Day 68 – Better Be Home Soon

Word count: 887

Refuse sack in her hand, she opened up the front door. The morning was coated in a fine layer of rain from the storm during the night. The trees were dripping and there were patches of puddles in the lawn. The small terraced house blended in well with the grey skies above. Day light had not long been born and there was still that blueish tinge to everything. The tungsten lamp posts glimmered a soft marmalade light that served to toast the heart on a cold winter’s morning such as today.

Though it wasn’t extremely early by any means, it was weekend and there was no nine til five to adhere to. A few cats, returning slowly to home, lurked underneath the parked cars on the streets, clearly hiding from the pregnant clouds threatening labour. Aside from these feline creatures, Kathy was the only one around on her street at the time. Though she did not expect to see her neighbours flocking to the street of a weekend morning, Kathy did get a slight chill in her bones at the desolateness of the neighbourhood. There was no sign of life; everything was as still as a lake on a calm day.

Kathy lugged the refuse over the threshold of the front door and stepped down the few steps to the wheelie bin and opened the lid wide. As she let the lid fall back open, her entire body jumped as if being electrocuted. Her heart felt a surge of adrenaline as her eyes began to take in the scene that she saw before her.

It was as if a dream. In her sleep deprived state she thought it might not be real. For a few moments she stood there and gazed at the figure in the leather jacket. Kathy went entirely numb. From the backwaters of her emotional glands to the tips of her fingers, Kathy felt herself entirely divorced from reality. Years of hurt and anguish seemed to smothered in her a coating of denial. But the man stepped forward and breached the wall, penetrating her defences and collapsing her castle of cognitive beliefs.

“Hi,” he broke the morning’s silence.

Mechanically, as if over rehearsed, she replied, “What are you doing here?”

The man stepped forward again, clasping his hands in front of him. Kathy noticed the third finger on his left hand was bare.

“I wanted to see you,” his reply was tainted with anxiety.

“Well you should have thought of that four years ago.”

Kathy felt the wild tiger of anger growling inside of her.

“How have you been?” the man ignored her comment.

Kathy tightened the reigns on the ferocious beast within her and edged backwards into the house.

“Sorry, I guess that’s not the best question to ask.”

Kathy shook her head, wordlessly taming her predator as it scratched at cage door, readying to pounce.

“I’m sorry I left.”

“Why did you?” Kathy snapped back.

“I… I had my reasons.”

“Could you not think to tell me?” the tiger growled once more.

“I don’t think you would understand…”

Downwind and out of sight, the tiger crouched and readied itself for the attack, “Oh I’m sorry, I wouldn’t understand you? What existential crisis was it – what mighty important life changing dilemma were you facing – what was so fucking emotionally draining and psychologically distinct that you could not think of any other solution than to just walk out one morning and not return for four years?!”

The man hung his head, “I know what I did was terrible…”

“Terrible? Terrible! You broke this family apart. You ripped out my insides and you cast them aside once you were done toying with them.”

“I’m sorry I wasn’t there for you – for Jack and Tina.”

“Don’t you dare mention their names,” the tiger swiped its flexed claw at him.

“I miss them…”

“Well they don’t even remember you!”

Kathy revelled in his visible wounding as her words lacerated his heart.

“I still love you,” his tone was almost pleading as he took a stride closer to her.

“Do you?” the tiger recoiled and calmed, smirking in the knowledge of the final strike that was yet to come. Her voice quite calm, she continued, “You know at first I couldn’t cope when you left. I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t sleep. I’d barely leave the house. I couldn’t look at the children in fear that I’d see you in their eyes. I hated you. I missed you. I kept on praying that you’d return. Every night I’d speak to you – telling you you’d better be home soon – but every morning the other side of the bed would still be cold. But then something happened – I don’t even know quite what. And now, suddenly you return, and it’s made me realise… I hadn’t thought about you in years.”

The tiger roared and tore its victim’s corpse apart, feasting on the hurt that her words would bring. With one last, long hard stare at the man that had become a stranger and barely more than a distant memory of some childhood nightmare, she closed the door shut and felt the rush of the cold morning being sucked from her home as the warm cosiness of the little terraced house wrapped around her and encompassed her heart with an indestructible force.

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~ by S.G. Mark on December 14, 2011.

One Response to “Day 68 – Better Be Home Soon”

  1. I thought he had jumped out of the wheelie bin to start with!

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