Returning from the cemetery, I stared at the picture I took of Jared just last month. I used to love that picture. I would wake up when he wasn't with me and lazily get out of bed. Making my way downstairs for breakfast, looking at it would be my morning fix before my coffee. It filled my heart with so much joy to look at it. It wasn't Jared in the flesh but it would do until I would see him later that day. Now, my eyes were transfixed on it.
There he stood, in front of the bar where he spent most of his nights. It would be the last picture he would ever pose for. I could feel my legs give way so I leaned against the fireplace for support. My eyes welled up with tears as I looked at my love. The drops streamed down my face, blinding my view. It didn't matter. I remembered every inch of it. He would be forever etched in my mind.
His hair was brushed back, his body fit and the bushy eyebrows I used to tease him about, were all reminders of what I would never see again. The white shirt almost off him, he looked like he would be removing his pants next.
My mind couldn't help wandering to happier times we spent together. I met him while I worked as a waitress at the local coffee shop, to earn money for my education. I was studying business and Jared was studying me. That first time he smiled at me, his lips were curled up and his pearly whites were in plain view. That first kiss he planted on my lips... I could still feel it.
Our last lovemaking session came to the forefront of my thoughts. Jared was a wonderful lover. He had this knack of making a woman feel like eating her pussy out was the best thing he ever ate. He would get between my spread legs, eager to partake in the juices that his touch and his long wet tongue caused to flow.
He verbalized what he felt "Oh Megan, your pussy lips are so beautiful," he would begin. "They look like a lovely flower as they open up and invite me inside." With that, he would bury his face in my cunt and savor the cum that inevitably dripped into his mouth. Even his fingers did things to me that no other man I had been with, had managed to do. He rubbed my g spot and made me squirt all over his face. He loved to kiss me hard on the mouth with his face soaked with my outpouring and I could smell the aroma of my cunt as his lips touched mine.
" Megan, I am so sorry," my friend Alana said to me, distracting me from my thoughts. She hugged me and told me that she couldn't believe Jared was gone. One drunken driver and a life full of promise was cut short. Alana went back to her husband's side.
I couldn't bear to look at Jared's picture any longer. I turned the photo over and placed it down on the mantel. I wearily walked to the sofa and sat down. How was I going to live without him? I couldn't fathom it. I didn't want to.
I finally found out from the police what happened to Jared, to cause him to lose his life. He took his job as a bartender very seriously and when Kyle Winters drank too much and refused a taxi, Jared went after him. Kyle started his car and Jared blocked him and got hit. Kyle was taken into custody after the accident and was charged. He never intended to hurt Jared. He was too intoxicated to realize what he was doing. Nevertheless he had to pay for what he did. There was no trial. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 5 years in jail. I felt numb. It wouldn't bring Jared back.
I tried to go on with my life as best as I could. I didn't date. I just worked and ate and slept. About 6 months after Jared's death, I was shocked to read a letter that was in my mailbox. The return address was from the jail Kyle was locked up in. I considered throwing out the letter but I let my curiosity get the better of me and opened it up.
"I can't tell you how sorry I am for the loss of your husband Jared," it began. "I think about what happened every day of my life. I am sober now and I will never drink another drink as long as I live. I wish I could take back that day but I can't. If you could see it in your heart to forgive me, I would be very grateful. I will understand if that is impossible for you. I hope one day you will come to see me so I could tell you in person." It was signed, Kyle Winters.
I stared at that letter in disbelief. How could he expect my forgiveness when Jared was gone forever? There was no way I would consider visiting him. I dismissed the thought.
Months passed. Through the grapevine in our small community, I heard that Kyle began trying to better himself in prison. He started taking courses to become a therapist. The rumor was that he wanted to help people with addiction problems. I knew that would have pleased Jared. I decided to pay Mr. Winters a visit.
I made my way to the jail and after going through the formalities, was led to a room with prisoners on one side and visitors on the other. For the first time since the accident, I looked at Kyle Winters, really looked at him. He was probably close in age to Jared. He had boyish good looks but the strain of what happened made some gray hairs appear. He was visibly nervous. We both lifted our phones and he began.
"Thank you so much for coming to see me. I know how difficult this must be for you," was all he managed to say before I spoke.
" I want to hear it from you, what happened that night. Tell me everything."
Kyle responded, " It's not an excuse but I had lost my job about 3 months prior. I had expected to be called in to get a promotion and raise and instead I got the boot. No pun intended. I worked in that shoe store for 10 years and they let me go without a thought. I was devastated and began drinking. I lost my girlfriend and alienated my friends, as I sunk deeper and deeper into my depression and my drinking got out of control. Jared tried to stop me from driving drunk that night and I thought he would move when I started the car but it all happened so quickly.... He didn't know what hit him. In an instant, he was gone and I am beyond sorry."
I shivered hearing those words. I could see that Kyle was sincere but I couldn't bear to hear anything more. I got up and left. "Please Megan, try to understand...."
Kyle's words haunted me for weeks afterwards. I decided to go see him again. This time I was ready to ask questions and I got my answers. Jared had no final words since there wasn't time. It was unlikely he suffered which made me feel relieved. I asked Kyle about his studies. I always believed that every cloud had a silver lining and my hope was that some good could come from all this. I grasped for anything positive I could find.
Kyle had started the process to earn his diploma. He did online courses and would be completing the final part of the program upon his release. His work would hopefully stop someone else from drinking and driving. That did give me a sense of satisfaction.
I continued visiting Kyle from time to time, to see how his studies were going. He was released from jail early, for good behavior. Kyle was good to his word. He continued studying and became a therapist at the local hospital.
My admiration for Kyle grew as I learned about what great work he was doing. Years had passed since Jared's passing and I felt stronger and in charge of my life once again. I set up an appointment with Kyle. I could see he was surprised but he agreed to the meeting.
"I forgive you Kyle," was all I said. You would have thought I just told him that he won the lottery. His face lit up and he was beaming. I couldn't help myself. I kissed him right on his lips. I could sense he was taken aback by my overture but his lips responded. Before we both knew it, our tongues were dancing together as we passionately kissed. When we finally managed to pull ourselves apart, we regained our composure. This would be a chapter that neither of us would ever be able to start.
We said our goodbyes and I left him. That was the last I ever saw of Kyle Winters. We still corresponded by e-mail but we knew that we would never meet again. When I returned home, I took Jared's picture that was long buried and put it on the mantle where it belonged.