Ward Jones

It was 1849, at her parent's home, that I first noticed Elena's idiosyncrasy.

After an incredible meal, when everyone was finishing off their plates, Elena took the last mouthful from her fork and laid it, tines down on the edge of her plate, with the handle on the table.

Thinking back, it was clearly her way of ending her meal. A silent way of stating she was finished and would have no more.

Five years have passed, containing a given that after every meal, every picnic, every stolen midnight slice of pie, she never fails to leave her fork upside down and resting on the edge of her plate.

Of recent, though, she has grown distant from me. Her eyes dazzled, but no longer by me.

This evening I returned home to find the front door ajar. Worried for my wife's safety, I ascended the stairs to our bedroom. Her clothing lay scattered haphazardly, her jewelry box flipped over and empty, the faint hint of her favorite perfume lingering in the air. She however, was nowhere to be found.

I returned downstairs, and noticed kitchen placemats, usually arranged neatly, had been flung on the floor. The table was empty, save a single clean, white plate upon which lay an envelope addressed to me in her hand.

A fork lay inverted, tines down on the edge of the plate, with the handle on the table.

Opening the letter was unnecessary.

She was finished and would have no more.

First published: Aug, 2008
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