Artemis was walking down the porch of the west house. She had come over to tell Wally’s parents what happened to Wally in Antarctica, that Wally was gone. She had spent a few hours there mourning with them.
“Artemis” Mary, Wally’s mom called out. Artemis turned and saw at the door way was Wally’s parents.
“Are you sure you don’t want to stay?” Mary said. Her eyes were still filled with tears.
Artemis knew she should stay. They had just lost their son and she lost her boyfriend. They all needed each other. But Wally’s parents reminded her so much of him and the whole house just felt like Wally, she couldn’t stand to stay any longer, and besides his parents had each other and Artemis really wanted to be alone right now.
“I’m sure. How about I come over for lunch tomorrow?” She asked.
They nodded. Artemis waved goodbye and got in her car. She was about 5 minutes from her place when the car started slowing down.
“No, no, no” Artemis murmured to herself as she started turning the wheel to an empty parking spot. She had managed to park the car in the spot before it stopped. Artemis checked the fuel. It read empty.
“Great, I told Wally to fill the car up with gas”. Artemis thought in frustration.
She started Muttering to herself thinking what she would say to him when she came home, and then she remembered that Wally was gone. He would never come back again. He wouldn’t come back home. She would never hear his keys jingle as he opened the door. She would never hear him complain about essays that he hadn’t finished. Or see him, and now, he will never fill the car up with gas like she told him. Mad at the reminder that Wally was gone Artemis started pounding the steering wheel as her eyes filled with tears again. She just spent the whole night crying, she was surprised that she still had tears to shed.
“West! Why didn’t you fill up the stupid car with stupid gas?” She yelled.
She started crying and leaned her head on the steering wheel. She wanted to be in her bed, she was so tired of crying. Calming herself down Artemis slowly stopped crying. She looked in the rear view mirror and her reflection looked back at her. Her face was red, dry tears clinged to her face, and her mascara was running. Artemis sniffed and tried to find something in the car to wipe her face. She reached over to open the glove compartment and used napkins and burger wrappers fell out spilling over the passenger seat
“I told Wally to clean the car up. Him and his metabolism” Artemis thought.
She resisted the urge to cry as more reminders of him kept coming. She reached back behind her seat, looking for something to clean her face with. She felt a jacket and pulled it up cleaning her face. She sighed shakily. She smelled something, Familiar. She took a deep breath. Yes, she knew that smell. She turned on the car light and inspected the jacket. She almost gasped when she realized whose jacket it was. It was Wally’s brown jacket. She choked back her tears. She smelled it deeply, getting lost in Wally’s scent. If she concentrated it felt like Wally was sitting right next to her. She pulled the jacket on her trying to envelope herself in his sent. She was starting to feel a bit better and her tears ceased. Her breaths started coming out as little white puffs, it was starting to get cold in the car so she stuffed her hands in the pockets. Artemis was about to leave the car when she felt something in the right pocket. It was boxy and velvety. Artemis slowly pulled the item out of the pocket. Her eyes went wide when she registered what she was holding in her hand. It was a ring box. A small, black, velvety ring box. Artemis just stared at it for a full minute.
“No, Wally wouldn’t. Would he?” She said to herself. Hesitantly she opened the box to reveal a gleaming diamond ring with two small green emeralds next to it. She felt tears in her eyes once again. She pulled out the ring and inspected it closer. She saw that there was an inscription on the band
“Beautiful”
She remembered that he called her that in Biyalia. She put it on her ring finger. Her vision blurred with tears. Wally kept leaving his stuff around, she wondered how long it would have taken for her to find it if he was still here. She probably would have found it while doing the laundry. She probably would have called him over to her and demand him to tell her what this was. He would probably look embarrassed. She could imagine him getting down on one knee asking her.
“Artemis, babe, will you marry me?” Artemis started sobbing. Not only would Wally not fill the car up with gas, he would never propose to her. She dropped her head on the steering wheel
“Yes” She said with a shaky voice, “Yes”