Ellen’s eyes opened slowly. The dull grey outside threatening snow made her want to stay under the warm comfort of her blankets just a little longer. Her mind cleared enough for her to remember that today would have been her anniversary.
She groaned as she rolled over and pulled the covers over her head. She was already done with the day, and it hadn’t even started yet. The cat began scratching at the wall in fast even strokes just loud and annoying enough to stop her from sleeping again.
“God damn it, Mittens, do you even know what day it is?” Ellen said as she threw a pillow across the room.
The cat easily dodged the half-hearted throw, moving to a new section of the wall where she was better hidden from her owner’s weak attempts to silence her.
“Fine!” Ellen said kicking the covers off, forgetting about the cold in the house, but instantly regretting it as the chill shocked her system.
She moved quickly, grabbing her thick robe off the back of the chair next to the bed and pulling it around her as she plodded her way to the stairs. The cat followed her, crying as though she hadn’t been fed in a week rather than less than twelve hours ago.
Ellen took a sharp left turn at the bottom of the stairs into the kitchen and grabbed the bin with the cat food as the cat wove her way through her legs.
“There,” Ellen said dumping a scoop of food into the empty food dish, “Please, shut up now. I’m going back to bed.”
The coffee pot chimed that it was turning on and Ellen grimaced at it, just noticing the smell of the beans filling the room.
Is the whole house against me this morning? She thought as she approached the coffee pot, freezing halfway to it.
A piece of paper sat on the counter in front of the coffee pot with ELLEN written in familiar handwriting. At that moment, she couldn’t remember setting up the coffee pot the night before, she knew she didn’t leave the paper sitting in front of it.
She reached out with a shaking hand for the paper as her eyes darted around the kitchen. She listened for any sign of movement in the house as she slid the paper off the counter. Only the sound of the heat and the cat crunching happily through its breakfast rather than the intruder she feared would be waiting for her.
Ellen unfolded the paper, her legs giving out as she read the note.
Have some coffee and try to have a good day. I love you.
P.S. Be nice to the cat. Mittens is a good kitty.
She landed heavily, tears rolling down her cheeks as she searched the room. Her heart raced as her mind tried to figure out how it could be possible.
“How?” she asked the cat that now rubbed against her, “he died though…”