Looking In


I stood outside in the darkness and stared at her through the window. She was crying, alone, on the sofa wrapped in our fleece blanket. A fire burned in the hearth and provided the only light in the entire house. I watched as she held tightly to our picture, the silver frame reflecting the golden glow of the dying blaze. She wiped a tear then held the picture away from her, longingly looking at it again.

We were happy then. The day of our wedding. Two lovers joined together, a life of dreams and love ahead of us. That was such a long time ago and so much had happened to us since then. There was love. There was joy. There were nights spent on that couch as we held each other close, watching the fire die. There were also fights and disagreements, but somehow we always came back to us. I give her the credit for that, her tenacity in not giving up on me or our marriage. She was my rock.

Except for that one day. The day we got into the worst fight we ever had. Our last fight. Two years ago. I had a horrible day at work, it was raining, and my boss had been yelling at me all day. I wasn’t able to leave it at the door so when I walked in I was looking for a fight and when she confronted me about something, I snapped. I yelled at her. For an hour our tempers flared and I knew that I just needed to get away from the situation, so I grabbed my keys and headed out into the rainy night. She cried after me to stay, to talk it out, but I couldn’t hear her, my anger deafened me. She proceed to call several times, and finally, on the fifth or sixth call, I looked down to respond. I didn’t even see turn, just the rain.

I put my hand to the window as I watched her walk over to the shelf and put our picture back on the mantle. Does she know how sorry I am that I let my day get the better of me? That I let my temper make me lose control? Does she know how sorry I am for having left? Does she know that if I could, I would change everything about that night? Does she know that my heart grows colder every day I am away from her?

I could feel my own tears starting to fall, or was it rain? It must have been rain, as I felt my tears hit my hand on the window, followed by the spattering of water across its surface. Today would have been 6 years, and instead of celebrating our anniversary, I stand outside our home, looking in, hoping that she knows I still love her.

I watch as she turns to come back to couch, her eyes red from the crying. A flash of lightning illuminates the sky, flashing through the window and she stares right at me. My heart stops in that moment. Does she see me? Does she know I am watching over her?

Or am I still just a ghost from her past haunting her evenings with my remorse?

 

8 thoughts on “Looking In

    1. Thanks, I appreciate that. I’m still struggling with my inner critic who is telling me that it just wasn’t good. Gotta love that inner voice that tears you down every moment, right?

      Like

      1. I know what you mean. I often think the same, and then when I feel positive about something I’ve written, it often doesn’t do as well. Sometimes it’s best to just keep writing and focus less on the rest.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Wonderfully crafted, terribly sad. I so enjoyed your decision to make your narrator speak from beyond the grave, to carry that yearning and sadness with him. It really was a beautifully, carefully constructed story and the time shifts worked so well — from the present with him looking through the window, to the past to establish the history, and then back to the present. Really well done.

    Liked by 1 person

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