It was a slightly chilly night, so there wouldn’t be much reason for people to linger next to the river. Julia kept walking. The rain had stopped, but the chill of the night began to increase. There, in the distance, stood the tower. She could see it lit up. She walked on, her pace steady.
Julia’s thoughts were filled with memories of Alfred and she walked. Their wedding, their honeymoon, the day Alfred was laid off from his high paying accounting job, the day he began work on the docks and how he always smelled of fish. She thought the last decade, as she had watched him slowly fade away until she had been forced to live without him.
Julia walked through the growing darkness. She could smell the river. She could hear it.
Julia crossed the bridge.
She turned right, and walked down to a park bench. She sat and stared at the houses of parliament. Alfred had proposed here. It was also the last place he wanted to visit before he died. Julia was unable to get him there in time. That had haunted her for the last 6 years.
Julia sat there for exactly half an hour, then she walked to the edge of the walkway, and stared down at the river. She imagined Alfred there with her, holding her, kissing her ear.
“Oh sweetheart. I miss you. Meet me at the end of the light?”
And she took one last step forward, plunging into the water, into Alfred’s arms.