11.3.2013 Journal Prompt

article-0-1A380A3E000005DC-806_634x804November 3, 2013: She had regrets.

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2 thoughts on “11.3.2013 Journal Prompt

  1. Lindsay

    Today she left him. She had a bag packed under the end of the bed and she just picked it up and she left. It had been a long time coming, years and years, and maybe he never thought she would. She was always saying that there’d come a time: when the kids were grown and they’d all left home; or when there was a little put by in her nest egg – or her un-nest egg. Well, the kids had all gone and they’d been sitting comfortable for a while. And she’d stayed when she could have gone. But today she left.

    There wasn’t a plan exactly. She’d thought about it for long enough. Days when he’d catch her with her hands in soapy water by the sink and she’d be staring into the distance without seeing, staring through the net curtained window, and she didn’t know where she was then and she did not hear his voice, not right away, and she started when she did and was for a moment lost in that kitchen she’d been in for more years than she hadn’t. And he’d laughed and said she was a dreamer, or simple, or lost. And the truth is that all those times she’d been thinking about leaving, picturing how it would be.

    But it is also the truth that in her dreams she never saw past the other side of her front door. She’d imagine herself saying to him that she was going and she had her bag weighing her down and her coat on and he’d not even look up, and she’d close the door behind her, not with a slam, but quietly, with a barely audible click of the Chubb lock. Then, just the feeling of being herself, there on the other side of the door.

    She got to the bottom of the stairs and for a second she did not know whether to turn left or to turn right. Then she saw a bus was coming and she ran to catch it, or it felt like running for she was breathless and her heart beat so loudly she did not hear the sound of Alice Myers at twenty-two shouting her name.

    She bought a ticket, but she did not know to where. Just so long as it is far from here, she thought. It was like she was trying to escape everything she’d been for the past forty years. It wasn’t just him, the man she’d raised children with; it was everything. And although she knew there was no turning back the clock, no going to the start again and a different man and his name was Brad and he had a fancy car and a fancy way of talking too and he’d said back then how she was making a mistake in not marrying him, and years on she saw he was right – not that the man she’d married was a bad man… she’d never say that; but although she knew there was no way back to that time, the time before choosing, she could at least break free.

    How can you have regrets, he’d said to her some years back, the man who was hers and she was his. And he pointed to the life they’d made and the kids who had all grown up good and whole. And how can you regret any of that, he said. And she didn’t, not the kids. That’d be silly or cruel; but she did have regrets all the same, and things she wished she’d done, and roads she’d wanted to have travelled along, and adventures she’d never had.

    Maybe it was too late for all of that now, but maybe it wasn’t. How would she know if she didn’t just try it? And so she sat on the bus that was going someplace or no place, and she faced straight ahead, not looking back, and she was not afraid or sad but something butterfly happy and a little giddy in her thinking.

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