A pretty rough draft of a short story I started last year in a creative writing class
|Series of Three
I swear, I didn’t realize I still had the bottle in my hand. It always starts out the same, I hold my anger in until I explode. And as usual, anyone and anything in my way at the time will suffer. This time was no exception and now I regretted it. I had hurt the one person who had always stood by me and something told me that it wouldn’t be as easy this time to smooth things over. The day started out pretty good, I was feeling really good about getting the job I interviewed for last week, and I was on top of the world. Then it happened, the phone rang.
“Hello,” I cheerily answered.
“May I speak with Abby?”
The female voice on the other end was vaguely familiar and had a southern twinge to it. The recognition dawned on me and I was instantly sent to a very uncomfortable memory.
“Bets, Abby is not here,” I answered “Why are you calling my house?”
Click. Now this was interesting. My wife’s ex is calling here and hanging up on me? I am normally a very trusting person but this nagged at me and was the first in a series of incidents that sent me over the edge. The second happened within minutes when the phone rang again.
“Kim? This is Randy, from Intex,” the voice said.
“Oh yea, hi Randy!” I answered.
“I just called to tell you the results of the interview,” he began, “Although we were very impressed with your interview, we decided…”
I couldn’t even hear the rest of the conversation I was so shocked. The next thing I remember was saying thank you and good bye. I couldn’t believe I didn’t get the job. I had the highest recommendations from co-workers, the degree, and the on the job experience. I was fuming by now and suddenly recalled the first phone call.
The two unpleasant conversations just set me off and I immediately called Abby at work. I wanted to know what the hell was going on with Bets and I wanted to know now. At the time I didn’t realize that it was my own unhappiness just wanting to cause everyone else to be miserable. And this conversation, or lack of, set me up for the “Series of Three” bad things happening.
Why is it that all things bad must happen in threes? I have never been able to figure that one out. But then again, I guess if it weren’t for my atrocious temper these three things wouldn’t have been bad enough to warrant my ruining my life with Abby. After the things I said and did to her, I was very doubtful she would want me back. Abby was a very understanding woman, and knew about my temper before we even got together, but had never been on the receiving end of it, until yesterday.
When I called her at work she was not in and in my mind she was most likely with Bets. So I laid in wait for her after work. Sitting right at the steps of our home, fist full of letters in which she had told me she was through with Bets forever. When Abby saw me sitting there, surrounded by empty beer bottles, she instantly paled.
“Kim? What is wrong? What happened?” she implored as she reached out to put her arms on my shoulder.
“Get the hell away from me” I screamed as I jumped up.
The look on her face at that moment will always be etched on my brain. Her eyes welled up with tears and she backed away in fear. That look should have been enough to stop me, had I cared as much as I claimed. But, it didn’t.
“What the hell is Bets doing calling here? Are you screwing around on me like you did with her? Is that where you were when I called you at work?” I screamed, out of control “I should have known once a slut always a slut!”
“Wh-what are you talking about? When did Bets call?”
“Oh yea play innocent, is that how you did it with her when she found out about you and I?” I sneered.
“Kim, calm down and talk to me, I have no idea what you are talking about. I haven’t seen Bets in 5 years! Remember I even gave up seeing her daughter to please you.”
See she tried to reason with me, bless her heart. She was right, I was so worried she would go back to Bets and her old life of getting beat and mistreated that I begged her to stop seeing the child she had helped raise. And good ol’ Abby had walked away from it to please me. And here I was accusing her of screwing around, how could I have done that?
Abby once again made a step towards me to try and reassure me I guess. In my mind’s eye I was still convinced she had wronged me and lashed out. I swear, I never realized I still had the bottle in my hand. I know I should never have lashed in the first place but I was beyond reasoning and beyond calming down. But, Abby didn’t realize this and continued to up the steps.
“Kim, I swear I did nothing and if you calm down…”
“Fuck off!” I screamed as I swung to push her away.
And suddenly, as Abby fell to the porch, I realized what I had done.
“Oh my god, Abby, are you alright? Abby? Abby talk to me.” I screamed in a panic.
Now I realize I ruined any chance of happiness that I would ever have. Why Bets called is unimportant and always was, I should have known that Abby was true to me. The job was not that important, not as important as Abby. And I swear, I didn’t realize I had the bottle in my hand.