I’ve been having some serious writer’s block lately. I think it’s because I haven’t been stimulated my brain but that’s hard to do when you’re in the house all day and you’re only means of intelligent conversation is a goldfish and two finches.
To combat insanity, every once in awhile I post a plea on Facebook for a word or phrase or emotion to start writing. A writing prompt if you will.
This is a repeat of one that I did a few weeks ago. It was sent in by my MIL and the emotion was Despair. Enjoy.
She stood stock still in the middle of the sidewalk, her shoulders rigid and her left hand still clutching the active cell phone. The sounds of traffic faded away until all she could hear was the roar of her blood in her ears. Her heart, the thing that she had tried to protect at all costs, was broken.
The news wasn’t unexpected but it still hurt.
A bump to her shoulder sent her cellphone to the sidewalk and reality crashed back into her. With adrenaline and fear guiding her body, she grabbed her phone and put it to her ear as she started walking. “Is there anything I can do?”
“Where the hell did you just go?” the voice on the other end, at once familiar and strange, barked. “This is what I’m talking about. This is why this is happening. Just…”
She was sure he continued his tirade but she couldn’t listen. Her life was shattering into tiny pieces and her mind was desperately grasping at anything she could gather and rebuild. “Why?”
A deep sigh echoed through the phone and she couldn’t help but picture his face. He would be rubbing his eyes and looking down as his exasperation took over.
“Tell me what I can do to fix this. Please?” she heard her voice break and belatedly winced at the pathetic note in her voice. She shook her head as she heard him shifting on the other end. “Please?” she whispered, the adrenaline winding down and her eyes burning. “Tell me, I’ll do anything. Anything. Please.”
There was a pause, a moment of delay that gave her hope, a big beautiful bright ray of hope until she heard him clear his throat. She knew that sound, knew what he was gearing up for. The burning in her eyes escalating until she couldn’t breathe.
“Joe, please. Please! Don’t do this.”
“I have to. I just…we aren’t the same people we were ten years ago. I…love her.”
Someone sobbed, a high deep sound. ‘Me,’ she thought as she staggered to a stop in front of a building. “How? Why?” It was meant to be an inside thought. She had been taught to never ask a question she didn’t know the answer to.
She laughed, a maniacal sound even to her. “You didn’t break a dish Joe, you’re leaving me. Sorry doesn’t even cut it.”
He cleared his throat again. “I thought I at least owed you enough to tell you in person. The papers should be at your office in an hour.”
Oh that’s right. Lunch. She had been grabbing a bite to eat when her phone rang. Numbness settled into her bones as she leaned against the warm brick of the building. “Owed me?”
“Yes,” irritation crept through the line and she found that she couldn’t care. Couldn’t dredge up a single iota of empathy.
“Your sense of noble gallantry has been filled Joe. Thanks for the call.”
A sliver of fire ran through her as her stomach roiled. “Fuck you.”
Disconnecting the call, she sniffed and rolled her head back. Ten years of marriage and all it took was ten minutes to end it. There was no bargaining, no begging, no strategy that she could employ that could save the life that she knew; that was comfortable and safe in. No, ten years of marriage and she was leaning on a building with absolutely no idea what the hell to do.
Blinking, she let the numbness slide over her. “Fuck you Joe. Fuck you.”