Charles woke that morning alone in his bed. He could still smell his dear Gracie’s, jasmine; she always smelled like jasmines. It took him awhile to get out of bed. Charles pulled himself up by his cane ambling out of their room. He followed the scent of Jasmine down the hall and into the kitchen.
“Morning Gracie, dear.” Charles yawned.
“You still not talking to me?” Charles placed the tea kettle onto the stove before lighting it. “I’ll make you your favorite tea if you talk to me today.”
Still no answer.
“Fine, more Winter Spice for me.” He smiled.
Charles hummed an old tune to himself as he walked outside to get the paper. The sun was shining high in the sky. The temp was unusually mild for the time of the year. Normally there be a foot of snow on the ground, covered in at least an inch of ice.
Charles smiled to himself saying, “God Gracie, you must be loving this weather.”
“Morning Mr. Charles!”
One of the neighborhood kids rode passed on his bike.
“Morning to you Michael.” Charles waved back.
Michael rode back stopping in front of Charles walk way.
“Here let me get that for you.” Michael climbed off of his bike. He bent down and picked up the paper for Mr. Charles.
Charles met Michael halfway down the walk way.
“Thank you Michael, you didn’t have to do that.”
“No problem Mr. C.” Michael handed the paper to Charles.
“You have a nice day Michael.”
Charles watched Michael ride off before going back inside. The tea kettle was whistling furiously.
‘I’m coming, I’m coming.” Charles repeated to the kettle. “Gracie why didn’t you get this pot?”
Charles laid his cane against the counter. He poured two cups of tea, adding honey in Gracie’s because he knew she liked hers sweet.
“Gracie you may not want to talk to me today but I made you a cup of tea anyway.”
Charles tried to balance the cups and the paper on a tray while limping to the patio. Gracie always took her tea outside on the patio and with the weather being so nice, Charles knew she would love it. She might even talk to him today.
Charles sat in his favorite chair beside Gracie’s. It was the only thing in the house Gracie let him buy on his own. Charles took a well deserve sip of tea. He let the warm liquid slide down his throat soothing his body. Charles cleared his throat. He opened up the newspaper. On the front page Gracie loving smile reflected back at him. He could see his reflection in her eyes as he was the one who took the picture. In bold front the caption read: Gracie Evans Still Missing.