All of the furniture was clean, as it always was. The duvet was arranged just so on the love seat, and the hummingbird charm attached to the living room ceiling fan had been adjusted to reflect the light, just as she liked it. She had scheduled their day together, planned it out according to all of the things she knew her daughter liked to do. She had planned for this day for a while, and in the end, it never came.
She had lied to her daughter. The fit of rage that consumed her after she didn't show as planned, caused a momentary lapse in judgment. She had gone to get her, force her into the house to play with her toys left waiting, lined perfectly in a row from largest to smallest. She had walked in ready to chastise her but came upon a different scene.
Her child was suffering, and had to be protected; and so the rage subsided in the moment and she lied. That is, until he came along. What nerve he had barging in as if he owned the place, even if he might have. He was never around for her daughter, he did not deserve her. It took years of ritualistic suppression to bite her tongue and leave. Her daughter had disappointed her once, but it would not happen again. She knew that she would soon be unable to deny such a loving embrace from someone who cared more than she could imagine, a type of caring that he would never be able to give her again.
“Oh, and I'm supposed to believe that you decided to start wearing FUCKING PERFUME TOO!?” Her words spewed like venom in his direction, the room had become humid and oppressive, the atmosphere was rank with bitter words.
“It's not what you think! If you just calm down for a second, I can-”
“What? Explain? Yes, George, please! Please explain to me how our phone bill is filled with a number that, when I call, dials straight to a house where the voice of a sweet, young girl that I don't know from fucking Eve answers and innocently asks, 'Hello, Georgey?' Explain how, when you tell me you are going to be offshore for a week, and I call your office to ask where you went because you don't answer my fucking calls, that they tell me you've taken a week of vacation? YES GEORGE. Please just take a moment here, sit down, and explain this all away. I'm fucking dying to hear what you come up with!”
“Sweetie, calm down. I jus-”
“Don't even try it. Don't even try for one SECOND to patronize me. I'm not a fucking idiot. I just want to know something, just one thing. Why? Don't I give you what you need anymore, George? Am I ugly, used up? Do I not cook what you want? From my perspective, you see, I should be the one cheating on you. You're never fucking here, always working. You're never 'in the mood'. Or you're 'tired'. You've stopped trying even though I'm risking my LIFE by refusing treatment. You've just given up, haven't you? That's it. It's just not worth it anymore is it? So you goon your merry way to the next whore who'll have you.”
“Rachel, I need something that you won't let me have.”
“What did you just say?”
“You're right, I have given up. I WANT you to get treatment because I care about you. It's over now, but you won't listen to reason. I want a child, and you won't even think about our other options. You're being selfish, ok? You're not the only one in this fucking relationship who feels like a failure. I'm sorry I did this to you, but you can't say I didn't try.”
“Get out of my house.”
“Rachel, please don't do-”
“Get... out... of... my... FUCKING... HOUSE!”
The door slam sent reverberations throughout the suddenly empty house. She sat with herself in the silence, the tears momentarily held back by shock. She could hear the start of an engine, the screeching of tires on the cement driveway, and the distant hum of her life disappearing down the road. She sat alone with herself in a silence she had never heard before. She sat alone with her thoughts, and the feeling of housing a heart too broken to break any further. She sat alone in the quietness of the room, and she lost herself in it.