4.26.2013 Journal Prompt

Image from The Ice Storm
Image from The Ice Storm

April 26, 2013: She didn’t want to hear it.

3 Replies to “4.26.2013 Journal Prompt”

  1. She didn’t want to hear it. That’s what she said, and her words were a bricked wall and her face was white stone.

    I could have gone on. I could have shouted to be heard and told her that she’d got it wrong, yet again she had got it wrong. I had done that before, a hundred times before. But I was grown tired and a part of me was resigned. I shrugged and turned away.

    I don’t think she expected that. She reached one hand out for me, an involuntary act that she quickly regretted and she drew back her hand again. Maybe I should have taken that and reached for her the same. But I just couldn’t, not anymore.

    I got up from the table and made to go.

    It would easy to go, I thought then. The easiest thing of all. And all my days afterwards would be mine and not hers, and I wouldn’t have to account for every moment and explain myself to her and not be always believed. I did understand, her need for reassurance. The guy before me had been a bastard. Name was Mac or Mike and he was cruel and he hurt her. But it was wrong of her to think I’d be the same and that all men were the same. I felt sorry for her. It wasn’t her fault. There were others before Mike and maybe they’d been the spit of each other. And her old pa, he’d been something the same. That hurt runs deepest. So I understood; but I was used up by then.

    I took a step towards the door and I almost turned back to her then. In fact I did, just my head, and I saw the wall and her face all hard and unmoving. I just couldn’t, I thought. Not again. Not like before and it took all night and there were tears and she said she was sorry and I said I was sorry, too, and there was nothing for me to feel sorry for, except that I was sorry she hurt so much.

    Instead I kept walking, and I lifted my coat from the hook by the door, and I looked back again, for the last time. It could have been different then, if she had wanted it to be different. It wouldn’t have taken much. I was looking for something, anything, however small. But she sat with her back to me and she did not flinch. I opened the door and left.

    That was the last that I saw of her, except her picture in the paper this morning. It could have been different, and at first I thought it was my fault. Seeing her in the paper and reading how she’d been found by a neighbor who’d been worried on account of not having seen her for almost a week. I thought it was all my fault, just for a brief moment I thought that. But it wasn’t. I’d tried calling at first and I’d sent a card on her birthday and I’d said how we should meet for dinner sometime and that I hoped she was good. She never replied, and when I called round she had moved and there was no word left to say where. So it wasn’t my fault, not any part of it, and yet it could have been different and a part of me wishes that it had been.

    1. I liked the fact that you wrote it from his point of view…and the ambiguity of his feelings about her is intriguing. That part develops nicely, and adds some emotional layers which could develop into an interesting longer piece….nice.

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