Hey friends! GAWD I miss you guys!
Just stopped in to deliever a little story I made up.
Miss ya bunches!
P.S. Forgive the typos! It's a rough draft.
It's funny how you slip into the normal routine of life. As humans, we often strive for something out of the ordinary, put forth a great effort to break out of the norm, or mix up the daily grind. Ironically, when there is a change, we feel lost, or like we're just floating with no anchor, and though change is said to be good, too much of it send us into a helix, and we long to slip right back into the ordinary. We crave it, and embrace it. It's comparable to the warm hug from a loved one or friend that always keeps us coming back to that ever-cherished commonality we ungratefully refer to as a rut.
On Tuesday, I came home, just like I always do, at 7:43p.m., unlocked the front door, shoved it open with my shoulder, flipped the light switch on with my elbow, and dropped my briefcase next to the table in the entryway. As usual, I had all intentions of stumbling down the hall to our bedroom, falling into bed, and being asleep before my head hit the pillow, without even removing my jacket, slacks, or dress shoes. But just like always, half way down the hall, I see our bedroom door open, and suddenly, the darkness of our home is bathed in the creamy yellow glow of the matching nightstands that stand as sentinels on either side of our bed, as she steps from the hall, floating to me in a pastel blue gown, her hair down, her face soft, and sleepy, and the scent of powder, flowers, and vanilla fills my nostrils before she embraces me.
"Right on time." She whispers lovingly in my ear, sliding her arms in my jacket and pulling me to her. She's warm, and her skin is soft, and she smells delicious. I feel the contours of her body meld into mine, and we stand there for a few moments. I am always tempted to fall asleep with my head against hers, standing up...mostly, with the upper length of me stooping down, and sort of draping over her little 5.5 frame. It's this sort of security that I love, look forward to, and enjoy when I end a long day at work.
She releases me, takes my files, folders, binders, and paperwork to the dining room table at our right, and makes small talk as I flop my weary arms out of my jacket, and rattle on about the clients, accounts, and occupational jargon I have been speaking of all day. She listens...interested, tilting her head to one side, and narrowing her eyes as she digests the things I say. Her feedback is intelligent, appreciated, and I often ask myself; "Why didn't I think of that?" when she gives a solution to any challenge I was taxed with figuring out at work. She returns to take my jacket, kisses me softly and let's her lips linger on mine before she floats over the closet by the front door, opens it, and hangs my garment, neatly on a hanger. I see the outline of her body through the thin and silky material she is dressed in, as the fluorescent glow of the streetlights gleams through the windows in the entryway. She's beautiful...and she smiles because I've told on myself by stopping in mid sentence just to admire the sight of her. She knows I love her. She knows I find her dazzling even now, after all this time.
"You staying up to do some paperwork?" she asks me. As usual, I know she is hoping that I will tell her that I am coming to bed. But I have so much work to do. How could I put it before her? I know that's how she feels sometimes...though she's never once complained of such.
"Unfortunately." I replied, feeling guilty.
"Wake me up when you come to bed." She sighs, walking to me silently. Another kiss, and I breathe in the scent of her, her perfumes, her skin, and she is gone...like the warmth of a space heater cutting off when one has the misfortune of having to occupy a chilly room.
"I won't be long." I say, to her lovely, bare back, with its small and elegant shoulders, and smooth, flawless skin. Her cascading hair swishes slightly as she turns her head, her face still concealed, and she says; "I know."
But I know I'll be a while. I say this every night. The light from our bedroom turns into a wedge that rapidly vanishes as she softly shuts the door. I stand there, longing to sleep next to her, and almost loathsomely, I look to the paperwork on the dining room table. Just like every night, I decide that the quicker I get it done, the quicker I can retire, take her in my arms, make love to her, and fall asleep in a blissful, much needed sleep.
Six and a half hours later, I save my computer files, burn my discs, put my presentations in order for tomorrow morning, and turn off my computer. It's after two in the morning.
When I get to our room, she is fast asleep. Her breasts rise and fall rhythmically as she slumbers, and her hair is spread about her head in a gorgeous disheveled halo of brunette. Her torso is twisted, her hips are turned on one side, and her legs look like they've been strategically posed for a modeling shoot. One of her arms is along her side, and the other is stretched out over my side of the bed. She always keeps her arm out so she'll know the instant I come to bed.
