Friday, May 27, 2011

mind games and other lies

{ a note to my lovely readers: }
this is a piece of fiction that I wrote for a challenge at the writer's blog, the red dress club. The challenge included the first 6 words and last sentence and a word count maximum of 600. Writing fiction is new for me, so I would LOVE your feedback. 
I think.
Thank you for reading! ~j.s.

This was absolutely the last time she was going to picture him at her wedding. The wedding had come and gone, and the facts remained the same. He wasn’t there. No matter how many times she pictured an alternate ending, it wasn’t going to change—so she wasn’t going to play these mind games any longer. Up until 12 days before her wedding, she thought she would live every bride’s dream. But, when the day arrived, his absence loomed large, bigger than any of the plans she had made.

She rolled her car window down and handed the barista a ten dollar bill. With a quick glance, she noted the girl’s nose ring. The ring jogged a new memory.

“Stay down” she thought to herself.

Her twenty-minute commute took an unbearable forty-two. Running up the steps, cursing her decision to wear her olive green heels, she arrived at the salon 14 minutes late. On any other day, 14 minutes would mean nothing, but on Thursdays, 14 minutes meant a verbal lashing from Monica. She gritted her teeth and shot a glance at the clock. Naturally, the Salon owner stepped into her path. There was no need to apologize. Monica only saw apologies as a sign of weakness, a place to feed. The best thing she could do was to keep her mouth shut.

A few moments into the tirade, she noticed that she was taking the lecture fairly well. She was able to listen to the criticisms of her character, her lack of discipline, her selfishness and her inability to think of anyone other than herself—and say nothing. “Wow…” she thought, “When did I learn to do this?”

For so many years, any time there was an argument, she always had to have the last word. Always. It made him crazy. She began to wonder. How many times did we fight about me having the last word? When did I learn? Is this what he wanted all along?

And so the day went. Slowly, from one dreaded moment, into a long painful day. The clock was brutal, and she eyed the beast, wondering how it managed to move so quickly when she was home. This ticker seemed to mock her as she stood in these god-awful shoes. And, then, in a breath, the clock’s lovely hands released her back to her life.

Arriving home, she walked from her car, up the leaf strewn walkway to her condo. She remembered the day that she had brought her parents to see where she would be living with her husband after the wedding. She stared at the key for a moment, and then turned it up to fit in the slot.

“Hey” said the bride to her husband.

“Hey,” the young man smiled back. “How was your day?”

“Fine. Hard. Whatever.”

Once in their bedroom, she kicked off her shoes and fell back on her bed, she thought of her Mom, now a widow.  She had fought all day to not think of him, of her Dad.  She closed her eyes and tried to turn off her mind which now swelled with memories and regrets. Every day since the accident, just twelve days before her wedding, she had fought thinking of her Dad. Every day since the funeral she had wondered if she would ever be normal again. Yesterday, she had failed. She had promised herself she wouldn't picture him at her wedding. She swore that today she would get her coffee without him in her head and she would talk back to her boss. Today she would not think of her Dad. 
She was wrong.

 (special thanks to Sarah Frume for helping me edit my ending so that it flowed the way it was always supposed to!)