This piece was assigned during a creative writing class I took. The goal was to write a piece of microfiction, or an extremely short story. My teacher designated that the story must total under 250 words. What I wrote is 223.
She sat by the door of her whitewashed house, patiently waiting for the knob to turn, for the door to creak open, to be embraced and loved and told how much she was missed. She sat, remembering when she woke to find him in his uniform and a packed duffel bag. Remembering how he said he had to go; it was his duty. How he said it was only for a year. Remembering how he said he loved her, how he would miss her. How he would be safe. She remembered how she had counted the days go by – birthdays, holidays…an anniversary; how she had thoughtfully cooked him a long overdue homemade dinner for his return.
She sat waiting; her foot tapped; she coughed. The clock ticked with each second passed, and she counted them all. Seconds turned to minutes, and minutes to hours. The dinner grew cold. A single tear fell to the hardwood floor. She knew what happened, but wished she could never believe it. She wished – that for the rest of time – she could pretend the door had opened, that her tears were of joy. But she knew nothing came from wishing. She tried to pray – but that betrayed her too. There was no longer anyone, or thing, she could trust. She was alone in the world. Truly, utterly, alone.