My Mind is a Weird Place – Scribbles

Waves crashing against the rocks, sending white clouds of foam floating in the air. The water chasing her feet and quickly retracting itself back, back to the deep. She watched the perfect round ball of fire, disappear on the horizon and she knew, she knew she was home. She was where she wanted to be. Free. Free from all the negativity, free from what she used to call home. Free from the abuse, the labor, the nightmares. She was with the man she loved. Cared for. Honoured.

He was walking towards her and then stopping. She looked away for a second and could see the ocean retracting again, not coming back this time. She looked back at him and he was floating in the water. Face down. She tried to scream but nothing came out of her mouth, she lost her voice. She tried to run but the further she ran the further he drifted. She fell down and couldn’t get back up.

Mila opened her eyes and sat up straight, her heart pounding and her breathing heavy. She looked around the room as if confused about her surroundings. It was just a dream. She fell back onto her pillow and took a deep breath, blowing the loose piece of hair out of her face. She threw her legs out of bed and wrapped herself in the light blue, silk gown that was draped over the chair. She picked up the paint brush and dipped it in some yellow paint and slowing forming the outlines of the orange circle she drew the night before on the blank canvas.

She’s been having the same dream for two weeks. Mystery man is starting to get to her and there’s no way for her to stop. She can’t remember his face and she wants to, so bad. She drops the paint brush on the used newspaper and steps back to stare at her half-done creation, putting a yellow painted thumb in her mouth and biting her nail.

The dreams seem so, real. Unlike anything she’s ever dreamt about. Who is this mystery man. The buzzer at the door makes her jump and she brushes her hair to the side with the half-painted hand. She opens the door but to her surprise there’s not a soul in sight. She looks down and a pink envelope is neatly placed on the ‘welcome’ sign. She looks from left to right down the hall but there’s no one in sight. She picks up the envelope and closes the door, putting it down on the table and staring at it while a frown rests between her eyes.

After what seems like an eternity she picks up the envelope and pulls out the card. A ginger cat with a light pink hat is printed on the front of the card, Mila smiles. She opens it and frowns at the two words written inside of it.

“Happy Birthday”

No indication of who it’s from she shoves the card back in it’s envelope and drops it on the kitchen counter.

“I have no time for games, I have a painting to finish” she scolds at the card and walks back to the bedroom.

Bang

Tears streamed down his face as he climbed into the empty bathtub and lit a cigarette.

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Inhaling the nicotine as if it would make the events of the past thirty minutes disappear. As if it would bring her back to him, but it won’t. He gave up everything for her, and for what? To be dumped and kicked to the curb? To be rejected and told off? No, he was not going to allow her or anyone else to treat him that way.

He placed his wallet, phone, cigarettes and a handgun beside him and suck on the cancer-stick as his mother used to call it once more; blowing the smoke into the emptiness in front of him. He rubbed the tattoo he got a month ago on his forearm with his thumb and can’t help but think back to happier times.

She was with him that night. The night they decided to get matching tattoos. Stupid and in love. He should have known better. He should have known that this was too good to be true, that a girl like her would never go for a guy like him.

He grew up on the wrong side of the tracks, his dad a drunk, he came home and beat the shit out of his mother while him and his younger brother ran upstairs to hide under their beds. Ever night the same thing. One night, dad came home from the bar, both drunk and high. Mama couldn’t take it anymore and … bang, bang, bang. Three shots made him fall to his knees. A fourth sealed the deal.

Sheriff knew what was happening and let her off with a warning. How he doesn’t know, mama probably gave Sheriff an offer he just couldn’t refuse. Dad never hit her again.

He smiles, taking another gulp of smoke, letting out a cough.

He reached for his phone and opened the ‘notes’ app on it. His big fingers, struggling to type the words.

“Here lies William Matthew Smith – 1988 – 2016. R.I.P” He read out loud, placing the phone back on the ledge of the bath.

He pushed the burning cigarette against the tile, smothering the coal and picked up the handgun.

“See you soon daddy” he whispered.

Bang

Tuesday Night Scribbles – Adventures of Lacey

Tuesday night scribbles, trying to get my mind clear for the novel I’m currently working on. Let me know if you like it but also if you don’t. 

