When Trent left a comment hoping for more to the Worth It story I posted last week, I promised that there was more to be had. It was only a half-truth because while I had thought there could be more, I hadn’t yet considered where the words might lead. I’m not sure what follows is exactly what Trent had in mind. But, … perhaps that is my mistake for assuming anything about his expectations in the first place. When I finished the below I felt like I had created a good beginning (last week’s post) and a good ending (this week’s) but not a lot of middle. However, upon further reflection I think I’ve come to understand that what I have created is all beginning and the true story is what comes next.
Anyway, that was all just a bit of my musings. Here’s the actual post:
Age, being an arbitrary marker for the passage of time but essential for the value of life, took its toll on them as it must. Their faces grew tired but their stories never did. Their adventures slowed down but their devotion never did. Their bodies started giving up but their love never did.
The glitches of time, the slowing and speeding at intervals, continued unnoticed as the couple gave themselves to their shared journey. There were hard times that lasted too long and good times that were over too quickly. There were children that redefined patience for them. There were losses that tested their strength. There were glimpses of happiness snatched as pooled sun poured through a break in the clouds, only to be smothered away again. There was laughter and a home so full of giggles the windows rattled and threatened to burst.
Occasionally, he paused in those moments of brilliance and marveled how wonderful it was that time would slow so they could grasp that joy for a tiny bit longer. And, then his mind would tickle with the hint of a memory but the spinning room of chaotic happiness would pull him from his reverie and he’d rejoin the fray. Whatever the memory was, it wasn’t important enough to distract him from the present, from the now, from the perfection that was.
She passed peacefully in her sleep, an expected end that still hurt with an unexpected and impossible to prepare for pain. It pierced his heart and mind in equal measures. He wept openly and missed her desperately. The echoes of their adventures haunted the quiet rooms of their shared home. He no longer recognized his face in the mirror. His body grew numb to the demands of the flesh.
He cursed time for taking his love from him. How dare it split them up! How dare it run out for one faster than the other! How dare it!
But, then a memory tickled him once again and he no longer had the distractions to keep him from pondering it. He pressed long into his past until he could pinpoint the origin and then an exultant sigh escaped his lips as he remembered: in his youth, he could recognize the glitches of time and change his actions to get the most from when it slowed and when it sped.
Closing his eyes, he floundered against the darkness and the pressing weight of the passing seconds crashing against him. He didn’t remember the secret, but knew it was still within him if he could quiet his mind enough to glimpse it. And then it came to him. Opening his eyes he made a plan. One last adventure. One more unique series of moments, priceless in their finality, as all moments of life are.
The next time he felt the seconds collapsing upon themselves as time ticked away faster than normal, he gave himself up in search of his beloved. He knew as the last breath escaped his lungs that even if he never found her, the search alone would be worth it.