a Certain Charm

By , Stafford, VA
The clock struck 8 and she was just sitting there, her hair done up with ringlets as bouncy as springs. She was wearing her best dress; it was a lovely satin pink. When she looked at herself in the mirror she knew she could make heads turn. She wore the bracelet he had given her a few years back and remembered how she felt when he first gave it to her and knew they would be together for a long while. Each charm on the bracelet symbolized a moment he and her spent with each other. It’s been 3 years since he gave her the bracelet. She was holding the very first charm; it was in the shape of a heart with the word “marriage” in the center. It meant the world to her but, now she wasn’t so sure it was the same. She looked at the table set for two, smelling the food as it started getting cold. She stood up and began to wonder where he could be.

It was too late for him to be at work. She started thinking of multiple possibilities. Maybe he was picking up flowers or a new bottle of her favorite wine? “He will be home,” she thought. Just as she was becoming discouraged the door opened. It was him. She rushed to the door to help him in. she went to grab his briefcase and he snatched it away and said “I’m not helpless; just let me get through the door.” She was confused by his reaction, especially on this day.
“Well dear shall I pour you a glass?” she offered to see if he will change his way.
He looked at her and said “That would be great.” She went into the kitchen and poured him a glass of whiskey. She heard him mumbling to himself. It was a low mumbled tone filled with irritation.
She walked in, and handed him the glass and says “Might I ask what’s wrong?” he is in the middle of finishing the glass and the looks up at her.
“Yes its you.” her face drew a blank, not sure what to think about the words that floated from his mouth. She was still. He continued.
“You are always here, always picking up after me, making sure I’m alright. I am bored and tired of it. I want new and it’s getting old. I’m not saying you aren’t beautiful or anything but it’s been a while since I have gotten to be glad about coming home. I am going to be living in an apartment on the main strip if you care to bring me some things that I leave here. Is this clear to you, I know it’s sudden an all but I hope you understand.”
She is just still her eyes glazed over and feelings of hurt and rage are storming through her body. She tries to move them from her thoughts. She says “Well I’m going to go warm up dinner, I made your favorite.” She starts moving toward the kitchen.
“Oh I’m not staying I am going out with a few of the guys from work.” He stood up and walked towards the door and then he was gone.
She just sat there as still as anything not sure how to take it. Her face was blank with eyes glazed over. Her face was turning red filling with anger and tears begun to stream down her face. She was officially alone and had no one to talk to. A thought ran through her mind and realized that his co worker was a woman. It explained everything now, why he was always late and unhappy to be home. That was it she was going to confront him.
Although he never told her much she knew where he went to hang out with the guys. She drove for a while until she pulled up to the old decrepit building about a block from where he worked and she waited. She watched men come in and out not one of them was him. She kept thinking of what he had said to her and her anger kept growing she lay her head down on the wheel and fell asleep.
She awoke to loud laughing. She saw a crowd of clearly drunken men. On the far left of them she saw him. He was hunched over, barely able to walk, wearing a crooked smile. She watched him as he went to the car. Just as she was about to get out she noticed that the car he was about to get into was hers. She got out of the car and opened the trunk. She scrambled around in the dark until she found it, one pair of high heeled shoes and what felt like some sort of undergarment but she could tell by the feel of the lace it was certainly not hers. She caught him. She had felt around again until her fingers grazed it, long and smooth the edge as sharp as cleavers. She picked it up and started to walk toward the car. She heard him mumbling to himself trying to fit the key in the door. They fell to the ground, he laughed and bent over. She was behind him, with a slight smile on her face it came down.
She drove home with blood splattered on her lovely satin dress, the bracelet slightly broken. She got home and opened the door with bloody hand over hand. She went upstairs to change and looked at the bracelet she saw nothing in it. She took it off and brought it down to the back door. She put it in a box and walked it outside with shovel in hand and buried his blood covered bracelet down beneath the dirt. She covered it and said “Happy Valentine’s Day, Devil.”





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