A Fiction Short Story…
I want to be like the beautiful robin that visits our house every morning at 5:00 a.m. while I am getting breakfast ready. I want to be free to come and go and have no expectations to fulfill. I want to be the me I used to be, before the mortgage, before the kids, before the fighting. I glance at the pile of dishes stained with yesterday’s lasagna waiting for me to pay them some attention. I look past them and at my balding husband sprawled out on his leather couch, completely absorbed with March Madness, although I seem to be going mad every month of the the year, not just March. Not even then constant inquiries from our 4-year-old daughter can snap him back to attention. The longing in my daughter’s eyes cuts a hole in my soul and it takes every ounce of my being not to get up and slap that lazy bum for not noticing. For not being aware of the world outside of the 60-inch TV he got himself for his birthday last month. My princess lowers her head in exasperation and finally bows out of the competition for her father’s heart. She gently slides into a small space near the edge of the footrest without a sound so as to not disturb her hero. I raise my arm holding the spatula I am using to make tonight’s companion for our chicken dinner, macaroni and cheese, my husband’s favorite, and aim it directly for the bulls eye forming on his head, but stop short. My 2 year old’s wailing sounds like burglar alarm and I a feel guilty for being caught. A good wife doesn’t do these things. A good wife doesn’t event think these things. I spin around to the gagging noise my dog is making, just as he upchucks his dinner with a button along for the ride. I grab a wet rag to clean up the mess. My daughter clings to my arm like Velcro screaming in my ear for dinner. The smell of burnt pasta and milk keeps me from losing my patience. Scooping my daughter in my arms, I race to the stovetop to salvage what’s left.
Over the shouts of the commentator and Lily’s screams I hear faintly “Honey, I hope you aren’t making dinner for me. I am going to go watch the rest of the game with Tim and the guys, and I will just pick something up on the way.”
My stomach turns and the corners of my eyes moisten. A half a second later the river of tears flows. I gently pry off my daughter and head for the back door. Safely outside, my inhibitions are lost. A scream creeps up my chest through the sobs and travels to my throat making its way to the outside world. I don’t care who hears, I just need to get it to before it engulfs me and I drown. I let the tension and stress melt away, and soak in the last of the sun’s rays before it tucks itself in. A knock on the back door interrupts my peaceful meditation, and there stands my daughter like a warden waiting impatiently for me to come inside. I wipe the evidence from my face. Take a moment to catch my breath, and step inside to the chaos that is my life.