Marissa submitted part 2 of 4 of her short stories, if you don’t recall her first “Autumn” you can revisit it here.

These short stories are meant to be thought provoking and relatable to a variety of audiences that we provide services to at Mirrored Images.


Two more miles… Push. Smile. Wave.

It’s always the same thing, day in/out in this place.  “Senior living” they call it. I call it sitting around doing the same things every day. Each day is programmed. The same plan, the same people, the same food. I can’t believe I am here. I’m 72 and have the energy of women half my age, but my family thinks “this is best” for me since my husband died. What they fail to see is, it’s this place that is going to be the death of me. Even my daily run has become routine. The same neighbors on the same porches waiting on me to pass by. Smile. Wave.

These programmed days have become mind-numbing and have forced me to do some uncharacteristic things just to pass the time. With my granddaughter’s help, I purchased a laptop online, and via the magic of the Internet a nice young man delivered it and set it up for me. The next thing I know I’ve found myself falling down the rabbit hole only to end up three lines deep into my user profile and searching for a recent photo of myself for a 50+ dating site.  I don’t know much about these sites, but I hope it’s free, because I am not trying to explain a monthly charge to Silver Seniors to my daughter the next time, she reviews my finances.

To be honest, I’m not sure I’m even ready to date. I can’t believe anyone can ever come close to my Thomas. He just understood me. I realize I am alone, but I’m not lonely. I am not even sure I care enough to care enough about another person’s thoughts or needs at this point in my life. Yet still, I’ve been sending late-night messages with a gentleman named Adam, and he’s been pushing for a dinner date for a while.  He seems nice enough and I agreed, but now standing in front of the mirror getting ready, I’m searching my mind trying to find a kind way to get out of this and just go back to my couch.

Maybe I should call my daughter, I’m slightly hoping she’ll talk some sense into me. She was a daddy’s girl and I feel our relationship has been a little strained now that he is not here to buffer. Thomas just made things easier, without even trying. Now, without him, when she and I find time to speak, or on a rarer opportunity, we see each other, the air is different. He was the glue for us. Without him, I feel like we are two ends of a power cord, charged and not compatible. Still, she may be able to understand, she’s older now and married. Maybe? [and yet I don’t reach for my phone. Maybe another day.

Today I have this date. Date. What am I 20? It doesn’t sound right even saying it in my head. I don’t feel the butterflies I would’ve in my younger days getting ready, but perhaps I am not meant to. I am in a new season of my life and there is still life to live. No, he’s not Thomas, but at the very least I will get to break up the daily monotony. A new face, a pleasant conversation, and a good meal may be the medicine I need right now to help me get over being SICK of this place.

Or this is what I tell myself as I close the front door behind me and head to the car. I sink into the seat and find myself looking in the rearview mirror making my final adjustments.  I’m moving too slow, and I know it.

I turn over the key and my engine revs loudly as if to encourage me.  Snapping the overhead visor closed, “ok Jan… here we go” and I drive off.