One Reply to “11.29.2013 Journal Prompt”

  1. The young think they know. They have a brash and uncrushable confidence in everything. In themselves and in each other. Christie remembers that time. The time when she was young. And Ken was her whole rushing world, and she was his, and they stole minutes out of their days, all their days, just to write notes to each other or to phone, and always just to say how they missed each other. All their words, written or spoke, were full to overflowing with yearning, hearts bursting. And not just minutes they stole, but hours and days and whole weeks sometimes.

    Once, they just got in his car and they kept on driving. Into tomorrow and a whole month of tomorrows. Her mom and dad were mad as kicking hares in March and when she returned home at last their words were all swear words and ultimatums. Christie told them it was love and she said they didn’t understand because they were old and she said how she wouldn’t let them spoil it.

    They married soon after, swearing oaths in church, forever-oaths and never-to-be-broken-oaths, and all as God is their witness. A day of laughter and song and family is what she remembers, and Christie has the photographs to prove it. A day of blessings and a day of promises. A day when she was still young and he was young, too, and nothing was an obstacle to them, not even when the honeymoon hotel had lost their booking and they had to spend their first married night in a two-bit motel with bullet holes in the wall and a stain on the carpet that might once have been blood, and they laughed about it then and they laughed about it in the years afterwards.

    Then the days moved a little faster. Running, it seemed like. And the months and the years cartwheeling away from them. And Kids were briefly in the house and then one day not, and without realizing it Christie was suddenly old and Ken old, too, and they did not know how that had happened. Ken took to sleeping in a different bed, almost as soon as the kids left home. He said he didn’t want to wake her with his snoring. It hurt a little then, but she bore that hurt.

    And days folded into each other, a shuffling blur, and they did not talk anymore of love or forever or ‘I love you no matter what’. It was an older love they had. That’s what she thought. A comfortable sort of love, just being together and existing in the same day, that kind of love. Something founded in an understanding and a knowledge of each other that is only arrived at through years of living for each other. That’s what Christie thought.

    Then he was home late some nights. He said it was work and she said he was maybe trying too hard. She worried for him, and she stroked his cheek and smiled, and her eyes were all questions and concern. She thought she smelled mint on his breath and perfume on the collar of his shirt. She thought she did.

    There came a night, and maybe she sensed it coming, when he did not come home at all. She phoned the people they knew and men from his work and the bar where he drank, and though they none of them said, she knew. And she hated them then, like a coin flipped from head to tails, and she hated him. It is a love story, their story, and a hate story, too, and only the young think you can have one without the other. Only the young think that love is unconditional and everlasting. And Christie’s heart breaks, every day now it breaks, and her steps are hesitant and slow, and she sees no tomorrow and no tomorrow, and that is not a new story.

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