B is for Beyond Me – A-Z Challenge

Beyond Mea-to-z-letters-b

Ed Sheeran’s voice broke into her consciousness when the alarm went off. How she longed to retreat back into sleep and stay dead to the world a little longer.

It’s too cold outside
For angels to fly
Angels to fly
To fly, to fly…

She hit the snooze button before the angel could die. But no snooze allowed. She’d already pushed it to the last minute.

Dragging into the kitchen, shivering after a hot shower, Marta tossed the pan onto the burner to fry a quick egg.  She filled the coffee maker with water and pulled out the grinder—empty. Cupboard bared, gave no indication of a single bean nor so much as a crappy instant packet.

“Great. I don’t even get coffee.” A tear almost overflowed from the stress packed down last night when she discovered she was down to ten bucks for the rest of the week. Picking up a latte’ was out of the question.

Grief squeezed her throat and sat on her chest making it hard to breathe. Wasn’t it bad enough to lose Emily without money troubles too?

She gagged down her egg as she painted her face into some semblance of professional presentation. A last check in the mirror and a stop by the kitchen sink to drop the egg plate. She forced a deep inhalation and caught the curtain open on its overly cheery daisy holder. Soft sunshine eased in.  A tipping of frost touched the grass.

“No wonder I’m cold! I thought it was supposed to be Spring.”

As she turned for the door, her step dropped along with her jaw. A hummingbird hovered in front of the window she’d just unveiled to the light. She stood holding her breath as it continued to hover instead of zipping away. “Emily,” she released the air in a whisper, and a warm spot grew in her center. The bird whisked into the morning outside.

Wonder pushed grief and worry aside as Marta entered the world for the short journey to work. Lately this road had seemed to stretch making her late to the job and giving her mind far too long to wander down dark paths near despair. Today she was to the traffic circle before she knew it, her breath caught as she stopped short before entering to let a lone elk take his age-old time following his track across the humans’ newest obstacle.

Marta’s renewed wonder raised her careworn brow and she broke into a gentle smile. “Wow,” she whispered again, reverent of the magical moment. She hadn’t seen an elk for months. They were her favorite just like the hummingbirds were Emily’s.

The tear finally escaped, but it left a trail of relief, like a stream through parched land.

She rushed to her desk, five minutes late, and grabbed the ringing phone. Her voice shook as she called out, breathless, “Brooks and Bailey, Marta speaking.”

“Jim Daley, here. I was stopping by to leave off some new brochures for your company this morning, and I’m in the drive-thru. I’d be happy to bring you a Starbucks if you’ll tell me your preference….Hello?”

“Uh…yes…a grande’ non-fat would be amazing, Thanks!”

“Be there in a jiffy!” The sales rep cut the line.

Marta hung up the phone. Amazed indeed.

Her computer had just popped up ready to go when she heard Bailey greeting Ben in the next office. A click and her email sat before her. She could’ve been in her chair all day. Her brief anxiety over his coming down on her for being late drifted away as her spirits continued to rise.

He rounded the corner, and an email title caught her eye. Her best friend wrote, Can I take you to lunch today? Marta’s face warmed into a wide smile. “Good morning, Mr. Bailey!” she chimed.

“Wow, Marta, how you can even be at work, let alone smile, since you lost your little girl is beyond me. I…” he looked down and fumbled with his honesty.

“Yes,” she let out a deep sigh, “It’s Beyond Me too.”


About sherijkennedyriverside

Left brain, right brain, I can't decide. After many years of successful visual arts pursuits, I'm working on my other creative inclinations. For the past 8 years, writing has been my second full time job, and it's worth every sleepless night. Sheri J. Kennedy grew up mostly a city-girl coasthopping from Seattle to rural Pennsylvania, Miami and back to Seattle. She currently resides on the banks of the Snoqualmie River in the scenic Cascade Mountains. Her heart has found its home.
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6 Responses to B is for Beyond Me – A-Z Challenge

  1. Extremely well written and very touching.


    • Thanks! All these little miracles happened to me when I was grieving or down, though 2 and 2 rather than all 4 in one day. It’s amazing how often comfort comes when needed the most if we just look beyond ourselves, even for a moment.


  2. Lovely writing, Sheri! I was drawn into the story right from the start.

    Blessings ~ Wendy


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