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Tuesday Morning

March 26, 2019

From The Haunted Wordsmith is the Story Starter Challenge #24. Today’s prompt: “Ten long years.” Click the link and check it out.

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Tuesday Morning

She rolled over and threw her right arm around me. “Happy anniversary, hon.”

“Yeah, happy anniversary.”

“You don’t sound too enthused, you OK?”

Ten years.

“Yeah, I’m OK. Just, I don’t know, I guess I’m a little overwhelmed by the thought of ten years. Who woulda thunk it, huh?

Ten years.

She smiled. “A good ten years, though.”

I smiled and snuck my right arm under her shoulder and pulled her into a hug. I kissed her forehead and said, “A very good ten years. I love you, Margie.”

Ten long years.

She snuggled closer and nuzzled my neck. She whispered, “We have time, you know…”

“I can’t. I’m meeting Markenson at 8:30.” I pulled free and sat up on the edge of the bed with my back to her.

“The Dawson account.”

“You got it, babe. Seems like forever, doesn’t it? Well, it puts food on the table.”

She kissed the back of my neck. “Tonight then.”

I turned and smiled. “Tonight. It’s a date.”

I’m not sure when I fell out of love with Margie. Probably sometime shortly after Kenny was born. I was working 16 hour days trying to make a place for myself in the agency and she was at home caring for three young children. So what, six years give or take? Margie was distant, I was preoccupied. I was distant, Margie was preoccupied. Does it matter? We were both busy and we were both working too hard. She’s the one who stood firm and I’m the one who fell.

Still, that’s no excuse.

There’s no excuse for the decision I made back then that helped soothe some of the tensions of those 16-hour days, I realize that. And I realize that I earned every bit of the guilt and shame I feel today. I don’t say that for pity and I don’t say that for acceptance. I don’t say it hoping for someone to exonerate me and tell me that it’s – that I’m – OK. I say it because I recognize and take responsibility for the mistakes I made and the lies I told and for never confessing my sins to Margie. For pretending, after the fact, that it never happened. For being a fake.

That acceptance is a small consolation I allow myself because it’s what keeps me sane. And I’ll allow it as long as I keep working to fix the mistakes I made.

Today I’m a good father and I’m a good provider. I’m present and I take care of my family. My children lack for nothing and my wife has everything she could want except for maybe a good husband. It’s not Margie’s fault I don’t feel at ease being close to her, its mine. And I tell myself that I can learn to love her again.

Ten long years.


7 Comments leave one →
  1. March 26, 2019 9:33 am

    If infidelity is the sin he is confessing to, I just have to say that the alienation of his affection as he sorts out what he sees as his sin, is at least in my book, a far greater hurdle for a relationship to overcome than the remebrance of a momentary pleasure of the flesh.. This is very poignantly written and I enjoyed every word.


    • Michael B. Fishman permalink*
      March 26, 2019 10:25 am

      I agree, Violet. Withholding his emotions and thoughts is just another way that he’s cheating on her. I wanted the guy to be penitent but still kind of a jerk so that he’s kind of stuck in his own hell.


  2. March 26, 2019 11:24 am

    Good story and use of Teresa’s prompt.

    Liked by 1 person


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