Today’s FICTIONAL post is my response to this week’s Red Writing Hood prompt over at the The Red Dress Club. We were asked to begin our story with “this was absolutely the last time” and end it with “she was wrong.” What do you think?
“This was absolutely the last time.” She whispered in his ear. It sounded more like a question than a statement. There was that quiet desperation, a pleading for acceptance.
He just looked at her for a moment, not saying anything. He simply stared into her eyes, letting that questioning look sink in and work its magic.
She knew what he was doing. He was waiting. Waiting for an explanation, waiting for a reason that he would just quickly dismiss. He smiled that smile. The one that brought out the dimples in his cheeks and the twinkle in his eyes. She shuddered.
He rolled over, threw the comforter off his naked body and hopped off of their – her – bed. It wasn’t theirs anymore, she had to remind herself. It was her bed now. Her bed. Her bedroom. Her apartment. Hers, not theirs. Not anymore.
“I can accept that.” He began, with his back turned towards her while he slowly picked his clothes up off the floor and dressed in his ‘I’m not in any rush to leave’ sort of way he had. So casual.
“But you and I both know that it’s not over. I’ll be back. And you’ll be glad when I am. This separation can’t last forever.” He went on, keeping his back to her. She knew it was intentional. He was trying to be dramatic, trying to drag it out. That inevitable departure.
“Actually, it is over and you will not be back. And that will make me happy.” She felt butterflies swarming in her stomach. It wasn’t that giddy school girl feeling she had experienced all of those years, watching him dress after making love. It was more like nausea.
She ran to the bathroom and barely made it in time before she lost her dinner. She crouched over the toilet and braced herself as wave after wave came over her, through her, and into the toilet.
When she was certain it was over, she flushed, gargled with her mouthwash and splashed cold water on her face. She wondered if her emotions were creating this sickness, all that psychosomatic crap she had learned about in Psych 101. Whatever it was, it seemed to be over and she braced herself as she walked back into the room.
And he was gone.
She sighed, relieved that it was over for now.
“Hey, want a sandwich? I’m making a BLT.” He called out from the kitchen.
“Crap,” she muttered under her breath, “still here.” She wrapped her robe around herself slowly and steadied herself as another wave of nausea crept over her.
As the feeling passed, she wondered if she was getting the flu.
As she walked into the kitchen, he handed her a glass of ginger ale.
“Did you bring this with you?” She asked him, startled. Ugh. So queasy. She’d be so glad when he was gone. She made up her mind right then and there, she would never see him again. It was over now. Finally.
She just wanted to move on with her life, start the divorce preceedings. She couldn’t keep letting him come back whenever the loneliness got the best of her.
“Look, what I said before, I meant it. We can’t see each other anymore.” She looked down into her glass and realized there was something chalky floating in the fizz of her soda. “What is this?! Are you drugging me?” She stood up, ready to fly at him, the rage welling up within her.
“No, honey. It’s a prenatal vitamin. Last month, when you called me over and asked me to bring a condom? I poked a hole in it first.” He looked her square in the eye, and continued, “By the amount of puking you’ve been doing, I’d say you’re pregnant.”
She thought this would be the last time she saw him. She was wrong.