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It’s been the same, every night for the past ten years. Her parents would get wasted beyond belief and then fight until the neighbours called the cops. Like a ritual, every night, the same would happen. It was like a bad movie that kept playing over and over and over. Alcohol consuming their lives and tearing away their future like a cancerous disease. Lacey had dreams, dreams of going to college and becoming a world-known author. She’s always been a believer that your circumstances should not determine what you become in life or where you go.

Instead, she found a job at the bakery downtown, where she now spends most of her days and sometimes nights, trying to save up money to attend the writing classes she’s always dreamt of taking. She opens her backpack and takes out the crumpled envelope she’s been hiding in there since the beginning of the year. She shoves her latest paycheque inside and folds it in half, hiding it once more.

Lacey walks over to her bedside table and turns off the light, while crawling into her bed, her blankets covering her, almost protecting her against the words that fly through the walls. The same words that sometimes stings her like a million bees, swarming around her head, she tries to cover her ears but the swarming won’t stop. She cries, sometimes falling asleep, other times laying awake for hours and hours, until the word-swarming finally stops.

The fairy-lights that hung above her head reminded her of stars, every now and again she would imagine one of the stars shooting and made a wish. She wished that she could escape this, that somehow, someone would save her. It never happened, yet she still hoped, prayed.

She can hear footsteps coming up the stairs, it’s as if she’s hiding away from the monster under her bed, the only difference is, is that the monster is not under her bed but right outside her room. The bedroom door swings open and her drunken father stumbles inside, whispering profanities under his breath. Lacey closes her eyes quickly and pretends to be asleep. Maybe he will leave her alone if he doesn’t get any reaction out of her.

She can feel his eyes on her. Staring at her, waiting for her to move, waiting for her to give him a look, anything that would trigger his anger and make him lash out at her. She doesn’t move, that usually is enough to anger him even more but she’s hoping for some miracle tonight.

She can hear him walk over to her bed, he rips the blankets off of her and pulls her out of bed by her long sparkling golden hair. Lacey screams and his grip tightens. She panics and let’s out a cry for help without realising it.

“You lazy, good for nothing, oxygen thief! Get out” he yells, his grip still tight around her hair while he drags her down the stairs with his arm around her waist.

“Dad!” Lacey screams, frantically trying to get his attention and fighting to loosen the grip on her hair.

“Let go, you’re hurting me! Let go dad!” Lacey yells, unable to stop the tears from flooding down her face.

“I said get out!” he screams pushing her through the front door and throwing her backpack next to her. She falls to the ground, feeling the hard wooden flooring beneath her.

She looks up at him confused. Why would he do this? He looks back at her, anger raging in his eyes. He wipes the sweat off his upper lip with the back of his hand, and slams the door shut.

Silence. She is completely stunned at what just happened. Her father, the man she once looked up to, the man that once saw her as his little girl, threw her out on the street and she had no where to go. How could he do this to his own flesh and blood?

She gets up slowly and swings the backpack over her shoulder and catches her mother peeking out the living room window. Tears start flowing out of her eyes again and she wipes them away with her hand. She will not let them see her like this. They don’t deserve to see her break down like this.

The night air is cool and crisp against her face as she walks down the pathway. The shadows of trees and buildings frighten her but she can’t let that show. Not in this part of town anyway. She sees

the red letters of the word MOTEL flash on the side of the building in front of her and run’s across the road.

The inside of the motel smells musky and damp. A green-swamp-like colour is splashed on the walls and Lacey holds back the urge to pull a face. A friendly lady with a huge afro sits at the wooden reception desk. Lacey walks over to her and she greets her with a polite smile.

“Good evening, may I help you” she asks in a warm tone.

“A room for one please” Lacey asks and she hands the receptionist the rolled up notes that she’s been carrying with her for the past six months. The same notes that she’s worked so hard for at the bakery to save up enough to go to school.

The receptionist hands her a key and motions for her to walk down the hall. A light flickers and she stops in front of room 219. She unlocks and slides the door open. The same swamp-green colour is painted on the walls  and the same musky smell overwhelms her.

