The Long Awaited Day

The long awaited day finally arrives -
time to leave for their romantic getaway,
a break from the daily routine that steals their lives,
a chance to renew their love that slowly has slipped away.

The husband has to make a quick trip to his office at work.
Calling home “Honey, I am leaving now. I will first run
by the bank, then gas up the car. You be ready. It will irk
me if you aren’t waiting to go when my errands are done.”

“Don’t let’s fight. I’m all packed and ready. I only need
to run by the post office drive-through to mail a letter.
I’ll be back long before you. Don’t hurry. Don’t speed.”
The line at the bank is long. The one for gas is no better.

Finally nearing home, the intersection ahead is ablaze
with flashing lights. From a block away he can spot
a fire truck, two ambulances, police cars. This way’s
gridlocked! He decides to cut through a mall’s parking lot.

Getting more and more annoyed, he wonders, why
there’s always a traffic delay whenever you’re in a rush.
You always get inconvenienced, made late when you try
to hurry….Soon the parking lot has its own traffic crush.

On the verge of road rage, the husband arrives, turns into
his driveway. His wife’s car isn’t there. “Just great! I guess
she got stuck in the traffic jam. She’s trying my patience too.
It’s ridiculous for her to take this long! ….UNLESS….

The terrible thought compels him to quickly drive back
to check the wreck. Impatiently parking half a block away,
then hurrying to the scene, his heart turns cold; he’s taken aback.
For there is her car - so mangled the sight fills him with dismay.

The police inform him his wife was alive, in bad shape, when she
was ambulanced away. Frantic, he rushes to the nearby hospital.
He thinks how petty their recent problems, their annoyances truly
are - putting work, children first, no affection, spending too little

effort keeping their love burning, always too tired, staying irritable
with each other, quarreling over children, bills, their daily routine --.
nothing more than the dimming of love’s flame ever so predictable
after thirteen years of marriage! Why was he sometimes so mean?

In a panic he arrives at Intensive Care to learn his wife is still alive.
“It’s touch and go. She is critically injured.” “Spend any amount.
Do all that can be done. She must live. She has got to survive!”
Love for her washes over him. “Getting her back is all that counts…”

Harry Edward Gilleland      10.26.02