Another Evening

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
One mans decision, two different paths.

Submitted: March 24, 2012

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Submitted: March 24, 2012

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It was just another night like every night that had gone before it. As far back as he could remember all; his days had ended like this. Lying there, alone, through to the small hours of the morning crying himself to sleep. The ominous thought of another day crush his soul again and again.

He had just gotten home from work, it was a mediocre job where he monitored the quality control of soft toys on a conveyer belt; he was in charge of five people. He placed his grey trench coat on a little hook that protruded from the wall. It was slightly rusted on the top side after years of holding a wet collar. He could never be bothered to cook a proper meal so he wandered over to the fridge and pulled out a readymade microwavable curry. Today was chicken tikka masala, it didn't taste as good as a takeaway but it was cheaper; besides, with the extra money saved he could buy a DVD or another album. So far he had several hundred albums all neatly arranged in alphabetical order stood proudly on a shelf in his room, gathering a thin layer of dust. The microwave chimed, he pressed the stained white button to open the door but it remained closed. He grumbled and searched the kitchen draws until he found a fork and jammed it into the gap levering it until the door popped open.

He hurried up the stairs with his steaming plate of rice smothered in greasy orange sauce. A small measure slopped over the side and dripped down the wooden planks of the steps. He reached his bedroom. The plaster on the door had partially peeled off and the rest was thin and colourless also the door knob was loose; he just never had time to fix it. The room itself was an organised mess. Clothes lay in neat piles beside both the bed and the wardrobe which stood glaring at each other from either side of the room. In the centre, pushed up against the wall was a light pinewood desk that held a computer, a large teetering stack of papers, a cheap black desk light and a filthy glass. The enormous shelf of CD's towered over it ominously displaying his collection to anyone who entered. There was one window in the room which sat next to the bed grudgingly letting in a few beams of light that glared off the floor searing into his retinas. The entire room was musky and was in desperate need of hoovering.

He placed the plate precariously on the edge of the desk and carefully shifted several of the papers to a clearer spot then pushed the plate further to safety. Leaning to one side on his swivelling chair he grabbed for a warm can of beer and placed it beside the curry. The evening was all set. First he checked his emails and played a video game for an hour or three. The afternoon light had faded and his plate was empty save for a light ginger stain that ran in a circular motion around the circumference. All his beers were gone already. Running a hand through his greasy reseeding brown hair he sighed and vainly searched for another drink. The light outside had faded and the room was gloomy; the outline of his face was illuminated by the turquoise glow of the screen.

'Gotta stay in shape.' He mumbled to himself. He wandered to the bed and slumped down and lifted up the duvet then rolled out a dumbbell. He used to do sit-ups and press-ups too but he just gave up eventually and felt it would be too hard to start again now; he might have a heart attack if he's not careful. After several reps and a sweaty forehead, he ambled back to computer and switched on his instant messenger. A couple of his friends were online but no-one that he really wanted to talk to. He pulled out his mobile phone from his jeans and checked his text messages. There was one from James asking him if he fancied going to the pub. James was his lifelong friend who used to take him house parties when they were teenagers but now could only offer a bi-weekly trip to the local pub. He didn't even bother texting back. That was it, what else was there to do, he looked at the mound of DVD's to the side of his desk. There was nothing he really wanted to watch, besides, it was getting late and he had work the next day. He pulled down his trousers and dragged out his penis. He flicked through various porn sites until he found something mildly amusing and began to tug furiously. A few minutes later he came neatly into a tissue, shut the computer off and shuffled to the bathroom and got ready for bed. As he lay beneath the sheets he stared at the chipped wall blankly, with moist, bubbling eyes. Eventually he dropped off to sleep and began to dream.

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It was going to be another night like every other night that had gone before it. From what he could remember, most of his days had ended like this. Lying there next to the same women, the one that he had married all those years ago, every single evening. He silently wept at the ominous thought of yet another day that mimicked this one.

He had just gotten home from work; it was a mediocre job where he monitored soft toys as they ran along a conveyer belt removing any harmful looking objects. He placed his grey trench coat a little hook that protruded from the wall. It was a darkened bit of oak that had worn on the top side after years of holding a wet collar.

'What's for dinner?' he called out as he removed his damp shoes and padded across the hall and into the kitchen. His haggard wife stood at the cooker boiling rice. Her radiant blonde hair hung thinly behind her head. It wasn't as vibrant as it had once been, several strands betrayed her as they were grey in colour and numerous. She was suffering early stages of the menopause and was worried senseless about it. He didn't rightly know what it was all about, she had given him a book on it but he never bothered to read it. The kitchen was almost spotless, the surfaces beamed from the love and attention that they had received, he was almost jealous at them.

They placed the curries on trays and went into the lounge to watch some television for the evening. As they were walking a small amount of sauce dripped from his plate and onto the carpet. She almost shrieked and dashed to the Kitchen to retrieve the anti-bacterial cleaner. He rolled his eyes, sat down and pulled out his mobile phone. Not a single message, not even from James. James was his lifelong friend who used to take him house parties when they were teenagers but had almost completely stopped talking to him once he had gotten married. In fact, he had been meaning to catch up but he couldn't be bother right now. After the stain was completely obliterated she came and sat beside her husband and began eating her curry. He switched on the television.

First on was a cooking show in which the presenter searched for a chef to take over the running of this high end restaurant. It was followed by a soap about Londoners arguing amongst each other over absolute nonsense.Then came the news, her favourite television series and a detective show that had a decent pace but still seemed to bore her to tears. The two plates lay empty on the floor, brown and orange stains running across them, they were cold now. The light outside had faded and all that was left was the glow off the television that illuminated the couple who sat on their expensive auburn leather sofa. The lounge, like the kitchen, was clean, warm and held a luxurious assortment of furniture that had been perfectly placed for maximum effect.

'I'm going to bed, are you coming?' She asked stood beneath the arch of the door, holding a tray in either hand.

'No, there's a Van Damme movie coming on in fifteen minutes.' He replied only to receive a disgusted glare before she disappeared behind the wall. He shrugged then turned back to the television he realised that, finally, he could watch what he wanted which caused him to briefly he smile to himself. Watching the film sparked an old urge to get back to the gym and begin getting into shape again; then he remembered what a rip off they were and how stupid he would look along side the regulars. His mind wandered.

Two Hours later the house was dark and still. The wooden steps creaked as the beleaguered man crept up them as silently as he could so as not to wake his wife. He dived into the bathroom and prepared for bed. Moments later he climbed under the sheets next to his still wife. He wanted to make love to her but it was too late now, what's more he had to get up early the next day. He pulled the duvet over his cold body and turned to face the wall. As he lay beneath the sheets he stared at the chipped wall blankly, with moist, bubbling eyes. Eventually he dropped off to sleep and began to dream.

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'Come on Geoff, man-up an' go an' introduce yourself!' said James patting him on the back with great gusto. Geoff looked across the lounge filled with drunken teenagers until his eyes rested on a gorgeous young blonde-haired girl who smiled back at him. 'You'll only regret it if you don't.'

'I… I wouldn't know what to say. I'm useless at this sort of thing and it could end up being a disaster if I do.'

'And we both know it'll be a disaster if you don't.' James chimed. Geoff stared down into the suds of his glass and tried to decide how his evening would end.


© Copyright 2019 Alec Maynard. All rights reserved.

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