I have a need to stare at her. I always did, and I always will. But, just like always, after a while I must touch her just to make sure that I'm not dreaming. I stand on her side of the bed, and stare down at her with a smile. I let the back of my hand caress her face, and the instant I touch her, she moves, sighs, and her small hand clasps around mine. In the darkness, I can just make out her face. She is smiling. And when she reaches for me, I am powerless to do nothing else but give in to her. We miss one another through the week, and though I am committed to my career, I am more so committed to her, though she thinks it's the other way around. My time with her is the very blood that courses through my veins, and without her, I would cease to exist. Even she doesn't know this.
At four in the morning, I remember her hand sweeping over my bare stomach. I felt her pull the covers over both of us, and her naked body scoot as close to me as she could get. I feel her breath in my ear as she whispers; "I love you." And then time stops...until the alarms goes off at 8a.m.
But this time there was a detail out of place. A mix up that shook up the routine occurred. We didn't break out of the norm...it left us.
The alarm didn't wake me. I heard the bang, but I was asleep, so my body didn't respond. I felt her hands on my face, then felt her gripping my shoulder.
"Baby! Baby! Baby wake up!" she hissed violently. My eyes flew open, and it took great effort for them to clear, and for my mind to make sense of what was happening. I could see her now. Her face was pale, her eyes were wide, and her angelic features were contorted into unabashed terror.
"What is it?" I whispered, startled, and sitting up immediately.
"I heard a crash in the dining room!" she whispered back, in a panic. The bang came again, and she whirled around, responding to the sound, then she turned to look at me again, the fear in her face elevated to an all new height. I nodded my head to acknowledge that I'd heard it. She swung her feet over the side of the bed, glanced at me, and I nodded again as she picked up the phone. I pointed to the bathroom in our room, and turned my hand and wrist in the air, gesturing to her to lock herself inside. Her face gave me a dreaded expression. She looked as though she would cry. I shook my head, and another bang came from outside our room...this time in the kitchen.
"Go-go-go-go-go!" I hissed, shooing her to the bathroom. She could escape through the window if need be. I slipped on my pajama pants, slipped on a shirt, and pulled the gun I'd promised to get rid of from between the mattresses. Too soon had I retrieved the firearm, because just as I checked to see if I had managed to do this without her seeing me, I looked over my shoulder, and her eyes registered terror. Another crash came. I widened my eyes, looked straight at her, and pointed in the direction of the door. She was speaking to the police. I went over and pulled the door to the bathroom. She stopped me.
"Max..." she whispered. I kissed her.
"Keep this door shut. Go out through the window if there is a problem." I instructed her. Her eyes tried to read mine.
"I'm scared." She whispered.
"Don't be, it'll be okay." I lied. I shut the door, and readied my firearm. She was giving our address to the police. My senses were off the map, the hair on my arms was standing at attention, and my heart rattled my rib cage as if it wished to free itself from a prison. My hand closed around the doorknob of our bedroom, and I turned it cautiously as not to make a sound. I felt anger coupled with my fear. For twelve years I had busted my ass, climbed the corporate latter, and docked my wife the time she rightly deserved so that we could live in a neighborhood where it was safe, and now some intruder was invading my home! The audacity!
I stepped into the hall, covering all areas I couldn't see around with my firearm pointed in front of me. I stepped cautiously; my ears were perked and tuned in to any possible sound. My heartbeat sounded like the bass system in a car, and my breathing was comparable to an asthmatic's panicked gasps for air. I knew it wasn't that loud, I was just frightened.
I spun around, my finger on the trigger. Nothing. I entered the dining room, passed the long oolong mahogany table, and six chairs. The sterling silver tea set that sat on the marble bar along the dining room wall had been disturbed, three of the cups on the floor, and the built in cabinets were opened. Someone had been plundering.
The sound raced up my spine, nearly made me wet my pants, and I grimaced in the darkness, expecting to whirl around and come face to face with the intruder! The sound had come from the kitchen. Where was the damned police! I almost willed the sound of sirens to come to save me from this confrontation, and scare the burglar away. No such luck! I tiptoed into the kitchen, pointing my firearm at the kitchen counter, knowing that if the criminal was hiding, he'd be behind the counter. There was no where else to hide. This was it. I noticed that the back door was opened. The indigo light of the moonlight flooded in and bleed all over the kitchen tiles, lovely at any other time, but the sight of it at this moment seemed to scream at my eyes, and give off a horrific silent echo of danger.
