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Desertion in Chicago

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On a bitter cold afternoon on the streets of Chicago in the early 70s the wind cuts through each avenue like blades on exposed flesh. A couple walks up and down the main drag with two noticeably different attitudes, the man a young business professional from the west coast named Tom who finally got the job of his dreams running a small firm in the city's financial district. He places one foot in front of the other like a bull, each step planted firmly and definitely against the Earth through the cold unforgiving streets, his face is stone cold with a noticeable smirk. On his right a small, slender woman named Martha the owner of her own now failing business scampers lightly on the sidewalk. Through the streets with her face down and her hands held deep within her pockets like a marsupial checking on their pouch for their young. Before passing the next avenue Tom utters impatiently

 

"You know it’s not going to make it better," reaching into his pocket to readjust his wallet "you looking so down all the time"

 

 

 

Tom then wraps his arm around her but, Martha pulls away slightly before being pulled back into his grasp. A slight sense of resentment radiates from Martha before being quelled by the tightening hold. As the couple moves closer and closer into the city Martha stops before crossing the next street and mutters

 

"You know I never wanted to come here," she rises slowly out from her jacket "this city is full of big business and is no place to run your own."

 

 

 

Tom began to look into Martha’s eyes with the kind of look a murderer gives before he cuts down his victim, before looking ahead at the nearest street sign vacant less and wandering . Martha knew she had upset him and began to pull her cold now blue hands into her sleeves.

 

Tom and Martha’s marriage had always been a peculiar and violent one. Their wedding night Tom took their rented limousine for a drunk joyride, he didn’t get far though two miles down the road he wrapped it around a telephone poll and after spending the night in jail for a watered down DUI charge he went straight home drunk as the night before and argued with Martha over the bill of their wedding before turning the argument into a fight. Tom beat Martha so bad that she needed niney-nine stitches in her forehead. Since the window he threw her into didn’t break as cleanly as Tom thought it would. All in all, Martha forgave him after Tom promised he would change and attend AA meetings, of course this promise was broken after coming home from work one day Martha found an empty bottle of Jack Daniel’s on the counter. This kind of thing happened a lot throughout their marriage and is the reason they are in Chicago. Tom and Martha got into an argument over someone not paying the mortage (Tom), they had their unfortunately regular fight and the next day they were on a plane to Chicago for a "Fresh start" as Tom said.

 

This time though was different, this time Martha was not impressed by Tom’s gift and promise of a "new life". Martha had to leave family and friends and her hometown that she loved so much but, most of all she had to move her small candle making business to the harsh streets of Chicago. For months now Martha planned to leave Tom and this was the day she planned to by leaving Tom in the middle of Chicago to fend for himself. Martha's plan was perfect to leave Tom in the center of city for his own "fresh start". Moving deeper and deeper into the city Martha said nothing as Tom rambled on

 

"My boss said there is a position higher up for me," he leans in so she is definitely able to hear him " ‘Bout time we can leave that ball and chain candle making fiasco."

 

"Why do people even need candles anyway? We have light bulbs."

 

 

 

"You’re such an idiot for making a company based on wax"

 

Two more intersections away Martha planned to leave him at the corner of Money and Saddle the place where the two had their first fight in the city. Martha began to vibrate incessantly as they inched closer and closer, and when the two got to the intersection Martha exclaimed with the energy of ten years of emotion.