She drops her backpack on the velvet-green chair in the corner of the room and steps inside the green-tiled bathroom. She stares at her reflection in the square shaped mirror and salty warm tears start to form in the corner of her eyes. She closes them and they roll down her cheeks.

She opens the tap and splashes the warm water on her face, causing the tears to quickly dissolve. She needs to be strong, she needs to fight and she needs to get out of this godforsaken-town.

She pulls open the tap of the shower and steps inside, allowing her muscles to ease and relax under the flow of the warm water. She wraps herself in one of the towels and dries her hair with one end.

Her shift starts at eight-am tomorrow morning and after that she’s not sure where she’ll go or where she’s going to sleep. Maybe she’ll ask Hoolio if the back room is still available, just for a few days until she’s back on her feet.

With the thought of half a plan, Lacey closes her eyes and drifts off to sleep.

***

The mint-colored Ubanears are draped around Lacey’s neck as she climbs onto the bus. The bus driver, an old man with a grey and navy uniform and a wrinkled face, gives her a tired smile before clipping her bus-ticket. She finds a seat near the back slides the thick, black frames back onto her nose and shoves her backpack in between her legs. Being a nineteen-year old is kind of tough these days. Especially if you’re alcoholic parents threw you  out onto the street while being drunk and you don’t have anywhere else to go.

The bus pulls away slowly and she presses play on the my-life-sucks playlist she has compiled. She knows that she should most probably play happier music, whatever that might mean. Help get her out of this funk she finds herself in, but what’s the point? It’s not like it will help. She rests her head against the dirty window, staring out in front of her. It’s a bright and sunny day; people are out and about, jogging, and going about their day. Lacey stares at the trees going past them, the green of the leaves against the piercing blue sky, it calms her and as they pass a few houses she wishes that she could live in one of them and have a family of her own.

They come to a halt at the red traffic light and Lacey can’t help but stare at the couple sitting at a table at the coffee-shop on the corner of Bree street; canoodling and wiping creamer off each other’s lips, while sipping their latte’s. Good grief. Get a room. Do they not realise that there could be innocent children walking by, nearly throwing up on the sidewalk, due to their disgusting behaviour? She rolls her eyes. Maybe she is feeling like this because her own parents once had what this couple has. Now, now it’s gone.

She suddenly feels a pressure next to her, interrupting her train of thought, and pulls her eyes away from disgusting-creamer-licking-couple as she just named them. Her eyes widen and a frown tangles between her eyes as a Ansel Elgort look-a-like has seated  himself right next to her, smiling and staring at her. She can’t remember him being on the bus when she got on; surely she would have noticed him, right? Then again, she wasn’t really paying much attention.

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He points to his ears, confusing her, then realising that her my-life-sucks music was still blaring in her ears. He probably saw the confusion on her face and he flashes the most perfect smile she’s ever seen on any human-being. Great, he must think she’s a total nutcase.

She slides off the headphones, staring back at him and realising that the look she’s giving him is probably that of a human looking at an outer space being for the first time. She shakes her head.

“I’m sorry” she smiles and looks down at her purple painted fingernails. She looks up and meets his gaze again, seeing him still smiling at her. This guy is weird, does it talk, she wonders. They sit in silence as the bus moves down the street and she turns her head to catch him still staring at her. She frowns. This is just creepy. What is this guy’s problem? They sit in awkward silence for a while and Lacey shifts closer to the window nervously.

“You have beautiful eyes” he finally says, a playful smile tucking at his upper lip.

So it does speak she thinks and giggles to herself, realising how stupid she must come across to him.

The bus comes to a stop and the old man with the tired eyes, opens the bus door. She looks up, and realises that this is her stop. She needs to get off and start her shift at the bakery. She doesn’t want to get off, not now; she and cute-weirdo over here were just starting to bond. She rolls her eyes and gets up from her seat, smiling at him. If it’s meant to be they will run into each other again. Hopefully.

***

Lacey opens the door to the bakery and spots Hoolio at the counter, placing two blueberry-muffins into brown paper bags. She slides her back-pack off her shoulders and ties the apron around her waist. Hoolio smiles at her and he waves to the customer leaving the store.

