Tuesday Tales – Sandwich
Debris littered Braden from one end of town to the other. By some stroke of luck nearly every structure survived the tornado’s wrath. Lily shuffled past the splintered wood and broken glass as she made her way down the street, a couple of Merryn’s chicken sandwiches tight in her hand. Merryn had given her a tight hug and instructions to take one of them to Reese. She must have seen the exhaustion in Lily’s face because, before she could slip out of the bakery door, the woman wrapped her in another bear hug. If she only knew the past few hours I’ve been through.
Lily and Elijah fought through the damage at the library, sweeping up the shards of glass, boxing up books and putting them in the basement and carefully wrapping up the old clock so it could be repaired. With every step Lily saw her livelihood in tatters around her. But it was nothing compared to the single life lost in the storm. She brushed tears away over and over again throughout the night. They weren’t for Howard Cooper but for his grieving son.
At three o’clocking the morning, Lily sent a sleepy Elijah home. She hunkered down in her office to get a couple of hours sleep before she went back to work. Just as her eyes fluttered closed, she was jolted back awake by the vibration of her phone. After reading the text, she jumped to her feet and hurried through the streets. Minutes later she was drifting back to sleep in Reese’s bed wrapped tight in his embrace, his face buried against her neck as he looked for comfort in her arms.
Lily lifted her head as she let go of her memories, her feet stopping at the edge of the curb. Ground zero. The basement where Howard Cooper’s house once stood gaped open. Momentos of the lives lived in the house laid scattered among the rubble. In the middle of it all stood Reese, his strong shoulders hunched in defeat. He wore thick canvas gloves to protect himself as he cleaned up the aftermath. Lily tiptoed through the mess to his side. “Merryn sent a sandwich for you,” she told him softly.
“I’m not hungry,” he murmured.