 

"I’ve never loved you, and my company is my passion. I had to uproot my entire life for you to get a fresh start and I also," she shakes with every word she speaks "had to deal with your beatings for ten years"

 


Tom stared at Martha and began to grab her before she turned and missed his enormous grasp. Martha slowly walked away and didn’t look back but she heard the same angry yell and footsteps of man she married ten long years ago. Tom did try and chase Martha even though he knew he wouldn’t be able to catch her though the crowds of neck tie businessmen and bright yellow vested construction men, Martha faded into the cold winter wind never seeing Tom again.

v

On a bitter cold afternoon on the streets of Chicago in the early 70s the wind cuts through each avenue like blades on exposed flesh. A couple walks up and down the main drag with two noticeably different attitudes, the man a young business professional from the west coast named Tom who finally got the job of his dreams running a small firm in the city's financial district. He places one foot in front of the other like a bull, each step planted firmly and definitely against the Earth through the cold unforgiving streets, his face is stone cold with a noticeable smirk. On his right a small, slender woman named Martha the owner of her own now failing business scampers lightly on the sidewalk. Through the streets with her face down and her hands held deep within her pockets like a marsupial checking on their pouch for their young. Before passing the next avenue Tom utters impatiently

 

"You know it’s not going to make it better," reaching into his pocket to readjust his wallet "you looking so down all the time"

 

 

 

Tom then wraps his arm around her but, Martha pulls away slightly before being pulled back into his grasp. A slight sense of resentment radiates from Martha before being quelled by the tightening hold. As the couple moves closer and closer into the city Martha stops before crossing the next street and mutters

 

"You know I never wanted to come here," she rises slowly out from her jacket "this city is full of big business and is no place to run your own."

 

 

 

Tom began to look into Martha’s eyes with the kind of look a murderer gives before he cuts down his victim, before looking ahead at the nearest street sign vacant less and wandering . Martha knew she had upset him and began to pull her cold now blue hands into her sleeves.

 

Tom and Martha’s marriage had always been a peculiar and violent one. Their wedding night Tom took their rented limousine for a drunk joyride, he didn’t get far though two miles down the road he wrapped it around a telephone poll and after spending the night in jail for a watered down DUI charge he went straight home drunk as the night before and argued with Martha over the bill of their wedding before turning the argument into a fight. Tom beat Martha so bad that she needed niney-nine stitches in her forehead. Since the window he threw her into didn’t break as cleanly as Tom thought it would. All in all, Martha forgave him after Tom promised he would change and attend AA meetings, of course this promise was broken after coming home from work one day Martha found an empty bottle of Jack Daniel’s on the counter. This kind of thing happened a lot throughout their marriage and is the reason they are in Chicago. Tom and Martha got into an argument over someone not paying the mortage (Tom), they had their unfortunately regular fight and the next day they were on a plane to Chicago for a "Fresh start" as Tom said.

 

This time though was different, this time Martha was not impressed by Tom’s gift and promise of a "new life". Martha had to leave family and friends and her hometown that she loved so much but, most of all she had to move her small candle making business to the harsh streets of Chicago. For months now Martha planned to leave Tom and this was the day she planned to by leaving Tom in the middle of Chicago to fend for himself. Martha's plan was perfect to leave Tom in the center of city for his own "fresh start". Moving deeper and deeper into the city Martha said nothing as Tom rambled on

 

"My boss said there is a position higher up for me," he leans in so she is definitely able to hear him " ‘Bout time we can leave that ball and chain candle making fiasco."

 

"Why do people even need candles anyway? We have light bulbs."

 

 

 

"You’re such an idiot for making a company based on wax"

 

Two more intersections away Martha planned to leave him at the corner of Money and Saddle the place where the two had their first fight in the city. Martha began to vibrate incessantly as they inched closer and closer, and when the two got to the intersection Martha exclaimed with the energy of ten years of emotion.

 

"I’ve never loved you, and my company is my passion. I had to uproot my entire life for you to get a fresh start and I also," she shakes with every word she speaks "had to deal with your beatings for ten years"

 


Tom stared at Martha and began to grab her before she turned and missed his enormous grasp. Martha slowly walked away and didn’t look back but she heard the same angry yell and footsteps of man she married ten long years ago. Tom did try and chase Martha even though he knew he wouldn’t be able to catch her though the crowds of neck tie businessmen and bright yellow vested construction men, Martha faded into the cold winter wind never seeing Tom again.

 




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