John’s Story

walmart man

The crowds were festive and created a holiday spirit on the street. People were laughing and expressing their joy in smiles and hugs. Music was playing and some were dancing energetically to the rhythms and the beat. Summer was in full swing and the crowd drew its energy from the warm, clear day.

The festive energy was beginning to tire John though. He had arrived enthusiastically, like many others, a few hours ago. His intention had been to celebrate, no holds barred. Suddenly it seemed a bit too much: the voices too loud, the music jarring, the movements too disjointed. He gravitated towards the oasis of peace on the side of the road where he could watch the revellers from a distance. He had tried but it was too soon.

He missed Marie. She had been his anchor for so long, balancing a life that would otherwise have been too wild. Her even voice had tempered his fiery nature, and his inborn desire to act regardless of the consequences. He missed her gentleness, her arms around his waist, the sweet scent of her. Closing his eyes, he brings her back to his mind. Marie when he met her. Marie on their wedding day, holding their first-born in her arms, watching their children graduate and marry. And the way she had looked when lying in the hospital bed wasting away. A tear squeezes past his tightly shut eyelids.

It is too early to leave grieving behind. Getting up, he glances at the joyful people in the street. Maybe next year. He turns and walks away towards solitude and peace in order to mend his broken heart.

(This piece of creative writing was inspired by Kellie’s picture prompt for her Free Write Fridays)

Β© Colline Kook-Chun, 2013


51 thoughts on “John’s Story

    1. I like how you wrote this..”let it be our visitor for awhile”. Sometimes grief is an unwelcome visitor, the pain too intense, unrelenting and consuming. Sometimes it is bittersweet when recalling a cherished moment, then realizing this moment will only be memories of past experiences, never to be repeated again. Sometimes when nearing the final phase of grief, the grieving moments feel cathartic, pain that has an end in sight, like the final contractions of childbirth.

      Letting grief be our visitor for awhile allows us to complete the grieving process – like childbirth – necessary to move through to the next stage, yet intense and not a process one would willingly choose to go through!


  1. Well done with John. I had him down as a bit of a loose cannon or a drop out; but loved the way his wife had tamed him…it was perfect!


  2. I agree with Kellie — you are a born novelist! You dealt with John’s story so well, I see it as part of an interesting book of short stories based on your interpretation of photographs. Images of people like John — giving him a face and a story. Or take a camera and capture a series of images and write something based on it. Like creating a book based on your own prompts.


  3. Beautiful story and very moving. It shows that even though it still hurts, he is not willing to give up life. Just needs a little more time. πŸ™‚


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