Author's Note: Hey guys! This is just a short story inspired by the song "Middle of September" by Daughtry. This will NOT become a series, I already have one of those to do now! I am happy to announce my total, final, and COMPLETE return to the Times with a whole bunch of new ideas and inspiration! My time of extended writer's block has finally let up!
It was the middle of September. The 25th to be exact. That was the day my life changed. I saw the girl I would marry. Her blonde hair and tinkling laugh had caught my attention right away; my head snapping up from my college textbooks to see the one girl for me would never leave my memory. Those blue eyes saw right to my heart, and she took a seat down next to me. She introduced herself to me as Carolina. She was studying to become a third grade teacher. She loved rain, kids, animals, nature, and photography. A part time model, life was hard for her. Money was something she lacked, but still this heart-faced girl was always smiling.
When asked my name, I could only stutter, "Anth- Anton- Antny-" unable to even think clearly. She laughed, guessing it. Anthony. It was the most magical feeling ever when she said my name for the first time. I'd never, ever forget this. A month passed by; still friends. Six months after our first encounter, and our lives were being thrown out of whack. Love was an odd thing. April 16th was our first fight. She had run to the beach crying, and I had picked her up. We hugged for an hour straight, our love returning, hatred vanishing. Two years passed; Carolina and I were happier than ever, engaged. And on December 16, 2008, the only woman I would ever love became my wife.
Life continued normally; I got a job as a mechanic as she pursued her dreams of being a teacher. And nine months after our first anniversary, our first baby girl entered our lives. I never knew what it would be like to be a dad. It was . . . gratifying. We named her Virgina, and she was the apple of our eye. A daddy's girl, she meant the world to me. Carolina's spitting image, our blue eyed angel grew up to be a happy, healthy three year-old. And every September my two girls were both with me, we played out in the rain.
That's when the life I had been building up expired.
It was an oddly sunny day. Not a cloud in sight. Hot too. Virgina and I had just bought ice cream from the local ice cream man. Carolina was at her classroom, grabbing a few forgotten papers on her way home from the bank. 9 o'clock rolled around and she still hadn't returned. I called her cell phone. No answer. Instead, I received a phone call a few moments later. Virginia was tucked in bed, sleeping with her favorite teddy bear, Winkles. I wondered how she would react when I told her. In the morning, of course. When she started asking questions; where was Mommy, why was Daddy crying?
That night, I didn't sleep at all. Instead I vomited, ripped at my hair, paced, and screamed. I just screamed. It was like morphine had been shot in my blood, I couldn't think.
The sun rolled around and I felt like I had a hangover. But none the less, at eight o'clock AM sharp, my daughter came down the stairs holding Winkles' hand. The questions I knew would come came right away. I took a deep breath and picked her up. "Daddy is crying because Mommy left." My daughter cocked her head at me, frowning. "Mommy left us. Both." Once again, a blank look crossed her face. "Mommy is dead. A bad man hit Mommy with his car. And now Mommy went with Grandma and Aunt Alice." My three year-old's face went white. She cried, dropping Winkles, grabbing my neck. Screaming.
That awful memory was exactly 15 years ago to the date. Fifteen Septembers, Carolina has been dead for fifteen Septembers. I look at the calendar, wiping my eyes. I glance at the clock, shaking my head. I had received the news at 9 PM. It was 8:57. Virgina, a spitting image of Carolina to this day, enters. She sits next to me on the couch and leans her head on my shoulder. She hugs me, watching time tick away too. Three minutes pass. And we both leave the living room. Without a word, I follow my daughter towards the front porch. She looks at the pictures of her mother and her. I touch the table where Carolina's purse used to sit.
Virgina hops down the stairs towards the front door. She looks back at me, and she nods. Opening the door, I smell rain. Smiling, I continued down the hall. She stands under the black sky listening to thunder growing closer. Drops hit her forehead, and she jumps at the coolness. Soon, her clothes are plastered to her skin and her hair is dripping. The blonde in it looks even more angelic and I watch my daughter transform yet again into my wife.
For the fifteenth September, my daughter and I stand under my wife's tears.