Welcome to Sherri with her entry for this month’s mini writing competition on ‘Partings’. As I said on my last post, I have been blown away by the quality of the writing this month and a big thank you to all who have taken part. Please check back in tomorrow when voting opens to make sure that your favourite wins. The winner will then set the writing prompt for October’s competition, which will open at the start of next month.
September 23, 2013 at 5:50 pm
The end, when it came, had been swift. She had heard his car pull into the garage and the slam of the door as he got out. She had known that there would be no “Hi!”, no “Honey, I’m home!”. He had greeted her with the silence that he always had, the brooding moodiness of a man who long-ago had detached himself from any hint of the meaning of a loving relationship.
“We have to talk. We can’t go on like this,” he had said as he wiped the beading sweat off his forehead with the back of his hand.
“We need to get a divorce.”
She had been rendered speechless as she had tried to register the finality of his words and
she hadn’t known whether to laugh, cry or plunge a knife deep into his chest, yank out his heart and cut it into a thousand pieces.
Not that she had been bitter or anything.
Scrambled thoughts had screamed out deep within her yet she had uttered nothing.
What? You’ve got to be kidding? After all these years, when I’ve begged you for a divorce and you wouldn’t let me go and I promised you that I would never take the kids away from you, now you are telling me that you want a divorce? Just like that?
Instead, she had stared into the face of the man who had been her husband for twenty years and yet now was a stranger to her.
In the end, she had said nothing and had merely walked away.
Now, months later, here they were, standing in the hall of their empty house, no longer their home. She had been strong up until then, busying herself with all practical matters that are necessary for a move, for her children’s new schools, for a divorce. Now her children had to say goodbye to their father and her strength deserted her.
She watched as her little girl and her little boy fell into their father’s arms, the man who was casting them all adrift, as her daughter smiled and said, “See you soon Daddy!”
His composure had barely faltered but she almost lost it, thinking that at any moment her heart would explode with a grief so pure that she thought she might actually lose her mind.
Backing out of the driveway as the children waved frantically to their father from the car window, she turned to glance at him one more time. They would see each other again, of course, but whatever they had once had so long ago was now finished.
It was over, but she still had the two things that mattered more than anything in the world – her children and her sanity.
Hours later, as she drove ever closer to her unknown distant horizon, she realised one other thing. She knew that she was free.