“Are you listening to me?” she barked.
“We are over”, the last thing that my ears told my conscious brain.
After that, bitter justifications oozed out of her mouth; soaked in hatred and drenched in the disgusting scent of decaying words she had held in for so long.
Tears drew closer to those babbling lips as her entire being began to blur; my focus leaning to the wall behind her. I wondered if the shade of her brain matter would go nicely with the décor we had chosen for our family home.
“Are you listening to me?!” snarled the bitch – pulling focus back to my glazed eyes.
“We are done”
I felt like the audience at a comedy, that moment that the last character discovers the plot. I wonder how long she had been fighting this. We had been dead for a lifetime – the lifetime of our daughter.
We had met thirteen years prior. I - the charismatic, romantic screenwriter - walked into her florist shop seductively exclaiming that there wasn’t a flower in the place that rivaled her beauty; and even fewer that warranted dinner with me that evening. I proceeded to buy the most expensive bouquet in the shop (her recommendation as a gift for my gorgeous date that night).
Three years later and we were married. ‘Until death do us part’ we had vowed – now I wish my lips were the Grim Reaper and I could kiss the bride one last time, alas, our mouths had not met in months – those marriage counselors could trade jobs with CPR instructors and no one would notice (“listen”, “feel”, “love”… whatever).
We spent our honeymoon in the South of France, and the South of each other’s pants. Oh, to be twenty-seven with wealth, health, and luxury. To share all this with my new fair beauty, that never seems to fade.
“I thought we were past this”, she declared resentfully.
‘We’, as if my infidelity had anything to do with her. She had sucked the very soul out of me, or worse – my belief that there even is a soul – and she couldn’t even give me my fucking adultery to hold on my own.
Her career had blossomed abundantly; the once manager of a corner florist, now owned the largest national nursery. The fruits of her labour had sprouted a forest of success, success that I had not reaped in my work. I had moved from screenwriter to murder mystery novelist, still being paid for putting ink to paper. Although, it would appear that my ink was not worth as much paper as my wife’s trees produced.
I find my writing is best right after I masturbate, and I have been writing fantastically of late.
“Are you going to say anything…”
Words, like lava, spat from her volcanic mouth, forming molten rock in the ocean of my nonchalance, just another pile of ash ready to be colonized by my apathy.
“… or just sit there in your cocoon of self-loathing?”
What does she know of self-loathing? It is not a razor-blade and a bath tub. Destruction is a twenty-four year old aspiring writer with flowing red hair and dark skin – I think she goes by Lucy now, probably short for Lucifer.
You don’t have to have nothing to hate yourself, you just have to feel like you do. My disgust was hidden, vaulted in a titanium safe, in a top-floor apartment uptown. I drove there in my Mercedes with built-in seat warmers, nothing to heat up the heart though.
“You’re such a great father to Cindy”, she continued while moving to sit next to me, as if proximity could birth empathy.
“I just wish you were as good of a husband.”
My robot head rotated towards her defeated existence.
“I wrote a poem for you.” My first words to her face. I could see her Titanic heart split; I used to say these six words all the time, they were as common as ‘I love you’ back then.
Her eyes softened as she smiled in anticipation.
“If I had one wish
I’d wish you were a cigarette
then I could set you on fire
and no one would even turn their head”
Her smile inverted. The ship was taking on water.
I stood up and walked beyond her to the door.
“Cindy, sweetheart, we’re leaving!” I called to the other room.
In ran the nine-year-old gem of my life.
“Grab your bag and say goodbye to Mommy.”
As I was shutting the door behind Cindy I glanced back into the living room. There she still sat. A static statue on the ocean floor.
Drowned. The entire Atlantic above her.
Sea salt water of self-loathing.
They say you cannot love another if you don’t love yourself – I hated us both, unconditionally.
This beaten heart could never love again.
I shut the door.