Sunday, April 10, 2011

Becoming - Flash Fiction - Repost


Just in case anyone is bored today, one from the archives.

Becoming

     "You look very becoming today, Mary. But I wish you hadn't changed your hair. It always looked like spun gold to me." He reached out to touch my raven black hair, and I let him, just for a moment. Becoming. Such an old fashioned word, and yet so much better than "hot".  I took the comb and began to fix his hair. Poor John never could quite tame that cowlick of his. I was gentle, and took my time, but in the back of my mind was the thought that Taylor was waiting for me at the club, and he'd be angry if I was late.
     I brought him his dinner and grabbed my coat off of the chair.
     "I wish you weren't gone so much," he said wistfully. "But with me not working..."
     "I know," I said. "But I'll see you in the morning."
     A TV blared through the wall, and I looked around at the sparsely furnished room. Usually I couldn't wait to go, into the exuberance of life outside these depressing walls, but tonight I felt as though I wanted to stay.
     "We've had a good life, haven't we?" he asked, looking up. "Even losing our baby...we made it through. Do you remember her first steps?"
     "Yes," I said. But I didn't. He went back to eating, and I put on my coat and closed the door.

     Downstairs, I hurriedly dressed in my favorite short skirt and heels. My hand was shaking as I applied eyeliner and listened to the frantic humming of my phone. Taylor, no doubt, wondering where I was.

     The club was hot, noisy, and packed as usual. I quickly spotted Taylor with some of his friends. He greeted me as usual, pulling me down on his lap and running his hand up my skirt. His friends smirked and jeered. But in spite of his cheerful demeanor, I could sense that he was angry, and fear coiled itself in my stomach. Always the same thing, with every man; the petty jealousy, the endless bickering and sniping, the inability to forgive or forget anything. It was the same with a lot of women, to be honest; so many seemed to positively thrive on drama, even creating it from nothing. Long ago, I'd decided that what I wanted was impossible. Someone to share my life, someone that I could ask anything of, tell anything to, someone who would be there no matter what. Love without fear. And so I accepted the crumbs of affection that fell my way, hiding behind the clothes and the music, the laughter and the alcohol. Nights spent in a haze, days spent doing endless mundane housekeeping chores.  I hated lying to John about where I was, but it was necessary. I looked around the club, and at myself, and I felt sick.

     That night, I just walked away from Taylor and his friends, and went home.

     John had spilled his morning orange juice all over himself, and as I struggled to help him out of his clothes, he berated me. "How can you be so lazy and incompetent? And why would you pick those clothes? You know I hate that material." I was calm and patient; I was used to his outbursts. A few minutes later, he was weeping.
     "Mary, oh god, I never said a harsh word to you, not in all the time we've spent together. I miss you so much, forgive me," he sobbed, as though his heart was breaking. But then, it broke every day. As did mine.

     So I held him, and soothed him, and he drifted off to sleep. His arm fell slackly over the side of the chair, and with a faint ping,
his wedding ring slipped off his finger and dropped to the cold tile floor. Inside was inscribed the word forever. I held it, warm in my hand.

     John is now gone.  My name is Lauren, and I was his caregiver for a time. He often mistook me for his wife, and if she chose to come to him through me, as in dreams, then who was I to question it?

     I've let my hair go back to its natural blond shade, and thrown away the makeup and clothes that I used to wear. I no longer go clubbing. And I cling to the hope that somewhere out there is that elusive thing called love. Forgiving, enduring...forever.

     I know that it exists, for I have seen it.

6 comments:

  1. What an excellent flash story, well written, and Yes there is someone for everyone whether we ever meet that someone is a different story, I found mine but it was not to be to share old age together,
    Yvonne.

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  2. "He often mistook me for his wife, and if she chose to come to him through me, as in dreams, then who was I to question it?" I found that line to be very moving. Good work!

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  3. Thanks for the comment, It was lovely of you to come by.
    Yvonne.

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  4. Wow. Just when I think I might not get floored by another piece of flash fiction, yours comes and blows me out of the water. Excellent!

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  5. I love your site and as I browsed your blog I decided to award you the Creative Blog Award.
    Go to http://astorybookworld.blogspot.com/p/awards.html and pick up your award.
    ~Deirdra

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  6. enjoyed your talents, well done a-z challenge post.

    Invite you to share your poetry with our poetry potluck today,
    Random poems, poems unrelated to our theme are welcome!

    Hope to see you in.
    Bless your talent.
    Cheers.
    xxx

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