The Stain

June 23, 2012
She was in the bedroom, just staring at it. The stain that would not come out, the one that would remain forever on the rug. It wasn’t just the stain though - it was the memories that came before the stain, the lingering order, the color. Everything reminded her of him and how she had failed him. It was too late to fix any of it now though, she couldn’t undo what had already been done. As it was, she couldn’t even get the da** stain out of the bedroom carpeting she had always detested - no matter how hard she scrubbed, or what chemicals and utensils she used, it remained. She knew it had become imbedded in the fibers of the carpet and that at this moment it was probably soaking into the old floorboards underneath, leaving a stain there as well. The stain had gone from a deep, rich red to a dried almost purplish color; it now looked more like a bruise, rather than what it truly was. She could not continue to live here - this was the place where dreams had come to an end and a puddle of blood had been left in their place.
There was too much going on in her head, she needed to sit and formulate a plan. She could move the king sized bed they had once shared over the stain, but that would take more than one person and she couldn’t allow another person to know her secret. She had always been a rather private person, preferring to keep to herself and a few close friends than socializing with a large group of people. Besides, how could she begin to explain the events of the last few days to someone - what would they say, how would they respond? She could just leave this place and live her life on the run but if she just up and walked away from the house and her life, someone would eventually find the stain and then what, would they look for her? It wouldn’t be hard to figure out she had fled - she lived a very predictable life. She always waved and gave a friendly greeting to her neighbors as she jogged past them on her daily morning jogs. She arrived exactly at 9 o’clock every morning to begin her work as an assistant architect, in the hopes that her punctuality and hard work would get her a promotion. She went to Zumba every Saturday at the local gym and would often go to lunch or coffee afterwards with a few of the other women - they would know something was up if she didn’t show.
If someone went into her house, using the poorly hidden key that laid underneath the welcome mat, they would be hit with the odor that filled her nostrils - a mix of blood, chemicals and an eerie sent she could only attach to that of death. Then, they would eventually make it to the room she had once shared with him and find the bed in the middle of the room and what would they think of that? They would only have to peer under the bed to see what she couldn’t get her eyes to stop starring at. Even when she pulled her eyes away, or managed to close them, she could still see the stain, as if it had been imprinted on her vision.
This had never been part of her life plan. Her mother and she had sat over many dinners, planning her future and this was never in it. What would her mother say to this? Was she looking down from heaven, assuming there was such a place, at this very moment ashamed and humiliated by her only child? Was she wondering how she had raised such a monster or where she had gone wrong? She pushed these thoughts out of her head, her mother would understand, her mother loved her and she loved her mother. Still, she was glad her mother had died a few years back because the thought of having to look her mother in the eyes and explain to her how the stain had gotten on the rug was unbearable. Almost as unbearable as the thought that he was never again going to come back into her life.
She couldn’t do anything about the stain tonight; it would have to wait until tomorrow. She would go jogging like usual in the morning, which would help her clear her mind. Right now, the cricket songs were luring her to sleep and she couldn’t stare at the stain any longer.

It has been exactly 3 months since the stain had appeared on the rug and she still couldn’t stop thinking about it. She had left the place in which the stain was imbedded into the carpet fibers but she could still see it, as if she had never left. She had gone jogging that morning just as she always did and waved to her elderly neighbor who was getting the newspaper in his bathrobe and slippers. When she got back into the house, she called her office and stated that she needed to take a few days off for a family emergency that had come up - she knew that this lie would only give her so much time but it was all she had come up with while on her jog.
She had considered many things while on her jog and they had all led her to the conclusion that leaving the house with the stain in the bedroom was the only possible way in which she could continue to have some sort of life. She knew she could never come back, but that thought was almost comforting - the idea of living in a different town and starting anew, with a new name and an entirely new identity was exhilarating. Therefore, she had packed an overnight bag with about three days of clothes and other necessities and headed out of town in her mother’s old car, leaving behind her cell phone, as well as her appointment book.
She had traveled as far as her mother’s car could take her and then she had taken random busses until she ran out of cash. The last bus had dropped her off at a rest stop on the side of a thruway exit. She walked about four miles in the dark of a town she had never heard of, let alone stepped foot in. She had come across a motel that boasted of their color televisions and that there were hourly rates available, as well as extended stay rates. It was crappy and just the place she felt a woman on the ran should stay in – plus she knew she could afford it. She spent her days in front of the long ago painted door, on the white plastic chair that sat under a dim, naked, light bulb. She stared at the birds that pulled worms and other delicacies out of the soggy ground of the little side yard, that was surrounded by rusty chain fence. She walked through the cemetery that was right next door to the motel and read the inscriptions, for she had nothing else to read. At night, or whenever she got hungry, she would walk to the Subway that was a quarter of a mile up the road, or she would grab something at the Shop and Save or the gas station on the corner. She knew it was only a matter of time before her credit cards started being rejected but until then she bought whatever she set her mind on.
She found pleasure in her newfound life - she had no more schedule to follow, no more obligations to anything or anyone. She found herself thinking less and less about the stain in her old home and even less about the events that had led up to its arrival. She had found the freedom she had always been craving, yet never had the nerve to obtain.

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