Yesterday once more (part 3)

Emily opened the drapes to let some light into the room, grabbed a cold water from the refrigerator and sat in the surprisingly comfortable leather chair at the desk. Let’s see what you want to share my friend, she said as she turned to the second page.

November 10th, 1940

The girls are kicking again Samuel, I do so wish you could be here to feel what I feel. The weather here has been pretty good considering, for this time of year. You know you never can tell as the sun comes up what to expect but the girls always seem more restless on nice days. I know, we don’t know they’re going to be girls and you’re hoping for a boy but if there has to be two, I’d like them to be a matching set, kind of like salt and pepper shakers. The doctor said Friday that everything is progressing nicely, the heartbeats sound strong, etc…you know how doctors are, even if something were awry they would never let on. He talked to mother while I was getting dressed and afterwards she seemed a bit off. She said that everything was good but I have a feeling, you know me and my feelings, they’re always spot on. I think there’s something she’s not telling me. You never know which one is which till you turn it over. It’s been hard with you gone but I know it’s necessary so that we can get a place of our own. Mom has been especially kind and work is getting harder as I get larger. The girls don’t make it easy but Mr Johnson said he understands if I cannot clean the offices anymore and to not push myself. He is a kind man and I do believe he is a good-hearted person, even for a lawyer. He will be going on vacation next month so I would have some time off then but at the rate my stomach is growing and the way the girls are fighting in there, I wouldn’t be surprised to see them come out a bit early. I hope the weather is treating you ok on the ship. It must be tough cooking for the guys with the rocking of the waves, but perhaps because the ships so big you don’t feel it as much, you’ve never said so and I can only guess. I received your letter and the money last week but know not to write as you never know where you will be at a given point so I use this as my Samuel correspondence instead. I put the money in the bank and it, like the girls is growing nicely.

I am enjoying writing in this book, perhaps I have found my passion after all, besides you of course, but I have to do something besides wait, you know how I like to keep busy. Mother made me a cake for my birthday and sang for me. She put two candles on the cake as she thought it would be too hard for me to blow out all 21 at this stage and I’m glad she did. It’s hard to believe that in another month you’ll be back and the girls will make their grand entrance. She made my day so very special, and also made my favorite cheesy potato casserole with ham and it was all so divine. It would have been better with you here but we have our lives ahead of us and we will be a family all together before you know it. I miss you my love, so desperately. Oops, there goes little E kicking again. I’ve given them nick-names until we can decide together. E is for Extra hard….she is the absolute worst, where as M is mild, she is going to be a gentle one, unless of course E is kicking M in which case it’s ME that gets no joy. But seriously, for names I like Elizabeth and Emma if they’re girls and if there is a boy and a girl, I like Samuel, for you of course my dear. I’ll stop here as I am getting a bit tired and am going to lay down, will write more later. Take care and I’ll stand beneath our moon tonight and send love letters through the sky to find you on your ship. Five more days till it’s a full moon, so I hope it’s clear out so that I can watch it through my sleep as I dream of our tomorrows. Don’t work too hard, but I know you will. Love you, Emily and the girls?

November 11, 1940

Good morning Samuel, I’m hoping the day is finding you happy and that the weather is cooperating. It is 55 degrees here and it’s going to be a nice day I hear. I had a horrid night sleeping. I can say this here as I know you won’t read it until you get back but it was truly bad. Both girls were kicking and I don’t feel like I got any sleep. I had a nightmare last night. Something bad happened and you had disappeared and I called for you, almost like I was searching in a thick cloud and the babies were coming and I needed you but all I kept hearing was the echo of my voice calling you. It was horrible, I woke up sweating and had to open the window to let in the breeze. I am unsettled and I am afraid the girls may be trying to break free before their time. I’m not ready. Here all this time I thought I was but talking to them in there as opposed to out in the world, moving and crying, well I think I’m just scared. I know you can’t be here right now and that’s ok. I am not going in to work today, Mom said I looked ashen and tired and she called Mr Johnson to beg me off for the day. I think he took it well, I was too tired to ask, just grateful for the time to try to catch up on some sleep. Thank God for Mom. I don’t know what I would do without her here to take care of me. Here I think I’m married and all grown up, two babes on the way and a beautiful man on the wide blue lakes and yet I feel like a child. Be well my love, will write again soon…there goes the girls again, ouch that smarts. Sigh…..

