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by Espero
Rated: E · Short Story · Biographical · #2113153
Finding yourself again after a bad relationship.
She came home from work with a sense of dread as to what she would find. Immediately she went to the closet and opened it. Gone, all of his things were gone. She fell on her knees and emitted a shriek that was more animal sounding than human. Her little dog sat and looked at her. She reached out and stroked his back. After a time, she unfolded herself and sat on the bed. The tears weren’t because he was gone, they came from a scared feeling of what she was going to do; he left her with virtually no money and a household of stuff to deal with.

She wasn’t surprised he was gone; she knew he would be. In some ways she was glad; now the hemorrhaging of money and constant moving would be over. There were nine moves in that short period of five years. She had quit her job, sold her home; virtually disrupted her entire life. Often she wondered if she had been in her right mind, but she knew it was loneliness that had made her do it. She would have ended it years ago if she had the strength, but she never could quite bring herself to do it. Luckily she was working again with her former employer. They had called her when receiving news that she was moving back into the area to see if she needed a job. It was a blessing in disguise.

He must have realized it was over when she didn’t come home a few nights ago. She had booked a motel room for the night to give herself some time to think. They told her at work the next day he had called wondering where she was, looking at her with a questioning gaze. She merely replied, “Oh, I was over at my cousin’s to visit.”

A few weeks prior, she had seen his email to someone in Mississippi; even attaching a picture of himself. She almost laughed, he was wearing the cowboy hat and vest she had bought him; the one he wore when they did the Karaoke shows. She asked him about it when he came home that night but he just gave her a blank look like he didn’t know what she was talking about. It was strange that he hadn’t packed up all of the Karaoke equipment and taken it with him, he loved it so.

He wasn’t good at keeping a job for long but he could have been an actor. In some ways he was an imposter. She wondered what story he had given to this person in the email; she could find out with enough digging into his email but what was the point. People had warned her about him from the beginning but she chose not to listen even though there was always that nagging doubt in the back of her mind. Once, his brother was over and they were admiring a handful of diamond rings they were going to sell. She didn’t know exactly how they had gotten them but had an idea. She didn’t realize it at the time but later found out that her diamond from her first marriage and class ring were also missing. She had even taken to hiding some money in a jar that she kept inside the ceiling tile.

What to do? What to do? She was shaking so hard she couldn’t think so she sat down to make a list.

Find a place closer to work
Get someone to help move everything.
Sell what you can so you have money for a down payment

On the weekend she dragged what furniture she could outside and started a fire with it. It felt good to watch it go up in flames, an apt end to a bad relationship. A few less things to worry about, she thought. The rest of the items in the house she piled into a corner of the living room, only keeping out enough blankets to sleep on the floor and a small TV. A garage sale sign out by the road had brought in some needed money. Rent was paid until the 1st, so no lease to worry about.

On Monday, she got ready for work but broke down in tears about 15 minutes away. She was again shaking and couldn’t stop the intermittent crying that seemed to come without warning. She called work and told them she wasn’t feeling well and drove to the Doctor. When the Doctor came in, she couldn’t seem to talk so she handed him a note that said: I can’t seem to stop crying, I can’t talk. The Doctor sent her to a counselor who told her she most likely was having a nervous breakdown, then gave her a few pills to help calm her down. She spent the rest of the afternoon looking for a place close to work and finally found a small cottage next to a State Park; only 15 minutes from work. She had sold enough things to make the down payment and the rent was cheap. That weekend, a friend came with a truck and she took most of the items to a storage shed for the time being. The cottage was furnished with a bed and kitchen table and she bought a futon for the living room. She only took her clothes, dishes, computer, TV, and music keyboard.

Once moved in and settled, she found some peace of mind. Evenings were spent walking the dog through the State Park and the environment brought a sense of renewal and tranquility to her soul. Her mind free for the first time in years, she realized that if she just calmed down and listened, she wasn’t alone. What it was exactly, she didn’t know, but she felt that an angel or a higher power was watching over her. That sense of peace has remained with her ever since.

997 Words
1st Place Winner in Contest
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