Life After Life

by Elroy Jackson


A story of loss and remembrance.

Life Afterlife

This day was no different from any other day in my life after losing the one person that meant the world to me. I got up, showered, and began my daily trek to my job in traffic that was stop and go for a solid hour and a half every morning. I approached a wreck ahead that was quite extensive and the traffic came to an immediate stop. I put my face down on the steering wheel knowing that I was going to be late again but at the same time praying for whoever was in that wreck ahead. Judging by the ambulances and fire trucks that were coming through it was bad.

   After about thirty minutes of concrete standstill, the long line moved two car lengths and it felt like a mile, as I moved ever so closer to nowhere I happened to look to my left in the next lane and was absolutely stunned by what I saw in the car next to me... it was her! Oh my God, it was her!! I know just two months ago that I buried her but there she was.

I stared for a solid two minutes without so much as blinking, and she finally turned to the right and looked me straight in the eyes for a short amount of time and she too somehow looked at me as if she recognized me. The line moved and we both moved up but she was slightly ahead, soon after I was able to arrive even with her car again and she was already looking in my direction. She was so familiar to me that I rolled down my window with hopes that she would also, but she didn't, she moved ahead again.

   When I finally got back even I blew my horn at her and she gave me a look that said "I knew I shouldn't have looked at this freak!" So I concentrated my attention back to the road a little bit embarrassed that I took it that far, I must have lost my mind for a minute.

She was exactly in every way the person that I had spent the majority of my life with and she was right there in my life, afterlife.

When I made it to work and clocked in, I had lost a precious two hours of work and pay. I walked into my office at the credit union and drooped down into my chair still thinking about that lady in traffic and asked myself "Could it really have been her again?" just then Ellen, one of the other agents came to my door and said " Good morning Devon there is a client to see you, I got up and got my game face on and looked up with a smile and an arm extended ready for a handshake and it was her!! Both our mouths fell open as we stood there staring at each other, I was amazed that she was the love of my life, and she amazed that we saw each other hours earlier on the freeway.

"Didn't I see you in traffic this morning?" She said with a smile as she sat down in front of me. I said "Yes, and please forgive me for blowing at you. I thought you were somebody else" as she removed her id and other papers out of her purse she said, "If you don't mind me asking who did you think I was?"

"Just an old friend," I said. "What can I do for you miss?.." Ramada, Stephanie Ramada is my name and I would like to take out a loan."

"Miss Ramada, my name is Devon Humphries, what kind of money are we talking about?" She paused a minute then said "I need twenty- thousand dollars" I looked over her papers for a minute then asked, " What type of terms are you seeking?" She smiled softly then said, "The best I can get?" Then laughed a bit. That was the absolute laugh of my lost love and I was taken aback by it so much that I just stared at her without returning courtesy laughter. Then I said "Oh I'm sorry, I didn't mean to... well...

Ugh... You look so much like my late wife whom I just lost a few months ago, as a matter of fact, you could be her identical twin." There was a moment of uneasy silence then she said "I'm sorry about your wife sir, and I don't have a twin, at least that I know of." I said "Thanks and I guess we should get down to business."

  After we finished business I walked her to the door and shook her hand then asked. "Miss Ramada, are you currently in a relationship?" she turned to me and said, " Mr. Humphries, I'm not in a relationship right now but I would feel very uneasy dating you looking so much like your wife." I said, "What about just a simple dinner and movie?" She smiled and said, "I'm sorry, but I would rather not."

She turned and walked away without even looking back.

I never saw her again but I gave her the loan with hopes that it would help her in her life afterlife.

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