He turns to her and she’s able to immediately spot the sympathy in his eyes. Hoolio and his wife Annabelle, have always been there for her. They knew her circumstances at home and she knew very well that Hoolio paid her more than what most places would offer someone with no experience or education.

“Lacey, are you okay?” he asks in a soft and caring voice, genuinely concerned.

He looks at her with knitted brows and Lacey swallows hard to fight back the tears, stinging her eyes.

“I’m fine, just a little tired” she smiles back at him.

The bell hanging on the front door of the shop rings and an elderly couple walks inside, ripping both Lacey and Hoolio back to reality. Saved by the golden oldies she thinks, relieved and walks over to help them. Today is going to be a long day and with the talk still ahead of her she needs to get through this day as soon as possible.

The store is in a buzz, business usually picks up around lunch time and Lacey can’t help but stare at the men and women in their business-like-attire ordering lunch and meeting up to discuss new projects and ideas.

Once gone, the bakery pretends as if the buzz never happen, leaving no traces of the noise behind. Silence fills the store and Lacey starts wiping off the counters and tables, removing the last bits of evidence scattered on the tables of the lunch-time rush.

The bell on the door rings and she can hear footsteps inside the store, a chair is pulled out and she turns around quickly to help the customer who just walked in. She lifts her perfectly formed eyebrows and her eyes widen. A playful smile dancing on her lips, she decides to have fun with this one. She walks over to the table and places a menu in front of bus-boy. He smiles but doesn’t make eye contact and flips the menu over, rubbing his chin with his forefinger and thumb, seemingly deep in thought.

“Can I get you anything?” Lacey asks, flashing her best waitress smile at him.

He picks up on it and stares at the menu a little longer, trying to hide a broad smile.

“Anything on here you can suggest”? he finally asks and looks up at her, making eye contact for the first time.

Lacey stares back at him, determined not to loose his gaze and presses with her finger on the hot-beverage section of the menu.

“How about one of our ‘how-did-you-know-I-worked-here’ cappuccino’s? Cream or froth?

“That sounds amazing, let’s go with the ‘I-know-everything-and-this-seems-like-a-great-bakery’ with froth please” still keeping his gaze.

“Coming right up” Lacey says, trying her best to sound fake and turns around and walks to the kitchen.

Mrs Margaret Monday

Sometimes I like to think of the days of the week as people with different personalities. In my head I have elaborate relationships with each one. I decided that this week I was going to write my “Days of the week character” for each day.

Here follows the first tale of the city of Pinsville.

Mrs Margaret Monday

Now as many of you may or may not know, Mrs Margaret Monday is 87 years old. She lives next door to me and finds something new to complain about each and every day.

“My coffee is too hot, my sweater is too light, the door makes too much noise, the television is not loud enough”

She wines and complains all day long. She usually starts her day bright and early, that is when she wakes up the entire neighborhood with her leaf blower. We live in a neighborhood filled with trees,  I will admit, some does mess a little but there’s never enough leaves to blow around for an hour. Every morning we are woken up by the deafening sound of Mrs Margaret Monday’s leaf blower. And we know it’s her’s because no one else in our street owns one. I checked.

Mrs Margaret Monday also looks after 11 cats. They all used to live in the neighborhood streets until she took all of them in. Every night they mess up my garden and leave muddy paw prints on my patio. I used to complain, but that would just make her come up with excuses and things that wasn’t right on my part. For example; “The branches on that tree is hanging over my wall” or “Your pool light shines into my living room window at night”. I figured it’s easier to just hose off the paw prints than to deal with all of that every morning.

The sad thing is that Mrs Margaret never found her prince Charming, I often think that maybe this is the reason why she is so grumpy and miserable all the time. I guess I don’t entirely blame prince Charming for running away. She is not exactly an oil painting. With uneven eyeliner and unmatched foundation, she kind of looks like a scary clown on Halloween night. Her hair is dried out and frizzy as if she put her finger in the plug while the power was still on. Poor Mrs Margaret. There’s an enormous black mold on her overgrown nose and she always scratches her backside while watering her half dead plants.

