Those left behind Follow story

sten-during Sten Düring

Transiting into a new world. Restarting your life. A second chance. But... what about those left behind? A Transition and Restart sideshow. Short story, completed at publication.


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Those left behind

Christina Agerman was found dead earlier this week, the victim of a car crash. For unknown reasons the car came over to the wrong side of the road where it met another car. The driver of that car, Ulf Hammargren, died from his damages as well despite attempts to save his life.

Christina Agerman was perhaps best known as 'The Princess of Scandinavia' during her decade long career as a super model. In the fashion industry she later became known as 'The Billion Dollar Empress', an apt description of the undisputed fashion queen.

Chag is the world’s second largest corporation in fashion with over 120 000 employees, and Christina…


Maria switched the TV off. Ulf, you're just a name in another one's obituary. I need you! She rose and went to check their children. My children. My surviving children. What have I done to lose both Linda and you?

Karl was sound asleep, but she could see deep shadows where tears had discoloured his sixteen year old face.

Maria closed the door slowly so as not to wake him to his misery again. Then she walked to the guest house and knocked. Veronica, their eldest, lived there. Housing for young people was absurdly hard to find in Stockholm, so the twenty year old university student decided to keep on living at home. Four walls of your own helps, I guess, Maria thought while she waited for a response.

“Mom?”

“Roni, how are you?”

“Don't call me that! What do you think? Dad's dead and you haven't cried even once you bitch!”

I guess I haven't. Roni, poor Roni. First your darling sister and now Ulf. “Don't use that voice to me while you're living under my roof!”

Your roof! A week ago it was our roof. Fuck you and go to hell!” Veronica slammed the door shut with a bang that must have been heard by their neighbours.

Not that they cared. Not that they dared care. Fifty year old car crash victims didn't live on the same street as you. They lived somewhere else and showed up as tiny newsflashes in a newspaper. Not as a small part of an hour-long eulogy to a national business wonder.

You even had your own story in there, Ulf. Thirty seconds. I took time.

Maria tried to decide if she should knock again and take a pound of flesh out of her daughter or just leave her be. Leave her be.

Walking back to the main building Maria wondered about the funeral. Empty coffin. She had wanted to see him one last time, but he was too badly burned for that. I wouldn't want to see you like that. Not you, my Ulf.

She had to invite guests. And close down bank accounts. There were Internet things that should be done as well. Karl said that once when he didn't cry. Niklas from TAP had promised to help her. He was a good friend of Ulf's it turned out. She hadn't known. You know how to surprise me after twenty five years. Should have known. You always had an extra surprise for me. But I didn't want this one. It's not beautiful like the others.

When she closed the door to her bedroom, my empty bedroom, she made a decision. It would cost her her daughter, but Karl wasn't old enough to handle the loss. Maria promised herself not to cry, because crying would make it real. That Ulf was dead.

I've loved you for half my life. I'll keep on loving for a while longer, as if you were still here. For Karl. I'll be strong for our son.

When she fell asleep she was still telling herself lies, because crying would make it real. That Ulf was dead.

Feb. 12, 2019, 11:41 a.m. 0 Report Embed 120
The End

Meet the author

Sten Düring On and off writer the last 30+ years. I love fantasy, even though that's not what I'm writing at the moment. Still, I couldn't drop the fantastic entirely.

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