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The Box of Tissues
Always too few
NOTE: For what it’s worth, out of the 600+ stories I’ve written and published in this space, this is the only one where the first draft was the final. When I went to edit it after writing it, I didn’t change a thing. Enjoy.
When Sherry grabbed the tissue box and set it between them, Todd understood completely.
“A real tear jerker, isn’t it?”
“More than you know,” Sherry said. “When will it end, you know, the pain?”
“Oh, it’s got an ending, Sherry. It has to.”
The couple stared straight ahead and dabbed at their eyes with the tissues.
Sherry blew her nose before tossing the tissue to the floor.
“You’ve got it bad, haven’t you?” Todd asked.
“Yeah, joy and sadness all in one.”
Todd said, “They’ll be back and when they do, they’ll bring some grandkids with them – our grandkids.”
“We won’t spoil them rotten, will we?”
“Of course we will.”
“It’ll be great, won’t it?” Sherry asked.
“Seems quiet around here, though, doesn’t it?” Todd asked.
“I’m sure we’ll get used to it.”
“Yeah, starting today I have.”
“Then it’s too early to text them?” Sherry asked.
“Much too early.”
“Don’t just sit there,” Sherry said. “Hand me another tissue.”