"I have a gun! Put your hands up and come out, or I'll shoot!" I shouted. No response.
"The police are on their way! Come out now!" I shouted. Again, no response. My eyes were fixed on the right side of the counter that was closest to me, so when I saw movement to the left, I swung the gun to meet the predator. A black mass emerged from the left side of the counter, and moved quickly. I pulled the trigger and a shot rang out sending a burning blaze of fear to my chest, and exploding with the sound of the gunfire! Somewhere in the distance, I heard my wife scream, coupled with a shriek of some sort of alien origin. I took three steps backwards, and prepared to shoot again when I realized that the intruder was....only about two feet high, and three and a half feet long. I tried to make sense of the elements, and slowly realized that the burglar was nothing more than a raccoon, now terrified and scampering out the door.
I let my arm fall. My head dropped and I covered my eyes with my hand, relieved and recovering from the fear, I walked back to our bedroom. I could hear her crying behind the door.
"It's okay, baby." I said, pecking at the door. She threw it open immediately, and fell into my arms, crying and shaking and squeezing me tight.
"I heard the gun shot...oh my god, Max, what happened." She sobbed. I smoothed her hair over her head, and kissed her cheek.
"We were robbed by a raccoon." I huffed. She pulled away in shock.
"A raccoon!" she asked in disbelief. I nodded, sort of chuckled, and then sighed. I could hear talking, a muffled sort of sound, and looked down at the phone that she still had in her hand.
"Tell them it's alright." I said. She answered the dispatcher's questions of our safety, and explained what had happened. I put my gun away, and fetched a hooded sweatshirt from the closet as I suddenly realized that I was cold. Too much excitement, I supposed. I heard my wife hang up the phone, heard her sigh, and then she cleared her throat. I knew what was coming.
"So you kept the gun?" she asked, in a calm tone.
"What if that had been an intruder?" I replied.
"You could have told me, Max." she said.
"You don't like guns, I didn't want to scare you." I replied, hoping that she would let it go. She was silent for a moment.
"You still could have told me." She replied.
"You need to make sure that backdoor is locked before we go to bed." I said, and turning around, I looked at her face, and stopped when I saw how pale it had gotten.
"What?" I asked, looking at her confused.
"The backdoor was locked." She whispered. We both looked to the open door of our bedroom, and the fear came racing back to revisit us.
"Ohmigod, Max, someone did break in!" She said in a trembling whisper.
"Get back on the phone, go back into the bathroom." I said. I retrieved the gun, and headed back to the kitchen. More than likely the intruder was gone, but I wanted to make sure. With me firing a shot, there was probably no need to worry, but one can never be too sure. I rechecked the dining room, under the table, the chairs, and looking to my left, I was taken by surprise when I tripped over the huddled mass on the floor in the kitchen. I sprawled over the tiles, hit the ground hard, and tried to right myself as quickly as possible. Turning, I saw my wife coming into the kitchen, saw her face go white, and her words get caught in her throat. She began to make a sound that I had never heard from any human before. A low, labored grunt that sounded like a she been punched in the abdomen, then her voice accelerated to a wail, and then a scream that threatened to break the glass in the windows! I jumped up to remove her from the body on the ground. I wanted to keep her from seeing it. Prevent her from recording such a horrific memory! I didn't move fast enough. I couldn't, and to my disbelief, she fell on her knees, fell onto the body of the burglar, and wailed like she'd gone mad! She pulled the burglar's body to her, struggled to turn him over, and all the time, screaming, screaming, and screaming. The dogs in the neighborhood began to bark, lights in the surrounding houses began to come on. I stood up, looked down at her and was thoroughly confused at her behavior. There was blood all over the tile. It marred her gown, and looked black in the light deficient kitchen, but I could see it on her hands, staining the front of her, and she continued to drown in hysterics, while the body saturated her with the blood that was spilling from a gun shot wound to the back of his head, so badly, that I could see every detail of her breasts, rib cage, and abdomen beneath the gown.
