Same Old, Same Old. Short Story

Ugh. I’m sick.


It isn’t too bad, mostly feel crappy and can’t stop coughing, could be worse.


On with the show!


Jane woke up a few seconds before the alarm went off. It was always the same, her internal body clock was always just slightly fast. She counted down from five, then on que the alarm started to blare. Beside her, her husband groaned, rolled over and hit the top of the alarm. Jane stayed where she was as he sat up and stumbled from the bed to the bathroom. Sighing, she sat up as he started to brush his teeth. It was the same thing every day, every morning. She’d wake up early, the alarm would go off five seconds later, then her husband would groan and charge into the bathroom. Jane left the bedroom and went to the main bathroom, there, she too started to brush her teeth. As she did, she wondered if this was going to be their lives, preforming the same dances and rituals forever. She had wanted children once, but the time for children had already passed. She didn’t exactly resent her husband for it, she accepted it, but she knew it was his fault. His humming and hawing over the issue, dodging it, saying they could talk about it later and later and later until it was too late. So now they were left with a big, empty house. She knew her mother blamed her, before her death. Jane’s mother wanted grandchildren, more than anything else. Jane didn’t regret that though, it seemed wrong, her mother’s obsession, not Janes.
Jane finished in the bathroom and dawdled on the way back to the bedroom, her husband had already dressed and gone downstairs. When she dressed and joined him, he’d have a cup of coffee waiting for her. It had been a nice gesture in the beginning, but now it was bordering on annoying. He never asked, what if she didn’t want coffee? What about the mornings when she wanted orange juice? But no, she drank the coffee. If she didn’t, if she threw it down the sink, he would sulk. Jane looked through her clothes, trying to decide before finally settling on jeans and a t-shirt. Can’t go wrong there. Perhaps if she dawdled long enough, he’d already have left for work. She shook her head, that wasn’t going to happen any time soon. He always got up way before he needed to. Once dressed she went downstairs to the kitchen, there her husband was making breakfast, and sitting on the table, as predicted, was a cup of coffee. She picked it up and took a sip.
A moment later a plate was placed in front of her, French toast. “Looks delicious.”
She ate slowly, methodically. They chatted, but she didn’t really know what it was about. When she had finished, she stood and took her plate to the dishwasher, then sat down again, in a moment he too would finish, then he’d kiss her cheek and be out the door, off to work while she stayed at home.
When he left she tidied up the rest of the kitchen, putting things away, putting his plate into the dishwasher. Same as every morning. She had gone shopping yesterday, so that was out as a diversion. She had cleaned only the day before that so there wasn’t much to clean. They were clean people mostly. Whenever she did clean it was to sweep and mop the floors. There was TV, or reading, but after a while they both seemed to lose their appeal. Besides, her husband enjoyed most of the TV shows she watched, so she felt guilty watching without him. She sat down at the kitchen table, cup of tea in front of her, sipping occasionally.
When Jane finished her tea, she placed the cup into the dishwasher, then she leaned against the sink and looked around the kitchen. Did she ever really love this house? Did she even like it? When they bought it, it was a good house, she knew that, but on some level it never really felt like her home. It always felt as though she was staying in a hotel, or a vacation home. Some place that someone else owned and that never really belonged to her. She had tried decorating it, adding personal touches but nothing seemed to work. The fact was though, that was how her life felt in general. As though it wasn’t really hers, she was just holding someone else’s place. It didn’t feel like her house, or her life, because it wasn’t and someday, she’d get a chance to start her life, her real life. She had never discussed this with anyone, how could she? Not without sounding insane. She just did as she was supposed to, living her placeholder life, keeping it warm for when the real woman came back and took her rightful place. That wasn’t to say everything was bad, she enjoyed many aspects of the life she had lead and towards others she felt mere indifference. It wasn’t a bad life and she was sure the true owner would be happy when they arrived to find everything intact.

Of course she was too old now to just run off, to leave everything behind and start an adventure and her husband would never agree to something like that. No, they already had their “trip of a lifetime” for their honeymoon. A quick jaunt around a few places for all of two weeks. Hardly a trip of a lifetime. Barely even a proper vacation. No, her husband’s tastes ran towards the hot and sunny, sandy beaches, a drink or two and baking in the sun. Jane wanted to do things, go places. Inevitably they ended up doing what he wanted to do, going where he wanted to go. Occasionally she would go to a museum, or on a day trip, almost always by herself, but when she returned her husband didn’t want to hear about her day, he either told her about the things she apparently missed on the beach, or told her how he never understood why people would want to go to a museum. So she always returned from her boring vacations, to her boring life.
Sighing, she stood up straight, then looked around the kitchen once more. Perhaps she should just have another cup of tea?


About Alan James Keogh

I am a 26 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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