How Can It Be Real?

Reads: 90  | Likes: 2  | Shelves: 0  | Comments: 6

More Details
Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: BoMoWriCha Prompts


Written for a prompt posted in the BoMoWriCha House.

Submitted: July 17, 2018

A A A | A A A

Submitted: July 17, 2018

A A A

A A A


How Can It Be Real?

It was him! She was sure that it was, but how could it be possible. No, she was imagining it. Just someone who shared some physical similarity to him, that’s all.

That was how she rationalized her first sighting. After all, it could not be her husband of five years. He had killed himself; hung himself after tying a noose and kicking a chair away. She can still feel the shock and devastation that her discovery had brought. Just the memory made her breathing go shallow, her palms start to sweat. She could not allow herself to faint out here on the street so she needed to regain some control.

Coffee! That’s what she needed. Okay, it was supposedly a stimulant but that was the only thing she could think of to keep her going. She’d not turn to wine and whisky until night time.

The coffee bar was busy but she seemed to get served soon enough. She’d take a seat near the window, let the pedestrians walking past stir her imagination in to a different direction. She could imagine where they were going to, where they had come from, anything to push him to the back of her mind. And it worked fine until she saw him again, heading straight towards the coffee bar.

No! She’d wait, let him join the queue at the counter then slip away through the door. She’d go straight home and lock the door, shut the windows. Forget the time, she needed a drink!

She opened the door to her once perfectly kept apartment. Their apartment, which now bore very little similarity to how it had then been. Immaculate, she had once kept it, even though she knew he didn’t care one way or another. It was the ‘image’; just like her professional life everything had to be perfectly in place. Not now though. Like her professional persona, the state of the apartment had disintegrated, declined. She’d lost him and it had all been for what? An illusion of success, that’s all. Without him there to share it, it meant nothing.

She did not work now, could not work. The scene that would constantly play out in her mind made that impossible. An impeccably turned out professional woman who would suddenly dissolve in to tears and run out of the board room had no right to be there in the first place. She was on ‘compassionate leave’ but knew that she would never return.

After checking the door was locked, the windows shut, and pulling closed all of the drapes, she sat down at the table and poured herself a generous measure of whisky. Her hand trembled as she lifted the glass to her lips, swallowed the contents in two large gulps. When she replaced the glass on the table her hand seemed to be a bit steadier.

Until she saw him, sitting in what used to be his own chair right opposite her. There could be no mistaking him this time. It was not someone that looked like him, it WAS him. She looked away, then looked back. What was she supposed to do, to say?

What? What do you want?” She sounded angry. How could she not be? He had destroyed her. But he had destroyed himself too, and there was no getting away from the fact that she must have played a part in his destruction too. She had been his wife, after all.

It did not pass her notice that his mouth did not move when he answered. ‘I...I came to say sorry.’

Sorry! You’re sorry for what you left me to find, you’re sorry for almost destroying me too? For ruining my life?”

I never wanted you to find me. I just could not take it any more, all the masks, all the pretence. All of the lies every single second of the day. That life, it was not me, and no matter how hard I tried to make it so, I just failed more and more. I let you down, and for that I am sorry.’

You let me down? Yes, you did. And I’m never going to get over it.” Anger then becomes replaced with sorrow, with guilt. “But I let you down too. You should have been able to talk to me, to tell me how you really felt.”

I couldn’t. And anyway, would you really have wanted to know? Would it have changed a thing?’

Of cour.....” She pauses; he has made a really valid point, as much as it makes her ashamed to admit it. Hadn’t it taken losing him to make her realize what really mattered. “I don’t....know.” She admits at last.

I’m sorry,” she says at the exact time as he does.

Forgive me?’ he asks.

Of course. If you’ll forgive me.”

He begins to fade in front of her eyes and she suddenly feels the need to cling to him, not let him go, but even as he is nodding his head she knows that there is nothing that she can do.

Was he even really there? Had it all been her imagination, conjuring up his presence because of a need to explain? Whatever the truth of it really was, there was no escaping the fact that she did feel a bit less weighed down with guilt.

 

(887 words)


© Copyright 2019 hullabaloo22. All rights reserved.

Add Your Comments:

Comments

avatar

Author
Reply

avatar

Author
Reply

avatar

Author
Reply

avatar

Author
Reply

avatar

Author
Reply

avatar

Author
Reply

More Flash Fiction Short Stories