One thing Mrs Margaret hates is going grocery shopping. Instead she will wait for me to get home from a long day at the office and give me a list, containing the items she needs. This includes, sugar, milk, bread and toilet paper. She always hands me a couple of coins, which is not even enough to cover the grocery bag but I always just let it slide. Or sometimes I hide inside my home and pretend I’m not there, even though my car is right outside my front door.

Every year Mrs Margaret attends the dance the town’s old age home arranges, and every year her dentures end up in the punch bowl. Heaven only knows how but they do. Ms Daisy even added a little net with yellow and orange flowers embroider on them but Mrs Margaret refuses to use it and well, we usually just end up throwing the punch down the drain.

Mrs Margaret is not very friendly and always yells at the neighborhood kids, she is sometimes a little rude to them too. Like that one time when little Johnny kicked his new ball over her fence. She punched it full of holes and returned it to him the next day. He cried for three hours before his parents got home and bought him a new one. I saw that ball, it looked like a voodoo doll. Maybe Mrs Margaret is into that kind of thing. It sure would explain a lot.

 

 

A Piece of You

“I like your hair”

He looked at me, up and down with dark eyes. I kept quiet, trying to stay in the corner of the elevator. Trying to mind my own business, like I did thirty seconds ago when I got into this hell ride to floor twenty three.

“Can I have a piece”?

Outside I appear to be calm but inside I’m boiling, I want to punch this idiot in the face and teach him a lesson. The numbers light up as we move from each floor. I’m not a very religious person but at this point I’m praying for this elevator to get to my destination floor as soon as possible.

“Are you just going to stand there and not talk to me? It’s not very polite you know”

I snorted and rolled my eyes before I could help myself.

“I’m not sure if you are aware but it’s not very polite to ask a complete stranger for a piece of their … hair”

I could taste the sarcasm in my mouth, not making eye contact. This creep didn’t deserve eye contact.

I could see the smirk on his face out of the corner of my eye. Great. Now I’ve added fuel to the fire. I saw him reach into his jacket and my heart jumped to my throat. He is probably going to kill me now. I tilted my head so I could see better. What the… He took out a book and started paging through it.

“What, is that your ‘how to be creepy and pick up a stranger in five easy steps’ manual”?

He smiled.

“Sure, let’s call it that” he said with more creepiness.

The elevator stopped on the floor and creep extended his arm in an attempt to keep the doors open. I heard him get out on the same floor and I felt a sigh of relief as I walked through the glass doors.

The receptionist greeted me with a polite but fake smile.

“Hi, I’m here for an interview with Mr Matthews”

Creepy guy behind me snorted and I had to use all my willpower not to turn around and give him a piece of my mind. Not worth it Carla, not worth it I whispered to myself.

The receptionist scribbled something in her notebook and pointed to the black chairs in the waiting room.

“Have a seat, Mr Matthews will be with you shortly”

I smiled and walked over to the waiting room. As soon as I sat down, creep sat down opposite me. What is this guy’s problem? I had enough, I had to know.

“You don’t give up do you”? I asked with irritation clear in my voice.

He looked at me with a frown between his eyes and then smirked.

“I’m sorry, ‘give up’ is not in my vocabulary” he kept eye contact and I moved uneasily in my seat.

“Miss Goodwin, Mr Matthews are ready for you” saved by the receptionist.

I smiled and hurried over to the open door. I took a seat on the brown leather chair in front of the desk. I heard the door open behind me and swerved around. To my horror creep came in, took off his jacket and sat down opposite me.

“Welcome Miss uh… Goodwin”? he said with a smirk while browsing through my resume.

I rolled my eyes again. Great. Exactly what I need right now. I sighed loudly.

“So you’re Mr Matthews”? I asked, not amused.

He looked up and smiled.

“The one and only. Now how about a piece of that beautiful hair”?

*to be continued*

Damaskus the Dream Catcher

It’s been five hundred and forty nine years since he took on this godforsaken job. Damaskus stares out the dirty window of his house in the woods and sighs heavily as the horizon eats away the last of the fireball hanging in the air.