November 12, 1940

My beautiful Samuel, I slept the day through and woke early evening to find Mother asleep in her chair. She had set out dinner for me and another piece of birthday cake that she had frozen. I forgot to tell you, it was chocolate with chocolate butter frosting, not your favorite I know, but I let Mom sleep and I ate quietly, enjoying the peace and flavors of my supper. The girls have been on and off with their antics and I’m tired of being tired. I also found your latest letter next to the place setting and a flower that mother must have cut from the garden. It is a beautiful white rose. She never parts with her roses except for special occasions. She is trying so hard to make it easier for me and I am blessed to have her. Your letter was dated three weeks ago. I’m sure not much changes from week to week but it’s funny as the other letter with the money was from two weeks ago. The postal service on the water is a funny thing indeed. It’s like going back and forth in time. There was talk there was a horrible storm on Lake Michigan yesterday and I hope you are holed up somewhere safe. The SS William B Davock (Big Willie as you so affectionately call it) is so big, I don’t worry of anything drastic happening as seems so safe. Unlike smaller craft, my mind is at ease that all is well. Hope you dressed warm and are staying dry and thinking of me, I know, you always think of me as I always think of you. Will talk soon love. I am going to read for a while and digest my dinner, it isn’t settling well and the girls are boxing again.

Mother just left and I don’t know what to say. They say your ship went down in the storm yesterday. I don’t believe it. I refuse to believe it. I would know if something happened to you, I would feel it to my core if I were to lose you. I cannot let you go, the girls haven’t had a chance to meet you and I’ll be damned if I’m just going to give up and believe this lie. Samuel, say it isn’t true, send me a sign….please, I beg of you, Don’t leave me. I can’t live without you, without you there is no me…Oh God, please I pray, let it be a lie, let Samuel be alive. I can’t bear this, the girls need you. I need you. Please…….

to read part one and two:

Yesterday once more (short story intro)

Yesterday once more (continued)


Shine on

“You reached for the secret too soon, you cried for the moon.
Shine on you crazy diamond.
Threatened by shadows at night, and exposed in the light.
Shine on you crazy diamond.
Well you wore out your welcome with random precision, rode on the steel breeze.
Come on you raver, you seer of visions, come on you painter, you piper, you prisoner, and shine!” Pink Floyd

Words run through her glittering mind

locked in a world of quiet illusion

she seeks in the darkness for yesterdays child

shining the light from within.

She watches the world spiral out of control

yet holds her heart in gentle hands,

like wishes blown on an endless wind

carrying her back to innocence again.

She shines like diamonds in the midnight hour

beneath a moon that knows her soul,

swaying on a song that plays in her head

taking her there to the beginning.

The lights of the life of the days she has lived

tempered like glass thick and bold

washing the wine like water from her hands

holding the overflowing cup of tomorrow.

She will shine for the days of a love of a song,

that keeps her lingering like a taste of bliss

arms to the sky she will always fly high

a glittering star lost on earth.

Her name is diamond for she is strength

forged over time by life and circumstance

the darkest coal under pressure to form

the pure crystal reflected

in multiple dimensions,

crafted and cut to shine

through a light of a soul

born to rise, to become.


Yesterday once more (continued)

The March rain continued to paint the airport windows in sheets of waterfalls. Emily walked down the ramp to the exit to retrieve her rental car and looked at the deluge beyond with disdain. “I didn’t even think about an umbrella” she muttered to herself and made a U-turn to go back to a kiosk that had them for sale, “most likely marked up to the hilt” she thought as she grabbed a pretty paisley one and searched for the price tag. Twenty one dollars for an umbrella, but a necessary evil, besides, I can use it again back home perhaps, she thought as she dived into her bag to produce the money and handing it over to the sales lady, gave a short nod and walked away. The line was non-existent at the rental car booth and she signed where asked, took the keys and walked towards the exit. The rain outside had lessened a bit but she opened the umbrella and stepped off the curb towards where the car would be found. She skirted the puddles that she could but still ended up ankle-deep with one foot in a pothole that was hidden below the shimmering water. A quick growl erupted in her throat as she shook off what she could and continued stalking to where the white Chevy Malibu sat forlornly at the end of the lot. “Of course you’d have to be at the end, stupid car” she said as she unlocked it with the fob, throwing the wet umbrella in the hatch and dug through her bag for her running shoes. She peeled off her dripping stockings in the car and dried her foot off on the car mat, put on her sneakers and fired the car up. She hadn’t been back to Buffalo in years, had always hated it but tomorrow was the funeral and then the reading of the will, which she hoped wouldn’t take long. She wasn’t due to fly out for a few more days, figuring she’d take in a little sight-seeing downtown. There had been a lot of development since she’d been there last and she was surprised to find herself almost eager to see the new waterfront. After all, nothing good ever happened there, but the papers that she’d look at every now and then was heralding it as the “new Buffalo”. “Lets see if it lives up to the hype”, she thought as she reached the border of West Seneca. She didn’t even remember getting on the thruway but before she even knew it, the hotel parking lot was just ahead of her. I’ve really got to pay more attention and get my head out of the clouds before I kill myself or someone else, she thought as a horn sounded behind her, startling her back into the here and now.  She turned into the lot as the impatient driver behind her careened off and moved from her view. “Welcome home Emily” she said to the eyes that greeted her in the rearview mirror. She was surprised to see the dark bags beneath her normally bright sparkling eyes. Perhaps a nap before dinner was in order and she grabbed her wet shoes off of the mat, got the umbrella and her bag out of the hatch and headed into the foyer of the hotel.

