Coming Home

Sorrows drifted through clouds threatening to spill
snowflakes like voices howling over the broken
glass in the frustration of another night alone in a bed
we shared before she took a hike.
She needed more than the life she knew with me.
A sea of hearts she wanted to break before
the rays replaced shadows, ushering in another
smog-filled day.
I cranked up the heat so my tears wouldn’t freeze to my cheeks.
Hours after I hit the lights, a knock startled me upright.
I wiped the sleep from my eyes, pushed my feet
into a pair of slippers and headed for the door with a baseball bat.
I asked who it was.
She told me it was Amber.
I told her I wished she’d become amber above Mt. Adams.
She giggled through her sniffles and said she couldn’t blame me.
I asked her what she wanted and why now.
I opened the door to her, standing in a foot of fresh snow.
The tips of evergreen trees had layers of snow.
“It’s not like you can send me away,” Amber said.
“And why is that?”
“Wouldn’t want a pregnant woman driving in a snowstorm now, would you?” Amber puffed her lower lip and batted her lashes.
I arched a brow. “You’re pregnant?”
“And you’re the father.”
“I hate to ask, but how am I supposed to—”
“I had to leave, or I’d never know what I’d be missing.”
“And what did you find?” I said.
“You’re everything I need,” Amber said. “Look at my stomach.” Amber unzipped her coat. “I’m six months along.”
“I’m engaged,” Amber said.
“To whom?”
“You, if you’ll have me.”
“How could I say no (and mean it)?”

Twitter – @AC0040

(© 2023 AC.)

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