So these three things remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of all is love
~~ 1 Corinthians 13:13
The Bible

Love Remains

He had given her those bracelets, the four on her left arm which she now couldn't take her eyes off. Each had a metal bead with a word on it; faith; hope; happiness; love. Since losing him she was struggling with all of them. He was responsible for the ring on her finger as well. 10 years ago they'd promised 'until death do us part' but she never expected it to be so soon. He was her other half, a part of her, her one and only true love. The one nothing and nobody could ever replace. He'd brought her those bracelets when he knew he was dying (a brain tumour, he'd joked that it was due to overuse), he had said to her to hold on to them when he was gone. He told her she could get by on those things. She'd believed him, his sweet talking, his reassuring words, everything, she always believed him. And he'd never let her down but now he was dead and she was struggling with everything.

A week had passed and it was only getting worse. The pain, the hole in her chest. She missed the simple things the most; the way he'd blow her hair from behind and then kiss her neck; the way his hand felt in hers; the way he's quote poetry, plays and novels - always the romantic. As she walked towards the church her eyes went off of her bracelets, she didn't see anything; she was replaying small moments in her head. Running through the woods with him when they were teenagers and first got together. His love of literature rubbing off on her (over the years they went to see all of Shakespeare's tragedies together). Her love of athletics rubbing off on him (each year they did the local fun run together, she was sure she would never do it again)

Inside the church she sat in the front room on the end seat. Her brother-in-law was sat next to her, family and friends were all around. She barely noticed he was there. The person she needed to be there was on a photograph in front of the coffin which would be his home for the rest of eternity. His brother next to her was crying as the vicar was speaking. She hadn't cried she hadn't been able to. Not when she woke up to find him next to her not breathing, arm still around her. Not when the paramedics confirmed he was dead. Not anytime since. She knew the vicar was talking but she couldn't hear him, she couldn't take any of it in. She put her right hand to her bracelet almost without realising she had done so. She ran her finger along hope and love and happiness and… The fourth one wasn't there. She knew it must've come off on the way to the church. She also knew she'd never find it again. Faith was lost.

The sound of the vicar saying her man brought back to the here and now. The vicar told everyone that she was going to say a few words. Taking her cue she slowly and silently rose from her seat and walked t the front of the church. She found herself standing next to the coffin. Her eyes swept over everyone and she saw a sea of black clothes and tearstained faces. She opened her mouth, only to close it again. What was she supposed to say about him? Subconsciously, without even looking at them, she fiddled with her bracelets.

'What can I say?' her voice was hollow and empty when she eventually spoke. She heard a snap and one of her bracelets fell from her wrists. The beads fell almost if in slow motion, she saw the word just before happiness bounced as it hit the floor.

She broke down. Her knees were strong enough to hold her and they buckled. She fell to the ground, hid behind her hair and wailed loudly. Someone came up to her - she didn't look to see who it was - and offered to help her up. She pulled away from them, picked up the pieces of the bracelets and run out of the church as fast as she could.

Once she was outside, she wondered through the graveyard silently. Tears were still running down her face but they were silent now. When eventually the coffin was brought out, she headed towards the open grave.

'… Dust to dust' the vicar read and she was offered a pile of dirt to throw on top the coffin. She took a small handful, handing her pieces of happiness to the pile before throwing it in.

'It died with you' she whispered so quietly that no one could hear her.

***

A few days later she was sitting on her bed, wrapped in a towel, with another other her hair having just got out of the shower. She still hasn't taken the two remaining bracelets off. She took the towel off of her hair and rubbed her hair as dry as possible with it. As she did so she noticed one of the bracelets was starting to rust. She brought her arm down to in front of her face and inspected it. Hope was barely recognisable because of the way the water had affected it.

In a fit of high emotion she pulled hope off her arm and throw it across the room. It hit the wall opposite her with a force which caused it to split and the pieces fell to the slide down the wall individually.

She put her right hand around the one remaining bracelet protectively. There was no way she was going to let anything happen to that one. She had lost everything else, love was all she had left.

The Story Behind The Story:

I had three bracelets given to me by my Mum, 'faith', 'happiness' and 'love' and for ages I didn't know where they were, my Mum then found two of them happiness and love, so faith was lost. The idea of lost faith was bugging me for days, and then my happiness bracelet broke when I was washing some dishes and initially I was all 'NO! My bracelet!' then my mind started putting this story together. And here we have it. I added hope in because that bible verse also helped inspire this story.

The day after I started this story my love bracelet also broke, and I was tempted to change the ending so that that happened in this story as well. However, I didn't because I wanted an element of hope in this (even though hope gets rusted…).

Please R&R