Endings. Short Story.

Hope everyone’s having a good week, mine is going well, a little stressful but ok other than that! Don’t really have much to report, so,

On with the show!

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Endings.

He took a mouthful of his coffee, it was good. He rubbed his eyes, trying to wake up a little, not like he had to be anywhere though. He plodded to the kitchen table and sat down heavily, scanning the papers headlines. Some local councillor won an election, a boy scout troop raised money for researching a disease, that hiker was still missing. He didn’t really care all that much, but it was a distraction. He picked it up and read a few of the stories. Hiker was gone for eight days, some inexperienced guy, probably fell and broke his leg somewhere, they boy scouts raised almost fifty thousand dollars for cancer, which was impressive. He stopped before the politics piece. Politics always made him angry so he tended to avoid it where possible. He put the paper down again and looked around the kitchen. It had seemed so small before. Now it was empty. He even missed that damn yappy dog. Who’d have thought that was even possible? They had sat here, at this very table when she told him. He had gotten a text from her, earlier in the day, “We need to talk. Xxx” He didn’t think it meant anything bad, they were never one of those couples, besides, she wouldn’t do anything to alarm him intentionally, obviously it was something mundane like what paint they should get or how they should get a better car before the piece of shit they had finally exploded. She had sat him down and in eight simple words, she had ended their marriage.

 “I’m sorry. I just don’t love you anymore.”

She hadn’t been having an affair, for some reason that would make things easier. She had told him tearfully that there was no one else, that there was no reason, she just didn’t love him. He had thought everything was fine, better than fine, great in fact. There had been no indication, no warning. Everything was fine one moment, the the next it wasn’t.

They had been married for six years. Six. It seemed so long ago now. They were just teenagers then, stupid teenagers. Dating since they were fourteen and old enough to know what dating was, wildly in love, it only seemed natural that at eighteen they marched down to the local registry office and filled in all the paperwork. They didn’t have rings then, they couldn’t afford it, but the rings came in time.

He rubbed his eyes. Better it happened now, while they were both still young, before they were old and alone forever. God. They had been talking about having children, that would have been a complete clusterfuck. He was confident that any children wouldn’t have become pawns in the divorce, but he was glad the added complication wasn’t there. She couldn’t even say the word divorce, she had danced around it, making him say it. There was no other option according to her, she didn’t want counselling, there was nothing to fix, nothing was broken. It was just a simple matter. She tried to explain it and he appreciated it, but he still could barely believe it.

Well. It happened. He took another gulp of coffee, then he stood to get a start on breakfast. He was half way through making French Toast when he realised he was done. He was cooking for one now. He poured the eggs down the sink, then threw the half cooked portion into the bin. He looked at his own food for a moment and then sat down and began to eat. He ate slowly, methodically and when he was done, he couldn’t remember how any of it tasted. He should have made bacon with it. She always liked that. No. He wouldn’t do this, this sad self-pity thing. He’d be fine, it would just take a little time. That was all. He put his plate in the dishwasher. At least he didn’t have to deal with her messes anymore. She could never seem to remember to put her plate into the dishwasher, she could barely put it into the sink. That was something. He didn’t want to be here, in this house. He went upstairs and got dressed.

It was an overcast day, slightly windy, but there was no rain forecasted. He wore a light jacket, just enough to keep the warmth in. He walked aimlessly, allowing his feet to carry him where they wanted. He had taken a few days off from work, something he thought was a bad idea now. He wanted something that would fill his days, distract him, but for now he would wallow. Everyone in work already knew what happened, hell, they probably knew before he did. He didn’t want to see their pitying gazes, or endure the awkward silence as they stopped talking as soon as he entered a room.

He found himself going towards the park, he went along with it, the park could be quite nice. The grass had just been cut, the smell of it still hung in the air, mixed with the faint fumes of the ride on lawn mower. He wandered through the paths until he was at the small pond. The plaque said it was Herbert Lake, but calling it a lake was being far, far too generous. A few ducks floated across its surface, ignoring him. He sat on a bench and just looked at the water. The small stream that fed the pond sounded pretty, light dancing on its surface. After a few moments, he stood, he didn’t want to be here anymore. He didn’t want to be anywhere near here. He’d move, that’s what he’d do. Get away completely from the town, the memories, her. He might come back someday, but for now, he would go. He smiled, feeling invigorated. It was just what he needed.

By the time he reached his house again, the feeling was gone. It was stupid, how could he leave? He didn’t have the money and god knew the house wouldn’t sell. He’d stay here, like everyone else. Trapped in this tiny place, too afraid or unwilling to leave. There was no easy escape and there never would be.

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About Alan James Keogh

I am a 24 year old writer who somehow tricked U.C.D. into giving me not only a degree in English and Classical studies, but an Hons Masters in Creative Writing too. Visit my blog where I post short stories twice a week (Monday and Wednesday) and an installment of a serialised novel on Fridays. I did consider writing this in the third person, as though it was written by someone else, but Alan is not comfortable writing in the third person as it seems kinda creepy and unbalanced so Alan decided it was probably best to write in the first person. He hopes it went well for him.
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