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Life as we Know it
The woman sat hunched on the bed, trying her hardest not to cry. In her hand was a crumpled receipt she had found in her boyfriend’s pocket after doing their laundry. She had her suspicions, and now she was sure of it. She paced the room, unsure of what to do. He would be home any minute now.
She went to the mirror and noticed for the first time how terrible she looked. Her face was red and blotchy, her tear streaked face tinted black by her mascara. Immediately she turned away, ashamed of herself for being so weak, so emotional.
She wrung her hands, still futilely trying not to cry. Suddenly she stopped and turned her head toward the bedroom door, saw the knob turn. Her suppressed anger immediately flared to life.
He walked in, a broad smile on his face. Upon seeing her angry expression and haggard appearance, his smile transformed to a look of concern/
“What’s wrong, babe?”
She just looked at him. As she stared, the hatred in her eyes seared him to the point where he had to look away. “Don’t you dare call me babe! I know what you did, and I am through with you! Through!”
She was flinging her arms and screaming obscenities, but the man had learned to tune her hysterics out. It’s just another one of her moments, he thought to himself. She’ll calm down soon enough.
But she did not calm down. “I should have known I couldn’t trust you!” she raged. “They were right about you! All of them! How could I have been so naive?!”
With that, she stomped out the door. The man just stood there, completely caught off guard, tears forming in his eyes. She had not seen the flowers he had for her, or the ring he was about to propose to her with. Confused and distraught, he sat on the bed and noticed the crumpled up piece of paper on the floor. He picked it up and examined it. The receipt for the flowers he bought.
He heard a car door slam, heard the car rumble to life and finally drive away, out of his life forever. The man knew he should go after her, get answers, and fight for her. But all he could do was sit there, dazed and confused.
He gently put the ring and flowers on the bed and reached for his cell phone. He should call her. After going straight to voice-mail, he paused, unsure of whether he should leave a message or not. Finally, he took a deep breath and started speaking, not entirely sure of what to say.
“Please come home…I-I need to talk to you. I don’t know what’s wrong, but we need to discuss this like… like adults. Please. I love you…”
He hung up the phone, feeling completely helpless, for this was all he could do. He bent his head and wept for the first time in his life.
Night began to fall and she still had failed to show up. It had been almost three hours since she had left him. He knew he should eat, but couldn’t bear the thought of food at a time like this.
He paced the floor, wondering what it was that he could have possibly done. He heard a car outside and his hopes rose only to be crushed when it passed his house completely. Absolutely distraught, he sat on the floor, drinking what appeared to be his fifth- no maybe, his sixth bottle of beer. He had lost count a while ago.
There was a knock on the door, and he thought it strange that she would bother knocking. He raced toward the door and opened it. It was not his love, there at the door, but a police officer. The policeman looked a bit uncomfortable, which only confused the man further. Perhaps his drinking had started making him hallucinate. The officer asked for his name, and the man gave it to him, a feeling of dread beginning to creep up his spine. Nothing was making sense anymore, he was going to go insane.
“I’m sorry to tell you this, sir, but there has been an accident…”