Every night at exactly 8pm he puts on his purple cloak and heads out to the homes of the mortals. He gathers their dream catchers and empty them into his pockets, for the nightmares to be taken back to his home and to be released at dusk.

He was a small boy when he was assigned to this task, not entirely knowing what he would get himself into, he agreed. He remember the tears in his mothers eyes and couldn’t understand why she was not happy for him. At the time he was proud to have the dream catcher title among the other wizards, not knowing what was lurking in the dark.

Damaskus spots the evening star, an indication that he can start his journey. He wraps the purple cloak around his shoulders and closes the dusty, wooden door behind him. The forest is alive with the creatures of the night and Damaskus sets foot on the stone path, just like he’s done for the past five hundred years.

The home he will be visiting tonight is not far from where he lives. As Damaskus rounds the corner he is able to make out the stone cottage between the thick branches in front of him. A beautiful garden surrounds this little house and it makes him feel a sense of comfort. He takes out a crumbled piece of paper from his pocket and scan’s the name. Stella. He puts his face against the window and can see the little girl sound asleep. With one sentence, Damaskus is able to transport himself to the inside of her room and he tries to be as quiet as possible. There’s one rule when it comes to catching nightmares, never let the mortals see you.

Stella is sound asleep and surrounded by pink ruffles. Damaskus smiles as he looks down on this perfect little girl.

“There, there little one. I will make sure that you have no bad dreams” he whispers as his eyes searches for the dream catcher.

Damaskus unhooks the catcher from above Stella’s head and shakes it a few times and watches the dark mist release into the pocket of his cloak. Once done, he puts the catcher back but stares at Stella for a little while longer. He feels a sudden peace sweeping over him and feel the need to protect this little girl from any danger.

A salty tear creeps down his wrinkled cheek and he turns around and heads back into the woods, leaving Stella sound asleep and her catcher, nightmare free.

The sofa creeks as he sits his old body down. Soon, he won’t be able to walk around these woods any more. He can’t imagine his job being taken away but if he is unable to gather the nightmares, he will have no choice.

He remembered the first time he had to empty the cloak. He was a thirteen year old boy, excited and nervous all at the same time. He was taken into the den and a golden key in the shape of a dream catcher was given to him. He remembered the words of his trainer;

“The only way to send the nightmares through the portal is to experience them yourself”

Damaskus blinks, he walks over to the den and with a shaky hand opens the portal with the same golden key he got over five hundred years ago. He releases the black mist and soon he sees himself going through the black tunnel. It’s a little girl, how bad can the nightmares be?

Silence. Damaskus finds himself in an open field. He is standing in the way of two tracks heading towards one direction. He squints his eyes to see in the distance but the white cloud of mist is too thick for him to see clearly. He starts walking towards the cloud and feels a cold breeze blowing through his thick beard. What is this place?

As Damaskus breaks through the first fluff of the misty cloud he can see what looks like an old abandoned theme park. A rusty roller coaster, clearly unused for a long time is now visible through the mist. A Ferris wheel, opposite the roller coaster, is covered in bushes and with a frown Damaskus tries to make sense of it all.

Broken oversize tea cups, a dinosaur  with only one leg and a headless pony was only a few things scattered. He walks over to the abandoned wooden building, hoping that he’d find more clues there. The door is half way open and he tries and shoves the door to the side. A dove shoots up into the air and Damaskus ducks while holding his head. His heart beating out of his chest and he laughs nervously. He makes his way through the rubble, not entirely sure where he’s heading.

A door at the end of the hallway captures his attention. It’s painted a bright yellow. That’s odd he thought. It almost look as if it was freshly painted. It’s covered with cob webs so it couldn’t have been. He touches the knob and a shock wave is sent through his old body. He releases immediately. Damaskus bends down and closes one eye to take a peep through the key-hole.

A blood curling scream send shivers down his spine and Damaskus falls on his back forced to grab and shut his ears. He hears a cracking noise and then darkness surrounds him.

