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Coming home
Nov 12, 2012, 8:13p - Fiction

What to do, what to do...

Bill waited, tasting the smell of the cold metal. The taste rang in his teeth. What was he supposed to do now, he wondered. His wife had just died.

He went home. He drove the 30 miles in a bit of a fog, on the cruise control of his mind. Every day of the rest of his life stood wide open, empty. What was he going to do with all that time?

He'd been married for 40 years. It had been a good marriage, and she a good companion. They used to spend the days watching movies and bad TV, and when there was nothing else on, wandering the streets of the nearby town. Bill could no longer remember his life before her, though he was brought back to that time now that she was gone. Maybe I can figure out how to live now if I can remember how I lived before?

But he couldn't remember. He remembers thinking that he was a different person then. He remembers the handful of relationships he had before her, brief as they were. He remembered that he spent a lot of time thinking and looking for someone, but he couldn't remember what that felt like. He couldn't remember those nights he knew were there, crushing over that unrequited love. The less you remember, the more you forget.

And he had had no reason to remember. Life together had been simple and good. It was a smooth ride down the highway. And when they did get bored, they were bored together, and that was fine.

They talked to each other a lot. Sure, they would have dinner sometimes and not say much, but given the amount of time they were together, those silent dinners were practically unavoidable. He didn't tell her everything - some things made her upset, and he would avoid those topics. But he told her everything else. They told each other their dreams, even when they slept with other people in them. They trusted each other.

But now she was gone. What the hell was he going to do?

The dark house loomed ahead as he pulled up into the driveway. No lights were on, and he hadn't been home for days. It was quiet. Lighting the hallway, he dropped his keys. He left them there, lying on the ground.

(written Dec 28, 2009)

Read comments (2) - Comment

Adam Sanchez - Nov 13, 2012, 12:46p
That feeling when coming home and the lights not being on symbolizes the extinguished flame of life.

nikhil - Aug 20, 2014, 8:24p
He was alone. It was dark, and he hesitated through it. Not just the walls, but the objects that stood in front of them, were flat. His movements blind reflex, his mind but a stowaway on this ship of a body. He could hide up here, but he wondered for how long. The time would come when he would have to climb down from the treehouse and face them.

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