With a slight sweat sweeping across your forehead you once again plunge your hands into the hot water. Grabbing the nearest plate you scrub at it, attempting to remove the stains of last week's casserole. People had stopped coming round, no more plastic containers of lasagne and apple pie. Your house may as well been pot luck night at church for all the glass dishes that were stocked around the kitchen. That's what happens when your husband dies, everyone decides to bring you a fresh plate of biscuits and a multitude of curry. You'd rather they bring you a bottle of wine, or better yet, a strong bottle whiskey. Not that you could drink it now anyway.
You put the plate in the drying rack and pull over the next one. It had been two weeks and people didn't come round anymore. You preferred it to be quiet, there were only so many people that you could sadly smile at as they express their condolences. Now you were left to your own, while they could all move on easily; thinking every now and then of the woman that had lost her husband, whilst they continued to hold the hand of their own.
You drag a container from under a pile of cups and let hot water from the tap run across it. It could've been a soup in there, or maybe banana bread, it's so hard to tell anymore. Slipping it into the soapy water you scrub away the remnants of whatever it used to be.
As you look absentmindedly out the window that rests over the sink you watch as a bird flits across the trees. You'd have to find someone to do the gardening now, he had always done it before. On nice days you'd be out there with him, pulling weeds from around the flowers, watching as he pruned trees and raked leaves. Sometimes he'd bring home a new plant and he'd spend the evening digging a hole just the right size for it. You'd stand over his shoulder as he placed it in the ground, and he'd always say a quick prayer for it to grow. He called the plant new life, a hope for something to grow big and strong.
You'd only ever go into the garden because he was there and now you wouldn't be able to manage it. Maybe it would be better if there was no garden. A twinge comes from inside of you, a reminder for why you had bought a house with a garden to begin with.
Your hand slips down into the sink, splashing water over the edges onto your socks. Muttering at it you realise you'd been cleaning the same cup for five minutes. The pile of dishes didn't seem to ever get any lower.
By now, after labouring over the hot sink, sweat was dripping down your cheeks. The middle of summer was showing it's force, a stinking heat sitting throughout the house. All of a sudden it became too much and you felt the heat getting to your head. Wiping your hands on your skirt, you amble into the lounge and lie on the couch. It was probably something more than the heat getting to your head, but you found it hard to think about it.
On the coffee table in the centre of the room were three bunches of dying flowers. Their leaves were just beginning to go brown and in a few days they would start to smell rotten. In the middle of them, almost like a shrine, was a simple-framed picture. If he had known what would happen to him then maybe he wouldn't of smiled so much.
You can't tell if it's sweat but something like a tear drips from your eye. He was your angel, your shimmering beacon that had found you when you in the dark. With him guiding you every battle had been fought and won, and he had fought for you til the end. Now as you were going through the hardest battle he wasn't here. You had lost your angel. He had left you alone.
Your hand rests on your stomach and for a moment you can feel a beat. He hadn't left you entirely alone. Even though he was gone he had left you with a part of him. A small tiny beat part so that you would never have to be alone again. Even when he was gone, he would always be there helping you fight your battles.
Your angel was gone, but you had another angel, one that would always remind of that you never had to fight wars alone and that someone was always watching over you.