“You know it almost feels like November,” Beth said tightening the muffler around her neck.
It was the start of September, the maple leaves were beginning to turn into a brilliant shade of orange and red. The entire canopy of trees around the city displayed a riot of colours like some painter’s canvas.
“Your birthday is just around the corner too, you know.” Beth continued stealing a glance at her beloved. You could see the engagement ring hanging around her necklace. It looked like it was almost her wedding day but it was not quite there yet either. Something looked amiss.
She looked down at the ring and said, “Remember the day you gave me this? It was a day just like this one, the maple leaves had just begun changing colours and the sky looked like an endless blue ocean. I’ve never imagined you to be the romantic type before that day,” Beth chuckled at the thought, “But you never ceased to amaze me,” she continued with a tinge sadness in her voice fiddling with the ring.
“It was supposed to be a winter wedding, but no, you wanted to get married right away during that fall. You said where else were we supposed to find such beautiful colours! You told me looking at the maple trees in our backyard, ‘Beth, don’t you think fall is the only time to see nature’s most colourful canvas?’ Who knew that editor-in-chief Julian Scott could be so poetic!” Beth smiled looking at her fiancé.
“I was so nervous on our wedding day. Do you know how many times I thought of running away?” Beth laughed remembering her Big Day.
“But when I was about to walk down the aisle I looked at you, and there you were in your black tuxedo standing at the altar waiting for me, looking at me as if nothing else mattered, I saw your eyes and the way you smiled at me. God, who gave you the right to be so handsome!
That was the moment I knew that it was the right thing to do, and looking at you I knew that I wasn’t nervous anymore, I knew that I wanted to be Mrs Elizabeth Scott more than anything else!” Beth said in a trembling voice, her eyes were cloudy almost as if she was living in a past dream.
“That year’s Christmas, when you told me you had to go for a book tour, I felt utterly miserable, it was our first Christmas together as a family, but I knew it was killing you too. I had some big news for you, but we promised New Year will be our day,” Beth had a look of melancholy as she glanced at her husband. The trees around her rustled as the wind blew harder, the sky shimmered in the September sun like a beautiful blue glass.
“You left in the morning of Christmas’ Eve, it was snowing white, you kissed me before getting in the car and said, ’Wait for me in the next year, Beth!’ You always had a way with words, Mr Editor,” Beth said grinning and continued, “As I watched you drive away I wanted to call you back, I wanted to say ‘Stay! Don’t go!’ But I didn’t. I decided to wait till New Year, it was going to be our year together as a family. I was waiting for you to come back home to me, but you never did, did you?” Beth’s voice was shaking, she was shivering as a chill ran down her spine.
“I still remember that night like it was yesterday. The hospital room felt so cold, Jules, and you just laid there connected to all those beeping machines, as I watched you slowly slipping away from me in front of my own eyes and I couldn’t do anything to stop you, I couldn’t hold on to you. I couldn’t even cry when the doctor told me that your car lost control due to the heavy snow, I couldn’t even cry when they told me there was nothing else they could do to bring you back to me. I couldn’t do anything, Jules!
You were coming home to me, I was going to tell you the big news! You were going to be a father, Jules! I was 3 weeks pregnant when you left me!” Beth looked at the gravestone of her late husband standing in the middle of the cemetery.
The fall wind blew her hair away showing her tear-stained face. Beth looked at the stone and said in a broken voice, “Hey, you know, it’s been a year since we got married last fall! We’re going to have a baby girl, Jules. Your daughter misses you, her mother misses you even more!” Beth stood there trembling, the tears she was able to hold back for all these past months, wouldn’t stop now.
“We love you, Mr Julian Scott!” Beth said in a choked voice caressing her over swollen belly as those little legs kicked her from the inside. “You always had a weird way of loving me back, didn’t you, Jules?” Beth chuckled looking at her husband.
As Beth placed the bouquet flowers on her husband’s grave, the fall wind blew and carried away the fallen maple leaves around the empty cemetery.
Beth dried her eyes and smelled in the fall air looking up at the bright blue sky as she remembered something with a poignant smile, something that Julian told her a long time ago,
“The ones who truly love us, never really leave us.”
“As my memory rests
But never forgets what I lost
Wake me up when September ends.”
– Green Day