The Precipice III

Written by Mel

This is in answer to The Tearoom Challenge.



The phone call I had been dreading came last night. Bill wasn’t coming home tomorrow as he’d planned. The magistrate had ordered a review of some evidence, so the appeal had been delayed and he had no choice but to stay in Winnipeg for another day or two. I knew he was sorry; there was no doubting the sincerity in his voice, but that didn’t change the fact that he wouldn’t be here. It didn’t change the fact that I was going to spend my thirtieth birthday alone.

He promised a trip to Quebec City when he got home, talked endlessly about the Le Ch√Ęteau Frontenac and their wonderful amenities. He talked about long walks through the old city and dining in Le Champlain restaurant. It would be beautiful but it would not be on my birthday.

He spoke of love and tenderness and of taking care of myself while he was gone. He teased of discipline to be meted out if I didn’t; though the teasing held enough of an edge to it that I knew he would follow through with the threats if I failed to do what I should. He made me take the phone to bed with me and made sweet love to me with his voice before he said goodnight.

He is the best thing that ever happened to me, Bill is my world. But still I woke up alone on my thirtieth birthday. I had the day off work; it’s one of the perks of our company that every employee gets a day off for their birthday. I lay alone in our bed until the clock struck nine finally dragging myself up to answer the call of nature.

I followed my morning routine, cleaning up after myself as Bill always insisted. He’s a crazy clean freak, but he’s my crazy clean freak and I wanted him here. I went into the kitchen and opened the fridge and stared inside before slamming it closed it again having found nothing that appealed to me. I was alone for my birthday.

Bill’s parent’s called to wish me a happy birthday, we chatted for some time. When they heard that Bill wouldn’t be home today they wanted to come and take me out to dinner. I lied and told them I was meeting friends. Bill wouldn’t approve of the lie or of me spending the day alone, but I just didn’t feel up to putting on a smile and spending time with his folks. They’re wonderful people but I was in the mood for a pity party, not a birthday party.

I wandered barefoot out onto the back deck. Our property has a steep drop off at the back that slopes down to the property line at the top of a ravine. So the deck off the living room has a ten foot drop. We have a spectacular view of the heavily wooded valley beyond. I fell in love with this place the minute I saw the deck and view, it reminded me of the place Bill and I met. I think I frustrated the life out of my poor husband when I refused to look at any other house after seeing this one.

Bill couldn’t understand why I wanted a place that reminded me of a day that I was so depressed I was thinking of jumping off a cliff. But to me it wasn’t a reminder of that but a reminder of what I was looking at when he came along and changed my life.

I stood leaning on the railing staring at the valley below, trying to pull up the good feelings that this view always gave me and not succeeding very well. I’d been left alone too many times in my life to fully trust that it wouldn’t happen again. So even though my head told me that Bill would be home in a day or two, my heart just wasn’t listening. I was alone on my thirtieth birthday.

I don’t know how long I stood there staring but I was rudely yanked back from my sad reflections by the repeated ringing of the doorbell. Sighing in frustration I walked back through the house and opened the door to find a deliveryman holding a long narrow white box tied with a lavender bow.

“Delivery for Mr. J. McPherson.”

I signed for the box and brought it inside. I carefully opened it and there tucked amongst green tissue was a single perfect lavender rose, and a note on cream coloured stationary. It was Bill’s hand writing, he must have had it couriered to the florist from his hotel in Winnipeg. I just sat down on the hall floor holding the rose as I read the note.

The words immediately brought forth the music, and I could clearly hear Bill’s voice as if he were singing it to me.

You are not alone
For I am here with you
Though you're far away
I am here to stay
For you are not alone
For I am here with you
Though we're far apart
You're always in my heart

For you are not alone
For I am here with you
Though you're far away
I am here to stay

Happy Birthday my Darling I love you now and forever

Love, B.

I was not alone at all and my Bill was with me. I carried the rose outside and stood holding it as I look over the valley below. That evening I met Bill’s parents and brother for dinner and had a wonderful time. I missed Bill’s physical presence but knew he was with me. I was filled with love on my birthday.

The End