Rick – Alternative ending

A story written for Aberdeenshire Film Productions, but with an alternative ending than the original

Rick and I were together for three years when we heard the news. Rick had cancer. The doctor explained the treatment course to us and the expectations we should have. Rick went through chemotherapy and, in spite of what the doctor had told us, we had high hopes. Rick was a physically fit person and very strong mentally. But the cancer was stronger. The therapy didn’t work.

“It’s ok, honey,” he said. “I’m ok with it.” He tried to console me as I was crying. I loved him so much and didn’t want to lose him. “I’ll always be with you, sweetheart. Maybe not in body, but I will always be there in spirit.” I raised my head and he kissed me.

“Will you let me know if there is something hereafter?” I smiled as I wiped away my tears, trying to lighten the mood so he wouldn’t worry too much about me.

“Of course I will. Nothing can stop me from being with you. You’re my girl!” he said as he hugged me tightly. “You’ll always be my girl and I’d do anything for you!”

Death makes no exceptions though and Rick was taken from me that autumn. I mourned for months and my parents made me see a grief councillor.

“I miss him so much. I keep seeing Rick’s face in crowds,” I told him.

“That’s normal, people often do that after a bereavement,” was his answer.

At first the talks with the grief councillor didn’t do much to reduce the hole in my heart caused by Rick’s absence, but they were comforting. Slowly but surely, I did get over Rick’s death. After two years or so I was ready to start dating again. After all, I was only twenty-eight.

I met Darrell at the cinema. We were both watching ‘Deadpool’ on our own, Darrell sitting two seats away from me. We laughed at the jokes and both of us glanced sideways now and again to check each other out. After the movie we started chatting and I asked him if he would like to go somewhere and have a drink together. He took me to a nice bar he knew, just around the corner from the cinema. It clicked instantly between us and after talking all evening we exchanged details.

I was unsure to call him back. Was I really ready for this? But Darrell didn’t waste any time and before I knew it we were seeing each other every weekend. After three weeks I let him kiss me goodnight on my doorstep. After six weeks the kisses were French kisses. After nine weeks I asked him inside.

We were kissing passionately as we stumbled into the hallway. He took off my jacket and let it slide on the floor. We twirled into the living room and fell on the couch. I sat on top of him and slowly unbuttoned his shirt. His chest was hairy and I let my hands swirl through the curls. He was looking at me in a strange was.

“What?” I asked, afraid that I didn’t live up to his expectations.

“You’re so beautiful,” he whispered.

Abruptly he lifted me off him, stood up and swooped me off my feet.

“Where is your bedroom?” he asked, twisting around, searching for the right door.

I giggled.

“It’s that way,” and pointed him in the right direction.

‘This is it,’ I thought.

He carried me into the bedroom and gently put me on my bed. We kissed passionately again.

“Is it okay if I have a shower first?” he asked tentatively. I had picked him up straight from work and I understood that after a day of bricklaying he would want to get cleaned up first.

“Sure, use the en-suite. There are towels in the cupboard under the sink.”

I hadn’t anticipated this to happen and now I wished I had cleaned the bathroom a bit more recently.

Whilst he was having his shower I quickly got up and checked my hair in the mirror. As we had dinner together, I checked out if there was left-over spinach between my teeth while I was there. I positioned myself on my bed again and lifted one knee. Or should I lift the other one, what would be more pleasing for Darrell to look at when he comes out of the bathroom? I heard Darrell close the shower tap and cupped my hand in front of my mouth to check my breath.

I waited, and waited a bit longer. Darrell was taking an awful long time to have his shower. It was taking so long I started to get a bit annoyed with the water he was obviously wasting. Why wasn’t he coming back to me? Would he have gotten cold feet all of a sudden? After twenty minutes I thought I had been patient enough.

“Darrell, are you okay?” I called out.

No answer. Just the perpetuous sound of the shower. I got off the bed and walked to the en-suite. As I slowly pushed open the door I called him again.

“Darrell, is everything alright? I’m getting a bit worried…”

The room was full of steam from the hot water. I couldn’t see a thing. As Darrell still wasn’t answering I was getting really worried now. I pushed the door fully open and stepped inside. I could now see Darrell’s body slumped against the shower door. Panic raced through my body. I ran and opened the cubicle door. Darrell’s body fell into my arms, a trickle of blood running from the corner of his mouth. Darrell’s skin was as white as a ghost.

I couldn’t find a pulse and I knew I had to call for help. I carefully laid Darrell’s body on the floor and turned around as I stood up.

I nearly lost consciousness as I read the words written in the steam of the mirror.


Copyrighted by Jacky Dahlhaus

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