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Sweet, Sweet Goodbye

by Juanita Pearce 10 months ago in Family
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a fishy tale

Sweet, Sweet Goodbye

“I want to go to the Alaska Chocolate Shop.” May whined.

“You know I had this fishing trip planed! What happened to that chocolate cake I just bought you?”

“There is only one slice left. It was ok but I really want to get some other chocolates. I want a little variety, not just the same thing all the time.”

“Cann’t you take a cab?” But I knew from the look on her face I would give in just to shut her up. ‘Lord, lord!’ I thought ‘How did I ever get into this relationship?’

I caved in. “I will call Mark and tell him I will be a couple hours late. Now get your ass in gear. Let’s get this over with.” I hit speed dial 4. Mark answered on the second ring.

“Where are you?” If we are to get a good place on the bank we need to leave now.” Fishing the Kenai River is as much about getting a prime spot on the bank to fish from as it is catching the winning fish for the derby.

“Sorry, but May just has to get her weekly fix of fresh chocolate.”

“Don’t know why you put up with that bitch. She runs your life. Tell her to take a cab.”

“I did, but she whines - says I don’t love her - says I never go anywhere with her. ‘Take me, bring me, buy me’ is all I seem to hear from her.”

“Good luck, buddy. We probably won’t …. See you in a couple hours.” Sounding disappointed, Mark hung up.

It was a silent drive to the Alaska Chocolate Shop. May’s slight smile told me she was satisfied having won again the war of wills. ‘Just like her mother’ I thought.

The cool morning air gave way to the sweet smells of pies, cookies, breads, and all things sweet as we enter the door. Coffee and a roll would have been good but May headed for the stairs to the chocolate room. Yes chocolate had its own room in the basement with a chocolate fountain and a huge counter full all kinds of chocolate; all colors, flavors, some with nut and berries imbedded in them.

May was four step ahead of me down the stairs as I came around the corner. She had one foot off the step and the other foot was on toes. She was reaching out to stick her finger in the warm flowing chocolate that was shooting out of the wall into a bucket. She was always mesmerized by the fountain that flowed out of the bucket, down the rock slopping wall to an edge that looked like Niagara Falls and collected in a pool at the bottom. A person couldn’t get close to that fountain at the floor level. A short wall had been constructed around the pool to keep customers from doing what May was trying to do now.

I quickly looked around. There was no one behind me. The counter girl had her back turned, texting something. I am sure that text was real, real important.

I heard May say, “Oh, Oh! Help me!”

So I did. Quickly descending five steps, my left foot caught her ankle. Over she went. Her scream caused the counter girl to twirl around and see May land head first into the chocolate pool. I ran to the bottom, stepped over the little wall and dragged May, my chocolate cover bunny, out. She wasn’t breathing.

“Call 911!!” I shouted. I started CPR.

The counter girl, quite wide eyed and pale, fumbled with her phone. The rest is a blur but I caught a recap on the evening news. I was quite a site to behold; standing in front of the cameras, mournful shocked look on my face, half covered in chocolate. The counter girl was a big help confirming my story that May had alway wanted to dip her finger into the fountain. ‘Yes, yes… one of our best customers’ she had told police.

The coroner said he couldn’t be sure until the autopsy was finished if she died of a broken neck or from inhaling chocolate into her lungs.

Yes it is a sad end for my dear May. The insurance from her job sent me a check for $25,000 and even the insurance from the Chocolate Shop offered me a huge sum. I turned that down: said it wasn’t right to take money for what was n’t their fault. I signed a release from liability for ‘the accident’. The Chocolate Shop gave me a card for free products for life. That was very generous of them. I haven’t been in there since ‘the accident’. I hear they have modified the stairs with fancy ironworks up to the ceiling.

I am writing this story to put in the the ashes of my May , along with a Hershey’s kiss (chocolate of course) so that if a bear gets me while fishing her kin will know what is in this mason jar.

PostScript

The jar is now on the back of the closet shelf in the spare bed room. New fishing gear is in the spare room, too, on the bed. He hasn’t gotten around to clear out May’s things yet. He and Mark are headed out in the morning. It is fishing season and there are derbies to enter.

Family

About the author

Juanita Pearce

Mystic old woman in Alaska

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