Part 6

His hands never did grow back. Of all the possible reminders of this fact, from eating to drinking, to driving, to making love, the one that bothered him most was hitting the snooze button on his morning alarm. It had been three years since losing Tara and his hands and he figured he’d had to reset that damn clock four hundred times. And while he could still use his nubs to navigate a smart phone or tablet holding one was another issue. For Jim the little things always added up to big things.

The sound of tires rubbing against cement accompanied his turn out of the garage as he backed out onto the dimly lit street before sunrise. After six months the neighbors began to openly question why he visited her grave every day. Leaving before they woke up was his solution. But he knew that they knew he still went.

For a while he tried to explain why he went, but no one would listen. Most people claimed ignorance about such things. They didn’t want to hear words like guilt and shame. Guilt and shame are what drove him to the cemetery though. Guilt for knowing he could’ve saved her. Shame for not saving her because of office politics or some such shit.

They hadn’t any children, so daily visits were the only way he could think to pay his respects and atone for his weaknesses. And the visits worked for the first half of every day. Three minutes into every lunch break, as he finally folded back the flaps of his brown paper lunch sack, though, he could only feel an intense desire to trade places with her. Or join her.

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