Good Bye John

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic
A short story about how secrets and complacency can effect a marriage.

Submitted: October 05, 2015

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Submitted: October 05, 2015



" I am going now"

Merrit Rainford placed her teacup on the coffee table a little harder than intended and noticed her carelessness had caused two perfectly formed drops on the highly polished mahogany surface. The brown liquid in the saucer covered the pattern of pretty blue periwinkles giving the illusion they were drowning.

Standing, she made her way to the man at the doorway. He was wearing her favourite gray suit, the one that made his eyes appear almost silver in colour. The crisp white shirt beneath would smell of starch and bergamot. He was freshly shaven and his hair was still damp where it met his collar.

Merrit let her eyes roam over her husband's face studying his laugh lines and greying temples. How unfair that the years had been so kind to him and so ruthless to herself.

She thought about the arsenal of makeup and lotions in her upstairs bathroom, the bi-monthly appointment to cover her roots and the ice cream in the freezer that she couldn't eat. Somehow the mirror, direct sunlight and younger women had become her enemy in this never ending war on aging.

In her finer moments she wanted to say "Fuck it" and see what nature really intended for her. Scream to the heavens that the history they had together should allow for sagging breasts, a thicker midsection and weak eyes. The mirage was to grow old together, forgive and accept the ravages that time created. When did she  become the last one standing with her finger in the dam? What would happen if she just let go?

What do you see John when you look at me?.....can I compare to her?

When she reached him, she put her hands gently on his tie. It didn't need straightening but it had become a habit of hers. A reason and purpose perhaps to give herself permission to touch him.

"I'll be home Friday at the latest." he murmured, placing a light kiss on her lips. A ghostly touch, warm and dry that left behind no trace of ever being there.

She knew the dance, and her next move was to take a step back as he picked up his valise and made his way to the door.

"Call me when you get to the hotel."

He glanced at his reflection in the hall mirror. "It will be late Merrit. Maybe after Midnight."

Locking eyes, she forced a smile " That's O.K. I'll be up."

As he made his way down the walkway he stopped and looked out onto the lawn. "Make sure Flynn gets this mess cleaned up. Honestly Merrit, I don't know why you wanted this bloody tree in the first place."

She gazed at the Magnolia.It's petals were falling like snow onto the grass. Their pretty pink satin already turning into decay, defining a fragile fleeting moment when splendor turns back into ordinary. No matter the season, from budding, full glory or losing its colour, it owned its grace and mess without explanation.

As the town car pulled away from the curb, she waved knowing he would not return the gesture.


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