Easing myself out of bed, I dress with the moon as my sole source of light. Spectral shadows in the deepest corners of the room condemn me for what I am about to do. He tosses and turns as if he knows, but settles once again. I halt, listening for signs he’s sleeping.
Tonight is an evening bright as day for the moon ate the dark when it rose in majestic splendor. Banishing the ebony gloom of night and in it’s wake, a promise of better days. It is the first phase of the waning moon; a time to break bad habits, to end bad relationships.
This house once filled with love, is now an enemy. Someone has violated the sacred sacrament of our love. Invaded not only our home, but our minds, and our bed.
Three months ago, my husband came home from a late night gig in a vicious foul mood. We fought; I had no idea why. Hurtful words spewed with the force of his unjustified anger. Sentimental objects smashed and broken. Somehow, his things were never the target of his fury, only mine.
After a few fitful hours of sleep, I got up, made a decision. Wrote a note, left it near the coffeemaker, which he’ll use the minute he wakes. ‘Going to see mom. Linda’
It’s a two hour drive which gave me time to think about the night before and all that occurred. A niggling thought kept squirming at the back of my mind, but it disappeared when I tried to pinpoint my unease. There was something I needed to know, but I didn’t know what that something was.
When I arrived at the ranch, I didn’t tell mom about last night, only that I missed her and wanted to see her. I stayed the night, and the next morning we rose before dawn, and went fishing. The beauty of the early morning mist rising off the shimmering lake lifted my spirits. I threw in a line and daydreamed for a while one of the beauties of fishing. Thinking to myself, ‘Am I making too much of this fight… imagining problems that aren’t there?’
My thoughts were interrupted as mom shouted, “Linda, get over here I got a big one!” And did she ever. She maneuvered him closer to shore and I scooped him into the net. That glorious morning, she caught a 10 pound big mouth bass, the biggest fish she’d ever landed. It was an unforgettable moment we shared.
By mid morning the fish had stopped biting. Mom was coming down from her adrenaline high and ready to rest. We headed to her house and I drove home.
When I arrived, he was there at the door to greet me with a big smile. Something felt off. I walked in and was immediately overwhelmed.
Before I can think, I say “This house is no longer my home.”
“What do you mean?”
“I don’t know, but something’s not right.”
“You’re being silly, you’re upset because we fought.”
He was always dismissing my feelings.
I let it go, but it stayed with me. Consumed every waking thought and even my dreams.
Two nights later, he had a gig not too far from home. I begged off, telling him I had a long day at work.
There was no pushback, which was unusual.
After I ate dinner I walked into his study, where he kept his books and collection of WW2 memorabilia. If he had hidden anything, it would be here. As I crossed the threshold, my mind is once again overwhelmed with the voice saying to me, ‘This is no longer my home.’
I didn’t bother to look in the desk; too obvious. I stood in front of a bookcase and slid my hand over a row of books. No voice. I moved to the next shelf, slid my hand again over the next row. I stop and pulled out a book, one of his favorites, fanned through it, nothing. And then, the voice.
As I opened the next book, photos fell to the floor.
Polaroid photos. Of him. With another woman in our kitchen. Time stops.
Smiling faces, her arms around him in front of our refrigerator. Behind them, a photo of him and I. The same photo I put on the refrigerator the morning I left for mom’s. A reminder of us.
So, here we are. Back where this story started.
I look up at the moon that has eaten the dark. It lights my path as I slip out the front door.
Creative writer and artist. Writing and art have been my form of self expression since I was a young girl. I wrote heartrending poems and painted in my early years, as they were turbulent times. When my dad and I reunited many years ago, I told him I was writing, painting, and working on artistic endeavors. His response was, “Of course you’re an artist. You come from a family of artists. I’m an artist, your grandmother was an artist, and so was your grandfather.” So there you have it- destiny, fate, written in the stars.
Check out my post titled The FlimFlam Man, which is about my dad.
More writing on my blog: https://charmedchaos.com