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  • Writer's pictureNathan Groves

Keeping a Routine (A Short Story)


Frank Sr. is a 78 year old man who lives in a small town in southern Wisconsin.

He’s lived in this town his whole life.

He met his wife, Helena, here when they were only 12

and they got married when they were 25.

They had three kids; one boy and two girls.

His kids live elsewhere, but lately they’ve been coming to check up on him more often.

Frank has the same routine every morning.

He wakes up at 7:30 a.m. and goes downstairs and makes 4 eggs and two pieces of toasts.

Two eggs and a piece of toast for himself

and

Two eggs and a piece of toast for Helena.

He makes a pot of coffee that will fill approximately six glasses, give or take,

but he always takes smaller cups so Helena can have extra.

On nice days he sits out on his porch and watches the sunrise.

Helena would wake up around 8:30 a.m.

Frank would greet her with a kiss and would say something like

“I’ve been so lonely without you.”

and without fail, it would always make Helena smile.

By 9 a.m Frank would plop himself on the couch and rewatch a rotation of his favorite old shows that his son recorded for him.

Helena would poke around in her garden and join him on the couch around 10 a.m.

This routine kept Frank sane.

He loved the repetitive nature of his life and found a great comfort in this little slice of the world he had carved out.

However, for the past two weeks Frank’s morning routine had seen some slight alterations.

The coffee pot remained fuller than usual.

He also kept having to throw away a plate of food.

The couch had also seemed to have gotten much bigger.

Occasionally the past two weeks the sunrise would make him cry.

“I’ve been so lonely without you”

he would say.

Helena’s smile eluded him.

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