"MAAAAAAAAAX! OH MY GOD, MAX! NOOOOO!"
"I didn't shoot him, baby!" I shouted, but she wouldn't listen.
"Wake up! Wake up! Pleaaaaaaaase wake up! No! No! No! MAAAAAAAX!" she screamed.
"I'll call an ambulance! It's okay! It's okay, I'll get help!" I shouted over her wailing. She managed to turn the lifeless body over, and as I drew closer to get to the phone, I was paralyzed when I realized that the burglar had my face.
"DEAR GOD NO! MAAAAAAAX!" my wife screamed, "PLEASE don't die! DON'T LEAVE ME!" she begged. I couldn't move. I couldn't process what had happened. What had happened? I watched my wife cradle my body, rocking back and forth on the floor while my blood continued to drain out over her gown, the kitchen floor, and the clothes I had been in when I had come to stop the burglar. She kissed my forehead, pressed my head to her body, and let her head drop back as she screamed for help. She pleaded to me, pleaded to God, and begged me not to leave her. And yet...I had not. I was standing right there. I knelt down, staring at my wife and me, unable to believe what I was seeing. I reached out to my lifeless body, and thought that perhaps if I could get back in.... But it was like rapping at a locked door. There was some sort of reversed magnetic push that wouldn't allow me passage. I was locked out. I couldn't get back in, and sat there in a tortured state as my wife pleaded for me to stay.
I saw Charlie Murphy and his wife, Arlene, come through the backdoor. Charlie wouldn't let Arlene in. He told her to call the police, and ran to my wife. He pried her grip from my body, and dragged her out into the backyard. She screamed louder than ever, and fought to get back to me. I was now alone with the vessel in which I had lived my life for the last thirty-seven years. Everything happened so fast. The police came. I listened to them talk about what they thought had happened, and nodded my head in agreement or disagreement with what they said while they examined the crime scene.
"Poor guy didn't even see it coming. The intruder shot him in the back of the head. Probably didn't even know what hit him." One officer said. I shook my head.
"That's not what happened! I shot at a raccoon! It was on the left side of the counter here!" I shouted, hoping that they would hear me. I looked to the area I had seen the raccoon. There was no bullet hole. Had the shot I heard come from the intruder's gun?
"Looks like a .40 caliber slug." Said another officer.
"No, I have a ..." I started, but another officer finished my sentence.
"Victim has a .22. Hasn't been fired. Get this stuff bagged up and sent to the lab. We'll have Reynolds talk to the wife." The officer said.
"Reynolds did talk to the wife." Said yet another officer, "She's claiming that her husband isn't dead. He came back into the bedroom and said that a raccoon broke in, not a burglar."
"We're going to have to give her a while. She's pretty hysterical...or a good actress..." said the first officer.
"You son-of-a-bit..." I started.
"Anyone talk to the neighbors yet?"
I began to tire of answering their questions, and even more so of answering their answers! I wanted to talk to my wife. My head hung, and I closed my eyes. I became aware of people talking, and when I opened my eyes, I was in the backyard. My wife was sitting on the wall of one of the flower beds with Charlie and Arlene Murphy on either side of her. A female officer was standing in front of them. I looked at her name tag. It read 'Reynolds'. The three of them spoke as if my wife wasn't there.
"We can take her with us, God knows she's been through hell." Charlie said.
"I think we should call a doctor, she's just in terrible shape." Arlene sighed, putting a hand to her chest.
"She'll have to give us some information, but we can hold off on that for right now." Officer Reynolds said, "But if she discloses anything, be sure and let our investigators know."
My eyes rested on my wife. She was focused on something in front of her, but wasn't actually looking at it. Tears flowed out of her eyes, her lips were parted, and she was shivering. I knelt down in front of her.
"Baby...can you hear me?" I asked her. She gave no response. I placed my hands on her knees. I could feel her. I wondered if she could feel me. Her eyes looked hollow, like there was nothing behind them. I longed for a sign, and let my head drop in defeat.
My head snapped up.
"Max...is..." she tried again.
"Yes, baby, I'm right here." I encouraged her.
"Max isn't dead." She said. She said it so flatly, that Charlie and Arlene looked at her in shock.
"Ma'am, you've had a terrible experience." Officer Reynolds began. My wife frowned at her.