Emily saw the pretty blonde behind the desk who greeted her with a wide smile. She thought she looked familiar and with a start, realized it was the little girl who had lived next door to where she had grown up. Her name tag said Cynthia, but Emily remembered her as Cindy. Her pigtails had been replaced by highlights and waves but the smile was the same perky one she had known. “Oh my goodness, I saw an Emily Williams listed as an incoming customer and Oh my, I am so sorry about your mother, I should have put two and two together when I saw that, but Oh my, it’s so good to see you. What’s it been, around five years now?” Cindy said with a cross between embarrassment and joy tinged with a bit of remorse and Emily returning the smile replied “More like ten years now, and thank you. Yes I’m here for the funeral and will be in town for a few days before I fly back out. Look how much you’ve grown up, my friend.”

“We should get together when my shift ends and have a drink, I’d love to hear what you’ve been up to all this time” she said with a wide infectious smile.

“I need to lay down for a bit and take a nap, what time do you get off?”

“Five o’clock, three hours from now. But if you’re too tired, I understand completely. It must be hard being back here again and I know your mother wasn’t the easiest person to get along with but in the last year, she kind of mellowed out a bit, if that’s even a possibility. You know Liz, she was a cantankerous old coot, up until the end but it’s still sad to know I won’t be able to look at her window and see those mean old raised eyebrows glaring at me through the shades when I get home late. You’d think she thought I was out carousing like a slut or something the way she looked at me, but you know me. That was never my style. Still, she had her ways. I know you know all about that. But if you’re up to it, would love to chat for a bit when I’m done” Emily nodded at her tirade, Cindy hadn’t changed, always talking eighty miles an hour but she was a sweet soul, still was after all these years and she was kind of eager to hear the news of her old hometown and friend.

“I’ll meet you down here at five, yeah, that sounds good to me. It’ll give me a chance to freshen up and catch a quick nap. I look forward to it, Cin,” she said, and she took the plastic key and headed towards the elevator.

“Hey Emily, wait a moment” Cindy said as she bent down below the desk and seemed to be rummaging around before her head popped back up and she held out a brown paper package. “This was left back here for you from some dude in a suit, I almost forgot about it” and Emily walked back to take the small box. She shook it but it made no sound, she turned it around and saw it was marked with her name on it and Esquires in the top corner. It felt like a book or something and she tossed it into her bag, gave a wave to Cindy and walked into the open elevator. “See you at five” she said as the doors closed.

The little door light turned green and she turned the knob to room 313 that led into her home for the next few nights. She hit the light switch and was pleasantly surprised to see a nice setup. A modern and clean hotel, she thought, what a novel concept and she tossed her bag onto the second bed, kicked off her shoes and stretched out with a yawn. Grabbing the remote she flicked it to the local news channel and wasn’t surprised to see yet another drive by shooting. She turned the tv off and grabbed her bag for the package. It was wrapped in what looked like a paper bag but lifting the corners, the contents slid out easily. It was a photograph, a note card and a small leather-bound book. She looked at the image but wasn’t quite sure who it was, seeing similarities between her mother and Aunt but set it aside as she opened the note card.

Emily, as part of the will, this package was to be delivered to you prior to the service. The instructions were for you to read this, that more things will make sense after you do this. I hope you get in early enough that you can complete this. I will see you tomorrow at the service. Looking forward to meeting you. Sincerely, Robert F. Johnson Esq.

She sat the note card down with the photo. The woman eyes stared at her with an almost sultry and knowing look and reminded her more of Emma than Elizabeth. Perhaps a relation to the family, she thought and opened the strange leather volume up to the yellowed first page. To be read only upon my death were the only words on the faded page and it was signed Emily Williams Knoll.

to be continued…..