Him- Alternate

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic


So this, as the title suggests, is an Alternate version of Him. There aren't many drastic changes as I wanted to keep the same theme, tone, and message throughout the story. For the most part, I
just edited the previously written stuff to be closer to my current style, fleshed out the characters, changed the ending, and added a little more depth. I personally really like this version and,
in truth, this is the version that will be considered 'canon' if I ever decide to write a sequel. Though if you do like this, I highly suggest reading my other story Knife.

Submitted: March 19, 2018

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Submitted: March 19, 2018

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Her mind was dizzy, her hands cold and clammy, and all she could do was stand. Stand in silence, stand in fear, stand and pretend.

What had led to this situation? What series of events had culminated into this?

She’d always wished for this day, but now that it had come, she didn't know what to do. For years she had stood there by the door, the same time every day. Mind clear, a hand rested on the knob; she had stood there in this position a million times before.

She shouldn't have let him, but she had. She’d let him take control of her life. She pushed through the monotonous tasks of life every day; she slogged through work, skipped dinner, and arrived home just to wait by the door. Standing there waiting for lost hopes and dreams to waltz in. There were plenty of other things in her life to worry about, like that termite infestation eating away at her house.

She needed to get that fixed. She put that on her list.

But this was first.

They had known each other for years, yet he was still a stranger to her. That didn’t stop her though. Years upon years of agonizing pain and fear rested on her shoulders, pushing her to just stand by the door one more time. This time he’ll come. This time he’ll be here. Time and time again she’d wait by the door; time and time again she’d be sitting in an empty doorway. They rarely spoke, but when they did, it always leads back to her at the door. He gives her an empty promise and she cherishes it.

What was pest control’s number again?

She stood in darkness, the only light being that of the pale moon casting a ghastly shadow across her solemn face. A light breeze blew in through the window, sending shivers down her spine. It was late. She should be in bed. But she didn’t move. She just stood, hand and mind tentatively gripping the cold brass knob. The town slept while she stood there, waiting. Waiting for a man wrapped in thinly veiled excuses and cunning promises. A man screaming pleas for love and forgiveness, only to turn his back to her, uncaring. A man who was supposed to be in the doorway with her, holding her, telling her everything will be alright. Through thick and thin she’d be there for him, but was he ever really there for her? How did she know tonight would be any different than all the others? Would he even show up?

No. No. She couldn’t think like that. He would be here this time. He promised. Soon he would knock on the door and she would open it.

The doorway wouldn’t be empty anymore.

She recalled a park.

He would be here, wouldn’t he?

She recalled a recital, one seat empty.

He loved her and she loved him, and he would be here this time.

She recalled a tear.

Right?

 

A frigid breeze blew through the ghostly town, causing the streets themselves to shiver. A pack of stray cats screeched under the pale moonlight. A thin veil of fog blanketed the town in a gray, dusty mist. The trees shook lightly in the breeze as a singular car quietly cruised through the streets, it’s dusty headlights casting a dim glow on the road ahead of it. The low hum of the vehicle was quiet, but just loud enough to disturb the sleeping town, shadowing the streets with a dreadful feeling of unease.

Cigarette smoke and alcohol blended together into a rancid stench that choked the tight confines of his car. He sighed as he slowly pulled up to the curb. Thoughts senselessly pounded against the walls of his mind, screaming for him to turn back. He shouldn’t be here. He never showed up before, what made now any different?

His head throbbed with a dull aching pain. He clenched his fist, heart pounding against his chest like a sledgehammer. A series of dry tears slithered down his grimy cheeks. This was who he was. He couldn’t change that. It was too late.

_But I love her._

He rested his head against the steering wheel, his mind racing. There wasn’t anything he could do but run. Drive away. Go home. That's all he had ever done and all he could ever do. Would she even accept him back? Or would he just be greeted by a broken, neglected girl screaming for him to go away? To leave and never come back. Yelling and howling at the top of her lungs words of loathing. He couldn’t face that.

Even if she accepted him beyond her front door, would they ever be able to reconcile? He reached out in his mind, grasping for days gone by. Straining to hold onto any fiber of hope.

He sat there in the driver's seat of his old, weathered car, lamenting a life he’d never had. Just as he’d done a million times before. With fists clenched and heart pounding, he battled on, fighting for the will to tear down the wall between them. It was a battle he was familiar with, something he faced with every waking hour. Sometimes he won and was able to move on with his dull life. But when it came to her, he always seemed to lose.
A vile taste rested in his mouth, filling him with nausea. He sighed and sat up in his seat. His mind replayed memories of playgrounds full of tears and dismal birthday parties. There was some light in that dark dreary nostalgia. Tiny fragments of laughter and joy nestled between the dismay. Pieces of a life he had abandoned and refused to return to. And now he had a chance to make a change. To open his car door, walk
up her front steps, and ring the doorbell. To hold her in his arms and tell her it’d be okay because he was here, and talk on and on about their day.

He could be happy.

If he would just open the door.

He lifted his hand to the key, turned it, and put the car into drive. With a quiet roar of the engine, he drove away.

 

She ended the night sitting tired and alone in the cold, dark doorway. As the seconds became minutes and the minutes became hours she left the doorway, laying in the darkness of her bedroom. She didn’t sleep, yet he still haunted her dreams.

She never did call pest control.

 
 


© Copyright 2018 Althera. All rights reserved.

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