#MWBB 20 : Home

I left her. I got up that Monday morning, and got ready for work, like I had for years. I left the house precisely at 0715 hours, like I had on Mondays for years. But I didn’t drive to work. I drove. I left town, and I kept driving, heading west. I drove all day long, stopping only for food and restroom breaks.

I left her. I left my job. I left my home. I left my life. I had to.

As I drove, I remembered my parents, growing up in their home. I’d never known they were in love. They always screamed at each other. Night after endless night. I used to lie awake at night, listening to the front door slam as Dad left. Listening to Mother cry. Listening to the silence when she finally fell asleep on the sofa, Listening to the front door open as Dad got home, just before dawn. Listening to him stagger through the house to the bathroom, where he threw up again, from drinking himself sick.

As I drove, I remembered the night Mom stayed awake until he got home. He was drunk, of course. She screamed at him. He screamed back at her. They fought. I remember seeing the bruises on both of them at breakfast that morning.

As I drove, I remembered my brother’s wedding, how he and Tabitha had been so happy. I remembered how proud he was of his baby girl. How he got sick at work one day, heaving his guts into the toilet. How they sent him home that day, and he walked into his own home, where Tabitha was naked, sitting on a naked man he’d never seen, her legs straddling him, as she softly moaned.

As I drove, I remembered the niece I had once. How my brother covered her head with a pillow, suffocating her, then went to the garage of his home, locked the door, got in his car, and turned it on. How they found him the next day, cold as ice, with the car still running.

As I drove, I remembered the woman I loved so passionately. How she always wanted more. More of everything. How I had to stay in that job I hated, to keep buying her the things she wanted. How she never slept with me any more, or even slept in the same room as me any more. How she always went out at night, “with the girls”. How I wondered if who she was sleeping with.

As I drove, I remembered how she’d once been beautiful. How her smile faded away with time, being replaced by empty eyes, and lines of age on her face. How he figure changed from a beautiful hourglass to a pear. We used to hold hands, years ago. I wondered when that stopped. She used to kiss me good morning, and fix me breakfast. That too faded, until she never stirred when I woke to go to work, and breakfast became a can of soda, and a bowl of cold cereal with milk.

As i drove, I remembered how I’d once been in love with her. How that love had grown cold and died. Like the love my Mom and Dad once had. I knew that’s why people started homes. They were in love. And thought they always would be.

I left her on a Monday morning, while she was still asleep, and I was heading to work.

Because I remembered homes become cold, and lifeless, and slowly kill the people living in them. And I knew the only thing I could do for her, and for me, was leave. And in so doing, free us both from the trap our home had become.

624 Words
@LurchMunster


My entry, in all its unedited glory, for week 20 of Jeff Tsuruoka‘s Mid-Week Blues-Buster flash fiction challenge. Please, go read the other entries in the challenge.

Friday Night Write #15 : Closer Than This

I never intended to let her get so close. To let her past all my defenses. Past the image I let everyone see. But I had. I looked at her. Asleep. On the sofa. Wearing nothing but this lacy black lingerie. My pillow stuck under her head. My blanket keeping her warm.

I was both terrified and thrilled. I wanted her to stay, and I wanted to never see her again. So, I just stood there and stared at her, watching her sleep. Wishing I could remember that moment all my life.

I didn’t understand at all how she wound up on my sofa all night. She’d called me, and asked to come over. She’d done that for years. I never knew when she’d call. But I always made time for her. So, I’d told her it was OK. We’d gone to eat dinner. If you can call Subway sandwiches dinner. Then, we’d walked all over the local Wal-Mart store. All 130,000 square feet of it.

I have to admit, it was not easy to stand there while she looked at women’s lingerie. Didn’t help me any when she held up that black lace one in front of herself. “Oh, this is pretty,” she’d said. And then she’d asked me, “What do you think? Do you like this one?”
I’d frozen solid. Couldn’t blink my eyes. Couldn’t twitch my fingers. Couldn’t talk. She’d laughed, and kept it.

We’d gone to the electronics department. And she’d found a movie she wanted to watch. “I’ve never see it. I missed it when it was in theaters.” She showed it to me. Some silly love story, chick-flick movie. The kind you only watch when a girl drags you to it, and makes you. She kept that too.

When we finished shopping, we returned to my place. She put that movie on. “Watch it with me.” How could I refuse? We sat down on the sofa and before I knew what was going on, she had pulled my arm over her shoulders, and then snuggled in against me.
I don’t remember the movie. I know we watched it all. But I have no idea what happened it in.

Sometime during the movie, she got up, went to the bathroom, and changed into that black lace. She came back, put her feet up on the sofa, and stretched out, putting her head in my lap. She’d pulled my arm around her. Right under her breasts.

When the movie ended, I realized she was asleep, and I didn’t want to wake her up. So, I let her sleep. With her head in my lap. After a while, she woke up. “Can I just stay here tonight?”

She could have asked me anything. I’d have said yes.

So, there she was. On my sofa. Under my blanket. Her head on my pillow. And me, standing there, watching her, wondering how she got so close to me. And if she knew how close she was.