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Painful love

She laid on her deathbed. Lots of rings still in her fingers. She was over 80 years old. Just like me too. She had been pretty wild in her youth. I wasn't sure but I had an expression she had had several boyfriends during her teenage years. Short relationships which ended almost before they even started.

She had always taken care of her looks. Even on her deathbed she had some mascara on her eyelashes and lipstick on her wrinkled lips. I could still smell a mild scent coming from her direction. She had always liked to dazzle in demanding way. The time was still wrinkled her skin.

We had met once in a village we both lived in when we were kids. I had too crushed on her when we were teenagers. And we had had something small going on. That had ended shortly because she left to america in the big world.

After thirty years she came back with a husband and kids driving a station wagon. I had been a bit jealous on her back then. But I managed to keep my feelings hidden. Later we had simply stopped our communication for no reason.

I had a long career as a metal worker in a shipyard. Hard work day to day from morning until night. I had gone through all the depressions and downturns. Never had gotten fired, though. Only long layoffs driving me almost to a suicide. I had to retire early because of my back injuries. I had gone through all that alone. Never had a chance to find the one, the real love. All the holidays alone in a cottage in middle of a forest.

Everything was different in your life. You had your partner and a family with all its joys and sorrows. You had a great estate and two cars in a garage. Although, everything had sold already before moving back to Finland in many years ago. But that only meant you had lots of money to be spent.

The door of the room clicked and opened. A female nurse came in with a some kind of a folder in her hands. With a self-confident routine steps she walked to next to the bed and seemed to check some figures from the device next to the bed comparing them to the figures in the folder. She smiled and said everything is as good as they could be considering the situation. Then she walked away with the similar steps and closed the door behind.

I looked at her on the deathbed with full of astonishment.
- But where is that husband of yours now? And why did you invite me here now? I was really amazed when I got the invitation like that since we hadn't had any contacts for decades.

She passed me an old worn out photograph with a shaky hand. There was her family decades back. The photo was obviously taken in some qualified american photographer's studio when they had gotten rich.
- Have a close look the oldest son's eyes and chin. She said with a quiet serious voice and looked at me in the eyes.
- He's on the left corner in a front row.

Of course, I knew immediately who she meant. But I still looked at her beautiful face and could made a quiet, almost silent sigh.

I stared the photo for a while and ended up finally to check the young fellow.
- What about these eyes and chin?
She didn't reply. So I looked at her again and saw immediately from her eyes the life had gone off her. To me she was still so beautiful despite of her wrinkled face. I closed her eyes with my hand and held her hand with both of my hands totally silent. She was still warm. I closed my eyes for a moment. A few tears dropped down on my cheeks. Then I went to inform the personnel.

Back in home I digged up the photo from breast pocket of my leather jacket to see the eyes and chin of the oldest son. Then I rushed to a dark stained dresser in my living room. I opened the undermost drawer and digged up a very old photo album. I browsed it quickly. Color pictures changed to black and white pictures. Finally, I stopped to see a picture of mylsef when I was a child. I collapsed on the floor. Tears flooded from my eyes to my cheeks.

I had been alone all these decades only because I didn't even try to stop her going. I had been too shy to tell my true feelings on her.


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