Title: Silver Lining: a short story
Kevin Ralter blames himself for his wife’s death.
Little does he know that she met someone up there in the clouds before drawing her last breath.
Can Kevin handle an unexpected meeting with this mysterious figure?
A fantasy short story about lost love, coping, and an extraordinary favor.
The cicadas chirped incessantly from above and around. They lurked in the depths of the thick green foliages that had lost their glint because of the maddeningly parching sun. In Kevin’s hands, Emily in the urn felt heavier than before the funeral.
Maybe it was his mind playing a trick on him, since a body in distress led to a mind in distress. Sparse gray strands of hair were glued to his scalp. The white shirt under his black suit jacket clung to his chest and back. And his boxers under the suit pants stuck to his rear. It was as if every particle making up his body or enveloping it for “protection” were eager to prove that it was there for him. Here for him. Trying to cheer him up by making its presence known, guide him through these difficult times, express its condolences—when the problems that this day presented could simply have been solved (or rather, could have never happened), had Emily been alive.
But she was dead.
So, for the last couple of hours or so, Kevin had been dizzied to the point of weakness by the nonsensical amount of perfume that people chose to wear to an occasion like this when they happened to “belong to the circle” to which Emily used to belong before she had committed the unthinkable crime of marrying someone “the likes of Kevin.”
These were quotes from a few fake-polite distant relatives who’d been whispering just outside the door, in the brightness, while Kevin had been standing just inside around the corner, in the shadow. They’d made it extremely clear that they found it highly distasteful that Kevin had chosen this church, so small, so neglected, for the funeral of their relative—or rather, a woman who used to be, by birth, their relative, until she abandoned that good fortune for some crazy fluffy intangible useless thing she used to call “love.”
These relatives had been the triggers that had compelled Kevin to storm out of the stuffy church into the equally stuffy outdoor heat. Them, and all the other guests reeking of perfume.
There’d been at least a hundred coming and going. Emily’s sister and brother had wanted to make sure that they make the most out of this last opportunity to redeem the reputation of their dead sister, thereby themselves: call as many ministers and Fortune 500s and celebrities as possible.