Taking a deep breath Alice knew it was now or never. She had been putting it off too long, it was time to clear the shed. Armed with 5 black bags and one box for stuff to keep, she made her way down the garden.
Opening the door a wave of nostalgia engulfed her. No, not now. She wouldn’t let her emotions get the better of her. Taking a deep breath it was time to face her memories.
After two hours things were going better than expected. Four full black bags lay around her. Alice sat on the floor, dust-covered her hands.
One more drawer to go. Pulling it, the oak drawer seemed to hesitate before giving up its treasures. “The painting stuff, well, compared to some of the stuff this would be easy,” she thought.
Alice had managed a full two hours without crying. His gardening gloves had undone her but she had stuffed the sob back down.
She had thrown most of the painting stuff away when she reached down for the paint roller. It sparkled in the sunlight, it was so white. He was always so careful to clean the rollers after use. Just as she was about to throw it in the bag she saw the kaleidoscope of colour on the handle. Bringing the roller to her she looked down at it.
Red the colour they had painted the lounge. She chuckled to herself at the memory, the tears broke down her face.
Green the colour of the kitchen. It was the only colour that they could agree on in the shop. She had been cooking Lemon Meringue to surprise her mum. She never thought about checking the blender was together before she hit the on button. Lemon and sugar shot out from the bottom covering everything in a sticky mess. The only way to sort the kitchen was a quick repaint. How he had rushed to do the job and stop her crying. He did a good job too her mother never found out what a failed cook she was.
She spotted the yellow by the head of the roller and sobbed. Yellow the colour he had painted the nursery to surprise the expectant mum. The pride on his face. When he proudly revealed his work.
Alice sat and sobbed, what remained of her resolve crumbled. Why, why had someone taken this amazing strong man from her. Why, why had he been the statistic that didn’t survive cancer. All those things she thought she had time to say but hadn’t. She should have told him how much she loved him. How much she measured her life by making him happy.
The pain was too much, radiating from her heart like a burning hole. She picked the paint roller up and threw it in the black bag as she launched herself out of the shed. Her vision clouded as she tried to lock the shed door. Tears streaming, she turned from the shed.
’Happy Father’s Day, Dad, ’ she sobbed.