*to be continued*

Lust

He remembered the first time he saw her. He couldn’t get himself to stop staring at the beautiful brunette in front of him. Something about her, something mysterious made him want to know more. Ryan presses the key into the lock and opens the door. There she is. Room 409. Their usual meeting place. God she’s beautiful.

“Stop right there and take that off” her voice sending shivers through him.

He stopped in his tracks. She hated when he wore his wedding ring. He glanced down and took off the golden wedding band and shoved it in the pocket of his pressed pants.

“Sorry about that” not making eye contact with her.

She told him once on their way back from a ‘business meeting’ that it wasn’t that he wasn’t a husband, it was just that he wasn’t her husband.

Jade slides off the bed and puts her arms around his neck.

“Tonight is all about forgetting about her” she smiles and Ryan is completely hypnotised by the grey eyes staring back at him.

She starts unbuttoning his business shirt and move down to his pants while kissing his ear lobe.

“We need to take these off too” she whispers and he is paralysed.

They’ve always had casual meet ups, coffee here, lunch there. Never intimate. They would come to the room to sleep, shower, talk but never be intimate. He couldn’t be intimate with this beautiful woman, knowing he had a wife at home. But tonight, tonight is different.

Jade interrupt his thoughts.

“Take off my shirt Ryan” she whispers, almost inaudible .

His fingers shook as he struggles to thread the buttons through the holes. He drops her shirt to the floor and can’t help to stare. She’s perfect, in every way.

Ryan unclip the back of her bra keeping her gaze, exposing her breasts and running his hands over her soft skin.

“You’re so beautiful” he whispers and she throws her head back.

He stops.

She looks at him, frowning.

“What’s wrong? Why are you stopping?” she asks confused

Ryan takes a step back and look at the half dressed woman in front of him.

“I can’t do this” he says with a shaky voice.

Jade looks away, covering herself with her arms and she can feel warm tears forming in her eyes.

“What do you mean you can’t do this”? she asks again, her voice breaking.

Ryan walks over to the bed and sits down with his head in his hands.

“I love her Jade, she’s my wife, the mother of my children”

She walks over to him and pushes him back onto the bed. He looks up at her and he can see tears streaming down her face.

“We will finish this” she says with a clutched jaw.

“Jade stop”

She stands up and stares at him, completely frozen. Rejection

“I can’t believe you’re doing this!” she screams at him, furious.

“I am married for gods sake, what do you want me to do”? he asks, not wanting an answer

“I want you to get a divorce, like you said you would” tears streaming down her face again.

“We can be a family Ryan, we will move away, take the kids, we will start over, somewhere away from her”

Ryan looks at her and swallows hard to fight back the tears. He picks up the shirt and pants, scattered on the floor and starts dressing himself.

“I’m sorry Jade, it’s over”.

He grabs his keys and wallet and heads for the door.

“I had a feeling you were going to say that Ryan. You never loved me like you loved her. She was always the one you went home to. Goodbye”

Ryan turns around, realising what’s about to happen.

“Jade NO!”

Ryan rushes over to the open window and see her half naked body surrounded by a pool of redness.

He rushes out the door and takes the elevator to the ground floor. His silver SUV is parked in front of the building and he speeds away, checking the review mirror for red and blue lights. But they never came.

“Claire, honey I’m home”

The house seems awfully quiet for a Thursday afternoon. He heads to the bedroom but there’s no sign of his wife. A few pieces of clothing is laying on the floor but that’s nothing out of the ordinary.

“Claire”? he calls again, but no response.

He opens the door to the back of the home and steps out on the veranda. In the corner of the garden he can see someone sitting with their back faced to him on the bench under the oak tree.

“Claire, honey is that you”? Why is she not answering him?

Ryan reaches what appears to be his wife and puts his hands on her shoulder, he walks around the bench to face her.

“Claire”?

Silence.

“Claire”? “Claire talk to me”?

Ryan reaches for his phone and dials 9-1-1.

“9-1-1 what is your emergency”?

Frantic he tries to explain to the operator that an ambulance is needed. He remembers dropping his phone in the middle of the conversation and held his wife. For the last time.

Thinking back to the day he lost two women who meant the world to him, but only one had his heart.

Rest in peace, Claire.