Like Any Other Day

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic


Like Any Other Day

Malcolm headed out of the door and I watched through the kitchen window as he made his way down the path. There was something wrong. I could see it in his posture, a kind of dejection, almost defeat, but I had no idea why. He didn’t complain, or moan; he had rarely spoken to me about work and I was reluctant to go prying.

Still, I had things to do, couldn’t just stand there speculating. Maybe tonight I’d ask, maybe not. It could not be anything important or he would have said. Wouldn’t he?

All through the day I kept seeing his defeated walk as he made his way towards the car. Not so long ago he would have looked back, waved and smiled. Now, he just started the engine and drove away without so much as a backward glance.

Was it me? Was he having an affair? Wanting a divorce? What about the kids?

I spent too much time thinking, speculating, that I worked myself up in to quite a state. Perhaps he had a serious illness and didn’t want to tell me? I’d have to just ask. He was my husband, for goodness sake; it should not need courage to talk to him.

As it happened I did not need to ask. Malcolm walked up the path and he couldn’t have clipped his briefcase shut properly. As soon as I saw it starting to open, I dashed to the door and opened it. I knew how full of papers it always was; he’d need help with picking them all up.

But there wasn’t any. Not even a single sheet had fluttered from inside the briefcase. I looked towards it only to find that it was completely empty. I looked at Malcolm. His face reflected so many different emotions; shame, despair and somewhere just a little hint of relief.

He swallowed, looked towards me and gave a very tentative smile. “Denise, we need to talk.”


Submitted: October 29, 2018

© Copyright 2020 hullabaloo22. All rights reserved.

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Comments

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Donald Harry Roberts

Q

Mon, October 29th, 2018 7:13pm

Author
Reply

Thanks, DH!

Mon, October 29th, 2018 12:46pm

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Mike S.

Oh oh--excellent, Hull!

Mon, October 29th, 2018 7:15pm

Author
Reply

Thanks, Mike. It was actually written for a prompt -- 'the briefcase fell open and it was empty'.

Mon, October 29th, 2018 12:48pm

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Jeff Bezaire

A wonderful story, Hully. The hypothesizing really drives the paranoia and curiosity, and in the end it's a human story about strife and pride. Well written!

Mon, October 29th, 2018 7:39pm

Author
Reply

Thanks, Jeff. It's something that happens quite often, I guess.

Mon, October 29th, 2018 12:52pm

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Joe Stuart

I have heard of this kind of thing in real life, and you have captured the reality of the situation in this story, Hully. Concealing bad news doesn't help anyone, and only leads to speculation that can be more distressing than the truth. ~ Joe

Mon, October 29th, 2018 8:34pm

Author
Reply

Thanks, Joe. I wanted to keep it real so I'm glad you think I succeeded!

Mon, October 29th, 2018 1:36pm

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Sue Harris

A sad story, Hully. A desperate attempt to preserve his pride, dignity and status. Excellent!

Tue, October 30th, 2018 5:50pm

Author
Reply

Thanks, Sue. It was for a shorter writing prompt but I thought just go with it.

Tue, October 30th, 2018 11:06am

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Rehmat Tanzila

An excellent read!

Wed, October 31st, 2018 3:02pm

Author
Reply

Thanks so much for that, Rehmat.

Wed, October 31st, 2018 10:22am

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