A House Divided This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

December 4, 2010
“He said he didn't have time today.”

“What do you mean?”

“He was busy ….”

The knot hardened in her stomach.

Of course.

Georgiana twisted the silver band around her finger and nodded her acceptance.

“Thank you, Margaret.”

It was raining on Drury Street. The downpour pounded on her car windows, creating a steady drum that she felt belonged to the tears rolling down her cheeks rather than the weather. She was questioning her self-worth again, and the silver band was lying in the ashtray, vibrating with the engine.

The silent buzz of his fan echoed throughout the room. His hand rested lazily on his cheek as he stared at the photograph on the wall. Margaret could hardly guess what he was thinking, the way his handsome features were pulled so tight.

She coughed. “Sir, your wife
was in.”

The bond loosened and he flinched, as if remembering something. He sat up a little straighter and fixed his cuffs.

“Ah. Thank you.”

Margaret's lips drew a thin line. The air grew heavier as she waited for some sort of follow-up.

“Thank you …,” he repeated, glancing up at her. As if she were illogical.

She turned, frowning, and left, her heels making that familiar clipping sound.

It was raining on Drury Street. It pounded at his windows with nagging force. It wanted in.

He reached for the volume knob, glancing at his silver band, then turned the sound up.

The house rattled. It shook and shivered as its very basis and its atmosphere was shattered into nothing. Past events had tumbled ­together into a heaping mess of confusion, hurt, and love.

No one quite knew what the other party was entertaining, but they knew it had to be something.

They were suspicious.

And in any case, the lady took the greater offense: she was quiet about it, and that stung more than thrown china.

“I can't.”

“Why not?” he asked, perplexed that his honest efforts were so cruelly turned away.

“I'm busy.”

The clock ticked above them. The dark red walls they had painted together so long ago seemed to be more symbolic now. And the dining room table that used to be intimate suddenly became too small. The room was too small.

Georgiana felt it too. He looked up as she stood.

“I'm sorry, Georgie. I didn't mean to forget,” he said quickly, panic encroaching.

She was leaving the room. “Forget what?”

He sat for a long time. He didn't touch his food. He just thought. And thought.

He heard the door click. She went out every night now. He didn't know where. In fact, he didn't know much about Georgiana anymore. She was a foreign object, a mystery he had been puzzling over.

And as he thought, his heart receded.

What am I doing here?

The house began ringing. A quiet buzz that increased with the seconds, with the thoughts that zoomed through his mind.

Am I happy?

A crack in the foundation, starting in the door that he had carried her over, began. It drove slowly toward the back of the house.

A slow, divisive crack.

He stood up as the floorboards shook softly and the rafters started to sway.

He was questioning his self-worth again.

Do I deserve this?,

Noises exploded as one singular thought entered his mind that closed them all.


He moved toward his bedroom as the house roared to life. It shook terribly, and he gripped at the walls of the hall to find his room. His room. A few tears rolled down his cheek and onto his beard, small leaks of regret. Flakes of wood and plaster began raining down his back. The rumbling grew louder as he threw his belongings into a suitcase, muttering things under his breath.

He was at a climax.

And he said in his head.

I'm done.

He left and the house fell. It crashed into nothing.

No one returned that night. The only evidence that a marriage had existed was the photograph hanging in his office.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

Join the Discussion

This article has 5 comments. Post your own now!

Lily">This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
today at 2:33 am
RomanticPhilosopher said...
Apr. 11, 2013 at 9:53 pm
Wonderful imagery. Very well written, I had to look past the words to understand his emotion. You brought the reader away from the words and into the character's head, as if the words became their own film. Wonderful. I look foward to reading some more of your work! ~RomanticPhilosopher~
beelzebubblez88 replied...
May 17, 2013 at 6:26 pm
great imagry really good
jettabugThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Nov. 3, 2012 at 9:14 pm
That's a beautiful story. I love how instead of focusing on the concrete things and events that actually occur in the story, you include more thoughts and very wise ones, to be exact. You certainly know how to write well! Keep writing, and good luck on your future writing endeavors!
otherpoet said...
Apr. 6, 2012 at 6:22 pm
This is a really interesting story. It's painful, but that's good. It tells love story that not many people want to hear, even though they know it's true. You have a way with words, I hope you continue to write!
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