This post is a continuation of the fiction story that I started
This was absolutely the last time.
The words ring in my ears. Hollow. Insincere. Familiar.
My stomach lurches with another wave, ripping me from the inside out. I’m crushed.
Wilting to the floor, I uselessly try to melt into it, to disappear.
A pile of buttercup towels grows taller beside me. They’re deeply soiled. Obscenely streaked.
I lightly touch one drop of blood. A shudder washes over me as I wipe red across yellow. The stench of iron wafts, another wave hits.
I lean against the cool slate wall and pull my knees in tight. Tighter. I’m trying to hold myself together.
But I can’t. Once again, useless.
So much time. So much money. Finally, success! Dashed. My hand lingers on my almost empty belly. It cramps, mocking me.
My arms wrap around my knees, my shoulders loosen. This space is mine. I wince in it.
A salty tear grazes my swollen lips. More slide down my bruised cheeks. Cool. Poignant. A reminder.
I wonder where he went and how long until he returns.
His face will be hopeful, his arms will overflow.
Something soft and warm, a blanket or a sweatshirt. He’ll desperately try to melt the ice between us. The cold that I can never shake.
Dark chocolate because I’m his sweetest thing.
His voice, inside my head.
His breath, against my cheek.
His words, a direct line into my ear.
Deep. Gravelly. A slight twang most noticeable when he’s tender. And when he’s fierce.
My heart drops, chills race down my spine. My eyes search, my ears listen. Is he back?
The sleek clock ticks above me. Silence.
No, he’s not. I release the breath that I didn’t know I was holding. My head pangs, my stomach tightens. I rest both hands there and allow the tears to fall in mourning.
My eyelashes flutter as I fight sleep.
Through them, I see his eyes. Crystal blue, a lake just before sunrise. Waters not meant to dive into.
Those full arms. Those I can count on. A blanket, chocolate and, of course, flowers. Always flowers. Tulips. Daisies. Lilacs.
One bouquet. Two. Sometimes even three. I used to think the number of flowers reflected how many times he broke me that night. But it’s not that easy.
I never know what to expect, and he’s proud of that.
I’m not sure he’s really the one, I told Kally that night so many years ago.
Back at the old apartment we ate scrambled eggs leaning against the island while Beautiful Day filled in the background.
We were still in our going out clothes. Black dresses and strappy heels. You two could be sisters! We’d hear that all the time. A little drunk on riesling, we talked between bites.
You guys? No way Em. You guys are perfect. That’s just how it is sometimes. She said. Besides, Ohmygod his eyes! Her fork scraped the bottom of the pan, clinked against her teeth.
I open my eyes as a small smile escapes my lips. I taste a tinge of fresh blood on my own teeth.
She was wrong.
Red Writing Hood is a writing meme. This week’s assignment is to write a short piece that begins with the words, “This was absolutely the last time” and ends with “She was wrong.” Constructive criticism is welcome.