I stood in the doorway and stared at the woman who stood by the oven. Her hair was held in a causal pony-tail. They way I always liked it. She wore a light yellow Summer dress. One I had bought her.
She bends over to check the oven. She looks as beautiful as the day we met. I clear my throat and enter the kitchen.
She turns around and gasps. Her face pales and I see her eyes begin to fill with tears.
“Alan,” She whispers, “You can’t be here.” Her voice a little stronger.
“I had to see you.” I walk further into the kitchen. She remains standing by the oven, although her attention is no longer on the contents of the pan. It begins to smoke.
“Alan, you can’t keep coming round like this, appearing out of nowhere. We’re not married anymore, I moved on. It took me a long time, but I did it.” The tears fall from her eyes and streak her cheeks with silver.
“I couldn’t stay away any longer Jen. I miss you, I miss the kids.” I begin. I reach out and place my hand on her shoulder. She flinches at my touch, but doesn’t recoil.
“The kids can’t see you. It will confuse them. I’m with Tom now. They like him. It’s been hard on them Alan. These last five years have been hard on us all.” She takes a step to one side and my hand falls from its perch.
“They’ve been hard on me too Jen.” I struggle to hold back my own tears. The thought of the woman I shared my life with, sharing hers with another man ripped me apart on the inside. “I never stopped loving you. I can’t stop.” I reach out and sweep her into my arms. I pull her close and feel her body tremble. “You are my angel.” I whisper, my voice not able to muster up anything more powerful.
“I know Alan, but you need to leave. Tom can’t see you here. He will think I’ve gone mad if he finds you in the house.” She pushes me away, but not really. Behind her the pan on the stove spits black smoke into the air, but she doesn’t notice.
“I’m not afraid of being seen.” I whisper to her. I hold her gaze and see the tears brimming in her eyes, glistening like diamonds beneath the kitchen lights.
“Don’t do this to me. Please Alan, I can’t go through it again. I need to move on with my life. You do too. You’re dead Alan, you can’t keep coming back here, appearing to me like this. I have to move on. I need to do it for the children, they need a father in their lives.” The tears flow and her body trembles. She falls and I catch her.
I see her eyes widen as the realization of my touch dawns on her. Her body stiffens. “Alan.” She exclaims. “You came back?” She stammers, and it breaks my heart.
“No,” I shake my head and kiss her. Her arms wrap around me. She pulls me against her and kisses be deeply.
“I don’t understand. How? Your dead.” She speaks in between loud kisses.
“I know I am, but Jen, my darling…” all around us the smoke thickens, it envelops us and when it clear the kitchen is in ruins. The entire house nothing more than a burnt out shell. Water pools on the floor from where the flames had waged their war with the firefighters.
…”So are you.”