Rearview Mirror

Afternoon sun reflected through the common area windows. Melvin sat with his wheelchair backed near a corner. All of his war buddies had passed away, and most of the guys from the shop. He breathed deeply; sighed. Regret.

He wondered if she ever thought about him. A nasty breakup. The blame game had been there from the start, when the divorce rate skyrocketed in the seventies. Women’s lib, he’d called it. Hadn’t seen her in years. Outlived the second wife. She never talked back. No spunk like the first. Melvin had always regretted the split. Wished he’d been more respectful, kind. Appreciation. He’d learned the proper way to act the second time around, but most of it had been an act. Always loved the first wife. Never stopped.

Sun cut through the plate-glass and hurt his eyes, caused him to squint. He rolled the chair around, and faced toward the wall. Alone. Melvin wiped a tear from his eye. The end was coming soon. He knew it. He’d always told people when you lose the will to live, death lurked around the corner.

Another sigh. More tears, flowing from both eyes now. Adoration.

Melvin trembled. He shook, hyperventilating. The realization had come far too late. Only when she’d gotten fed up, and walked out. That’s when Melvin finally understood he hadn’t treated her right. Lack of respect. Gone. Didn’t even know the last time that he saw her would be the final time. Many things were still left unsaid. Anguish.