The Yellow Wallpaper – Susan Marie Shuman

Al had been gone for nine years now. Marnie’s head knew it was time to move on but her heart was stubborn. It didn’t want to let go of love even though all it had to hold on to was what used to be.

It would never change. There were no new memories to make, no hope of a future with Al.

Marnie and Al already had all they were going to get.

The last thing to go was the yellow wallpaper in the kitchen. It was the last project she and Al had tackled together before the accident that left her single, grieving and broken.

Marnie didn’t even like yellow, particularly, but it had been Al’s favorite color. So, yellow it was. The wallpaper was fading now, and peeling around the edges which is to be expected after nine years.

A born do-it-yourselfer, Marnie began stripping the wallpaper from the walls. Every rip pierced her heart. Tears stung her eyes but she kept going. Faster and faster, she didn’t want to think or feel. Eventually, she realized she was hyperventilating, yet she continued.

When she finished, she was out of breath. Marnie looked at the naked walls and realized that the last bit of her Al was gone. It lies on the floor in strips and chunks along with what was left of Marnie’s heart.

The feelings she’d been avoiding hit her head-on.

After a good hard cry shed fallen into a restless sleep.

Several hours later when she awoke, Marnie’s head was pounding as if she had a hangover.

No matter. She got herself up and dressed, making it to Wallpapers-R-Us nearly an hour before they closed.

It didn’t take her long to choose a new style. The minute she saw it, she knew it was right.

Marnie chose the same yellow wallpaper.

For Alison.

I am the author of three books — short story/poetry collections and am also a freelance writer. Currently, I reside in Birmingham, AL but would much rather be just about anywhere else. Preferably the Chicago area or New England, specifically Connecticut.

I share my life with one husband, one step-son, and four ridiculously spoiled cats.

You can read more of my writing at The Abject Muse

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