"Max isn't dead!" she insisted.
"Ma'am, I'm afraid he is." Reynolds explained.
"MAX ISN'T DEAD! He came back in the bedroom! It was just a raccoon!" she insisted.
"Ma'am, I'm going to have to ask you to calm down." Officer Reynolds said, reaching for her handcuffs.
"MAX ISN'T DEAD!" my wife shouted, lunging forward. Charlie caught her, and Arlene tried to calm her down, but she wouldn't. Officer Reynolds spoke into the device perched on her shoulder and asked for medical assistance. By the time the paramedics got to the backyard, my wife was in a fit of defiance. Charlie pleaded with her. Arlene pleaded with her. I pleaded with her and cried. And as the paramedics loaded her into the ambulance, she screamed over and over again that I was alive. I walked out to the end of the driveway, and when I got to the street, I realized that I couldn't go any further. It was as if some invisible wall had been built, and I couldn't get past it. I threw myself against the unseen barrier. I pounded my fists, crying and screaming.
"He IS alive! I saw him! This is a mistake!" my wife spat at the EMTs. I called to her as they loaded her in. Suddenly, her eyes widened, and she jutted her neck forward.
"HE'S RIGHT THERE! LOOK! LOOK! I'M NOT CRAZY! HE'S STANDING RIGHT THERE!" she screamed. She was looking right at me.
"Baby!" I shouted, "I can't get to you!"
"Max! Max! Tell them to let me go! Max! MAAAAX!" she pleaded. Her arms were restrained. She couldn't even reach for me. She kept her eyes glued to me even as they shut the ambulance doors, and pulled away. Little by little, the officers left, the house was taped with yellow police tape, and sealed up. Teams came back periodically to collect more evidence. I never saw my wife again.
Months passed, and I don't remember much in that time frame. But I gradually started to get back to my routine.
One night I came home, and went to my office, and at two in the morning, I stood beside our bed, touched my wife's face, and when she opened her eyes, she screamed so loud, I felt like I'd go insane. It wasn't my wife of course. Her husband was on the other side of her, and he leapt out of bed, and starting flipping on the lights, and even called the police. They found nothing of course...few see me.
I get home every night at 7:43. I don't remember being at work, and to be honest, I don't think I am. I can't seem to leave this place, but I come in the door, every night, flip on the light switch with my elbow, and drop my briefcase next to the table in the entryway. The table is gone now, but I can see it there. I have the feeling that I have worked all day, and I am so very tired, and I want nothing more that to fall into bed, and sleep with my wife next to me. But
I have work to do. I always have work to do.
If the house is occupied, it sends a wave of panic through the place if I have the audacity to go about my usual routine. People freak out if I turn on the light, or if they hear my footsteps in the entryway. If not, then I wait for her to open the door to our bedroom and greet me, fill my nostrils with her fragrance, and fit her body against mine, and be the vision she was in that pastel blue night gown. But she never appears. I miss her form, her voice, her face, and her love. She loved me...I loved her too. I miss her telling me that I am right on time. I need her input on my day at the office. I could use her solutions.
Sometimes I find myself in my office. I don't walk in, or remember doing it, I just find myself there. Everything is different. My computer is gone, my bookshelves, my desk, my file cabinet. All gone. Presently, it's been replaced by a single sized bed, a toy chest, a little colorful dresser, and stuffed animals, and the little boy that sleeps there covers his head if I come in his room. I stay in there until he falls asleep, and even after he is asleep, I usually don't leave what used to be my office until about two in the morning. Then, I meander to what used to be our bedroom. I see her sleeping there, and I stop and stare down at her. She takes my breath away, and when I caress her face with the back of my hand, she sits up sharply, and looks around.... She looks terrified. She is not my wife. But she knows I am here. She's afraid of me...so is her son. Every family is different. This new family has been here for four months, and already, the boy's mother is looking for a new place to move into. She says this house gives her the creeps. I know she's talking about me.
When the place is empty, my memory paints everything back to how it was when I was here with my wife. I was happy. I see our furniture, our belongings; I see the wedge of light spill into the hallway when I come in the door. I see her float to me and embrace me. I hear her tell me she loves me. I cling to the routine. It's all I know. It's all I have left. And if I let it go, I fear I may disappear from existence all together.