Marcy. She was the first thought in his mind as he lay there. She was so clear and vivid in his mind even with the haze that seemed to be crowding away his vision.
He and Marcy at a Halloween party 15 years ago. She is standing next to a table filled with orange cupcakes, chips, and soda. He has been watching her all night from afar. The party is filled with people from school, but he has never seen Marcy before. She stands there in her blue-silver gown and blond curls.
Marcy standing in the kitchen that day they bought the house. She was so proud of the little bungalow with its 1950’s blue tile kitchen and floral papered walls. She had said she felt like June Cleaver as she stood there. She had vowed to learn to cook that day, she never did. He watched her from the living room. She recently cut off her hair; that long golden blonde hair with beautiful curls. He wanted to be angry with her. Now as she stood in that kitchen smiling she looked more beautiful than he could ever remember. Dancing in the new kitchen. Well, she dances; he follows along clumsily as always. Her smile and her laugh they are amazing.
They are walking near their apartment and find the little house on Walnut Street; the one with the blue kitchen and the dance. Marcy notices it first and says how she always imagines them in a house just like this. It’s just two months later and the house is up for sale. He buys it. He surprises her on their wedding anniversary with the deed to the house rolled up in one of her magazines. He has never seen her eyes light up that way.
That little church on Oak Street. She’s only eighteen and him only nineteen, they are so eager to start a life together. Marcy is a more beautiful bride than she had been Cinderella. The dress is white with lace and it fits her perfectly. She’s smiling as she makes her way to stand beside him. He lifts her veil and looks into her cornflower blue eyes. The tears make them shine like and they seem to shimmer.
She sits on that little blue stool with a brush in hand. She spends hours there. She sits with her work until she hears his key turn in the door. She greets him with a kiss. He always loves seeing her in her with paint smeared on her jeans, smiling and asking about the day. They decide what to do for dinner. Eat in or go out for a bite. Of all the things that Marcy is, a cook is not one. She tries, but she never really caught the culinary bug. Eating in consists of what they can whip up from a boxed dinner or pop into the microwave. It will be a bite out night.
He and Marcy are creatures of habit. They keep the same schedule day in and day out and they always eat at the same restaurant, Harold’s on Fifth. Harold, a dear friend of Marcy’s father, makes the best meatloaf that money can buy. Marcy always has the Cobb Salad. She is still as petite and lithe as she that October night. It is always meatloaf for him though. Harold always greets them at the door, as he does every one of his guests.
Marcy’s mother arranges with Harold for them to have the restaurant to themselves for an hour. Louise is a wonderful mother-in-law. Not anything like those battleaxes in those TV shows. He and Marcy sit at their favorite table while a violinist plays. It has been 12 years since that day at the little church.
It’s Tuesday. Marcy is finished with the children. A few years ago she began volunteering at the children’s museum. She teaches art classes to underprivileged kids and she seems more excited about that than anything she does. She has recently started to talk about children again. They are talking about going to the adoption agency to see what the process is all about. She needs to be a mother. Maybe she still can be.
Marcy is not able to have children. She would be a wonderful mother. She accepts her fate and vows that she will simply have more time for him. They talk about adoption. Marcy is adamant that if she were intended to have a child she would have been blessed with the ability to have one of her own.
She is in the studio now working on the beach scene that she started a few days ago. She takes such time on each piece. He asked her once if she ever tired of painting. Her only response was, Never. The beach scene is going to be magnificent, as they all are. She paints their vacations. This painting she is working on now is something they saw while spending a week in San Diego. He had to attend a conference there and she decided it would be fun to tag along. They spent the final day on the beach just soaking up the sun and building sandcastles. It is the sandcastles that are the subject of the painting.
He comes in after work and finds her in her studio. She has converted the second bedroom of into her art studio. A room not more than six by nine, Marcy has covered one wall with a mural and surrounds herself with easels. She is an astounding artist. The entire house is adorned with her beautiful landscapes. The ocean at sunset, a field overflowing with daisies, the majestic mountain peaks covered with snow.
Marcy is there in her studio surrounded by her beautiful world when the police knock on the door. She’s surprised when she sees them on the porch. She knows right away that something has happened. They tell her about the accident. How he had been run off the road by an eighteen-wheeler and how he slid down the embankment crashing into the tree. She’s strong though. She calls her mother. Louise is right there in an instant to console her. Louise will help her.
He can hear sirens now. The police are coming with an ambulance probably right behind them. When they find the car they will quickly realize that he’s not there. They will see the windshield broken and know that he is lying somewhere below. It won’t take too much effort to find him. Although, he’s not sure how far away from the car he is. He knows he is lying somewhere near water. He can hear the faint whisper of the flow of a creek. Maybe they won’t be here in time. What if they are too late? He feels the pull of darkness at the edge of his mind. There is an urge to sleep washing over him. It’s dark, much darker than earlier. The sirens stopped. He should lights now up on the ridge. He can’t hear them at all. He should hear the radios and the footsteps as they make their way down. They will find him.
He feels a wave of exhaustion and then a tingle starts to move up his body. He closes his eyes and waits for the officer to find. They will wake him when they get here.