A story of a woman struggling with the death of her husband.

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Garlic, Olive Leaf, and Hawthorn 80 capsules … may contribute to the health of the cardiovascular system.

Super Fish Oils 100 capsules … helps support heart health.

Tissue Salts Combination P … specially formulated remedy for poor circulation.

Her eyes narrowed as she studied the pages of a health food website. She held one hand against her chest, searching for her heartbeat. She flashed an angry look at the photograph of Leonard and herself, taken outside the pharmacy where he’d worked. He was smiling. His smile had always made her feel better, but now it mocked her.

“I know what you’re thinking, Leonard.” She took the photograph sitting on the yellowing monitor and slammed it face-down onto the desk. She looked upward, holding back tears. She reached for the arms of the office chair and pulled herself up. As she went to stand her body shook, arms and legs aching. “Now, come on,” she scolded herself.

Slowly she straightened herself up and went into the kitchen. She picked up the kettle and started to fill it with water from the tap. She struggled to hold its weight as it grew heavy. It swayed from side to side in her hand; the water caught on the edge of the spout and sprayed over her, soaking her blouse through to the skin.

She froze. The kettle slipped from her hands and crashed into the sink. She shrank back, and collapsed over the table and wept. “How could you leave me?” she said softly. She fretted with the frayed collar of her grey blouse, the fabric worn soft and thin with the passing years. She grasped for her brooch, her fingers sinking deeper and deeper into the tarnished metal until it broke the skin. She stared at the blood beading on the tips of her fingers.

She took a deep breath. Then, standing upright, she took a napkin from the breakfast table and wiped the blood from her fingers and the tears from her eyes. She looked down at herself and squeezed the water out of the sleeves of her blouse, and brushed the remaining droplets from her thick woollen houndstooth skirt. She walked over to the sink and turned off the tap. She picked up the kettle, wiped it all over with a starched tea towel, and set it carefully on the stand. She turned her attention to the towel. She slowly folded it until all the edges met, placed it on the table, and smoothed it out with her hands.

“Right. Okay,” she said. She went back to the study, sat down in her office chair, and returned to studying the website.

Arnica 30c 125 Tablets … may help to relieve muscular pain and stiffness.

Glucosamine and Chondroitin 120 Caplets … maintains the mobility of joints.

Vitamin D3 100 Tablets 25ug … aids normal muscle function.

Magnesium 30 Caplets 150mg … helps aid normal muscle function.

William Cowley writes short stories about family and relationships.

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