Tuesday, October 10, 2006

While You Were Out

We must have only missed each other by a few hours.
While you were landing in Sioux City, I was climbing into a limo at JFK.
While you were searching for your luggage at carousel #3, I was stepping onto the sidewalk in front of your house.
While you were squealing with old college pals, I was holding him in the doorway.
While you were calling home to tell him you’d arrived safely, I was tasting his eager kisses.

Were those your stray hairs on his sweater? They were same color as mine, but longer and straighter. They must have been yours.

I hope you realize that this wasn’t personal.

The house was exactly as I imagined it would be. He said you did most of the decorating and remodeling yourselves. I could tell you put a lot of hard work and love into the effort. It’s a home you should be proud of. It’s a home I had no right to set foot in.

Two dogs and a cat? I thought he hated cats. Isn’t he allergic or something? I suppose things like that can change after 15 years. People can make some pretty big compromises when they’re in love, when the stakes are high enough. God knows I did.

The scent of your perfume still lingered on the pillows. I recognized it, but couldn’t remember the name. It was the same perfume I gave my sister last Christmas. You’d think he’d have at least changed the linens before I arrived. I told him to do it before you returned. I didn't trust him, so I just did it myself.

I sat alone in the bathroom for a while afterwards. There’s something wrong with the lights in there. My reflection seemed warped and strange. I looked different. I felt different. Perhaps you left a bit of yourself behind the glass. Perhaps that’s what happens after an investment of twelve years.
This wasn’t anything like I expected it would be. I don’t understand how he can seem so happy about what we did.

Oh, don’t ask me why. Ask him. This wasn’t about you and I. Hell, I don’t know you. I don’t feel anything for you; at least I never did before now.

I wonder if he thought about any of this before he invited me,
The first time
The second time
The tenth time
The final time, when I finally said yes and the plane tickets showed up in the Fed-Ex envelope the next day.
I wonder if it was worth it to him.

We must have only missed each other by a few hours.

While you returned to a dozen roses, I returned to the searing emptiness of my one-bedroom apartment.
While he lied about how much he missed you, I stared into a mirror that reflected the truth of who I’d become.
While you noticed the coffee cups had been stacked open-side-up instead of open-side-down, I scrubbed the stench of sin from my body.
While you opened the letter I’d tucked inside your pillowcase, I packed the last of my things in my car.

I have no idea where I’m going. All I know is that I can’t stay here.

(Note: this is fiction. I didn't really run away from home)


At 10:31 PM, Blogger ZooooM said...

WOW!! This is mesmerizing!

At 8:50 AM, Blogger Spin_Doc1 said...

Even though it is fiction, would you really leave a letter?

At 9:13 AM, Blogger theresa said...

Zoooom - Ha! I should always get high on Poptarts when I post.

Spin - ewwwww, I hope I'm never in this sort of situation. But if I were, I hope I'd never be letter-leaving selfish and cruel.

At 11:04 AM, Blogger Ron Southern said...

Now I guess all of your fans will be kissing up to you. Why are you so popular? Why are you so attractive? Some day you'll sit down on a park bench and it'll be my face instead! Jeez, wasn't it Prince Charles who wanted to be Camilla's Kotex? Talk about going down in History. I suppose it was considered sanitary.

At 3:41 PM, Blogger Al said...

t- the letter bit wat brilliantly evil

At 3:41 PM, Blogger Ed said...

Brilliant, Theresa - although I'm glad you put the note at the end!

At 5:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now, that' something.

At 7:07 AM, Blogger naive-no-more said...

I'm glad you put the note at the end too after being gone for a week :)

This was an awesome story. Told eerily calm but conveying all the raw emotion of the character. The regret, the sadness, the longing, etc. Excellent job.

At 9:27 AM, Blogger nosthegametoo said...

Where does your wonderful imagination come from?

Perhaps it's better that it remains mysterious.


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