One Reply to “5.31.2013 Journal Prompt”

  1. He was angry sometimes. He was angry at her and that didn’t make sense. He was angry that she hadn’t fought harder, that she hadn’t held on. He’d pleaded with her to stay; he’d prayed to a god that he didn’t believe in; he’d begged. But the doctors shook their heads and they said they were sorry, and a woman in a dark skirt and clacking heels came to talk to him and she gave him a card with her name on in case he felt he wanted to talk with her again.

    That was behind him now, years behind. Things move on, he said if ever anyone asked; they did not ask so much as before. Things move on. But still he was angry. And when no one was near, he punched the soft thick bark of old trees and kicked immovable rocks and swore at the stars and cursed that same god that he did not really believe in.

    And her name was something hard in his mouth, something he could not and would not swallow.

    ‘You must forgive her,’ the woman in the hospital said on their second and last meeting. ‘You must forgive her and let her go.’ He was slumped in an armchair in the woman’s office looking for comfort and finding the chair hard and misshapen, and he was crying and his words were all snot and spit and crack. ‘You must move on,’ she said, her voice even and balanced. ‘There’s Michelle to think of now.’

    She was just three then, Michelle was. She’d cried for her mother some mornings when she woke. At first she had. She kept saying ‘hospital’ only she couldn’t quite get her lips and her tongue to shape the word right and so it came out ‘hopital’. Then she’d stop asking and stopped crying and she, it seemed, had moved on.

    The neighbours helped out that first year. The woman next door cooked for them three times a week and shopped and did the washing. And the nursery looked after Michelle for longer hours and at no extra cost. And his boss at his work gave him extra hours off when business was slack. And Michelle’s grandmother was never away from the place. But a year is long enough for grieving in their town and gradually things went to back as they were before, except for him there was a dark hole in the fabric of everything.

    Years found their feet and walked away from him and then were running. Michelle spoke to her Aunt Marjorie about things he had no answers to and he did the best that he could with everything else. And when Michelle slept, she slept soundly; and he crept to the far end of the garden and there he let the weight of his anger out punching and kicking and shouting against a non-existant god. And one night the local policeman had to call and after that he called regularly and they smoked a cigarette together and talked baseball scores and women and what kind of beer they liked and the price of gas these days. And some nights they talked about god and those nights the weight was a little lighter.

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