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One Last Wish

by Gowri Bhargav

“Martha! I knew you would come. The Sun might stop shining someday but there is nothing that can stop you from coming here, every year, on the same day,” said the caretaker of the Hatteras lighthouse.


The long drive from Virginia had not been easy for Martha. Changing lanes, especially on the I-95 highway was not an easy task anymore. And to make matters worse her bladder incontinence seemed to only get worse. The frequent stops in the rest areas were highly frustrating. Nevertheless she had somehow made it. Outer Banks was not just any other island; it was the place that had her whole love story written. She had met the love of her life Alex, fifty years ago in the same island during Spring break. How could she ever forget the beautiful memories associated with that place?


She had once been a free spirited girl who never believed in the institution of marriage but love had changed everything. Love does have a strange way of uniting people. In the few days that she stayed there Martha had felt a karmic connection with Alex. It is said time is relative when two souls are in love. Well! It was true when it came to their love story. Alex had proposed to her just after a week of knowing her at the Hatteras lighthouse. And soon they had married in the same place. It was the sweetest memory of her life. Every year they had made it a point to come to the same spot to celebrate their anniversary.


But sadly the devil had played a vile plot to snatch Alex. He had lost his battle with cancer three years ago. Martha’s life had been completely shattered. With memories as crutches she struggled to lead the rest of her life dwelling in solitude.


Getting to the top of the lighthouse was proving to be a herculean task. Her scrawny legs didn’t seem to cooperate. They ambled sympathetically behind the walking stick. She had to ascend 257 steps to get to the top. Recalling every single nostalgic moment of their togetherness she tried to divert her attention from the excruciating pain that pulsed across her swollen knees as she gingerly ascended.


Finally reaching atop, she gasped for breath but squealed with delight for having made it yet again.


“Alex!” she exclaimed.


“Happy Anniversary! I can’t do this anymore dear. My tired eyes, aching body and ailing soul are marching towards the sunset. You have always fulfilled all my wishes without any regrets. It’s time you fulfill my one last wish. Take me now…


As she stood gazing at the ocean, the undulating waves seemed to sing with rhythmic songs of harmony. She saw a faint figure floating with open arms towards her.


“Alex!” she uttered his name ecstatically.


A sudden sense of calmness engulfed her. The pain that had been gnawing throughout her body stopped. With a contented smile she closed her eyes peacefully.



Picture Credit : Pixabay

This story was written for the prompt ‘Wishes’ by Penmancy

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