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Rated: E · Short Story · Romance/Love · #2280044
It was a surprise for both of us.
694 wc for the No Dialogue Contest

I didn’t think it would mean that much. Love conquers all, Right? In the end, it did.

We’d been married a month. Child sweethearts? For sure. I figured I knew everything about Alicia. Seems there’s a surprise in each of us.

Her’s happened on her twenty-second birthday when she found out I pawned and sold the old railroad watch she’d given me for the present I gave her.

How was I supposed to know she’d been stuffing each hard to trade, bargain, and save hundred dollar bill in its large back she’d sweated to find since then. The total? Over a thousand dollars. To Alicia it was our love bank, a rainy day fund, future possible dream tucked away close and personal.

Oh, she loved my present, squealed, jump onto my lap, and showered me with kisses as I slid the antique choker found at the pawn shop around her neck. That is, until she asked how I could afford such a thing of beauty.

It was like a bomb exploded inside her. My sacrifice, instead of showing how much I loved her, lit the fuse. I watched the transformation flare in her eyes, shiver through her body, and set her off into a tantrum unable to be confined in human form.

I had not only ruined her birthday, I had dishonored our sacred trust, and destroyed her life. Every hidden picky thing I had ever done to displease her which she had ‘forgiven’ me for and held inside became shrapnel flying from her tongue.

There was nowhere to duck. Her birthday happened on a Sunday, so I couldn’t even go back to the pawnshop to try and repair the damage. Stone cold silence met that realization. She didn’t want to hear another word out of me.

Alicia wanted me to ‘think about it’, if I left to give her time to cool down, she threatened to kill me. I thought she’d already made that attempt while throwing everything in reach at me as we moved from room to room during our ‘discussion’.

Pots and pans, plates, and silverware now decorated the floor, walls, and ceiling in the kitchen. Sheets were torn, pillows ripped up, shoes lodged in windows, and dresser doors unhinged in our bedroom. The front room revealed equal attention to detail. Furniture that had taken two full grown men to bring in and put in place now lay upended with legs and back broken, groaning as as I passed by. It was best to keep on the move until she wore down.

Then is when the wailing storm of tears drowned out my attempts to comfort her. She did not want to be touched. She hated the sight of me. I retreated to the bathroom and spent a sleepless night in the tub.

Alicia was gone at dawn with the slamming sound of our front door. I began to clean up. It was harder than I thought it would be. My nerves were shattered. I kept dropping things, looking at them, and feeling my breath hiccup while I relived Alicia turning from Dr. Jekyll into Hyde.

Three days later, she returned with Allen Anthony, the proprietor of the pawnshop in hand. All was forgiven. She hoped I would understand. Allen had examined the watch, found the money and met Alicia at his shop door. He’d tried calling but my cell phone was broken after she’d rearranged its innards. Allen was on the way to return the watch and the money as she arrived.

They’d got to talking. They were in love. Allen was fresh, a wonder at every turn, each moment with him fulfilled something inside her she hadn’t even known was missing.

The divorce was quick and final. I was happy for them and relieved for myself. Picking up the pieces of my life took longer than cleaning up our rental house. I learned a lot about myself from what Alicia said during her tirade. It’s made all the difference with Beth and me. Beth was Alicia’s divorce lawyer. She said Alicia and I would have separated anyway. How Beth I and became a thing is a different story.


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