The clock sat in the corner, mocking her, as it had done for the past six months. It always feigned as if to go all the way round, and topple over, completing the full minute. But it never quite managed it. It always fell just short, sticking as gravity became too great for its weakened mechanisms.
Never quite managed to go full circle and start again. The irony wasn’t lost on her.
She didn’t know what she was expecting to happen. That clock hadn’t ever worked, really. The only reason it was still there was that it was the first thing that they had bought together to fill the empty house, and now, it helped to fill the void that he had left behind.
She wasn’t ready to admit that he wasn’t coming back yet, and so she left it there, ticking, mocking, broken. He had sometimes been able to fix the damn thing, more by luck than judgement she was sure, but it had been one of his trademarks. Whenever the clock was broken he would leap in to fix it, so there she left it, useless, hoping it might bring him striding back through the door one last time to lend a hand.
She hadn’t even said goodbye.
He’d been a victim of circumstance more than anything. One of the coldest winters on record, going at what should have been a safe speed over a country road on his motorbike, he’d happened to hit some black ice going over a hill, and was unlucky enough to have been met by a lorry that had lost its way. By all rights he should have been killed.
Sometimes she caught herself thinking it would have been better for everyone if he had been. Anything must be better than this, not knowing if he would ever wake up, not knowing if he would ever walk again if he did, not knowing, not knowing.
So she sat there, watching, waiting, and hoping. He’d worked miracles on the clock before, perhaps this one time the clock would work a little miracle on him. If the clock had taught her one thing, it was never to give up on something that seemed beyond repair. So she kept on waiting.
A more prompt response to Laura Feasey’s Literary Lion: Time challenge this week, hope you enjoyed reading.