#1: If only she could guess what he already knew
#2: A small river divided the two properties but he knew the divide was even larger with his new neighbour
So at my new writing class I started last Monday, I was given these two prompts, fortune cookies, to work with, and had to come up with something, anything, relating to one or both of them. My homework is to continue working on this, or start something new…I haven’t decided yet, so I’m writing this out to see where it goes. Feedback is greatly welcomed 🙂
John leaned over his garden to pull out a weed and glanced across the river. With haste, he started yanking the thorns out of the earth, cussing at them as he went. He knew what was going on, although he wasn’t letting on. Neither his wife or neighbour knew that their secret had been exposed.
He was off in an angry dreamland spinning all sorts of things in his head, when a rose thorn pricked his finger and brought him back to reality. He was so distracted that he’d moved beyond the simple thistles that were infesting his garden and he’d actually been pulling out the real flowers he’d so lovingly planted here.
“How symbolic,” he thought to himself, as he tried to salvage what he could of his beautiful destruction. He mulled over his life, trying to make sense of the mess that it had become. He’d been working so much lately with his new job and didn’t have much time for anything outside the office anymore it seemed. The porch stairs had needed repair for weeks before his wife finally slipped and hurt her arm. With great argument she’d gone to ask the neighbour across the river for some help. Then that new neighbour came over to fix the dripping sink, mow the lawn, and eventually aid his wife’s loneliness too.
“Do I blame them?” He mused, “I lost her because of my own fear.” John had hit a point in his life where he’d been off work for a while and when he finally started working again, he went overkill in the other direction. He felt like he had to make it all up to his wife for how hard she had to work while he was laid off. He never realized it would drive her into the arms of another man.
He had a rare day off, and wanted to surprise his wife who he knew would be coming home early from work. She ended up surprising him instead, and had went straight over to Alex’s place when she got home, instead of coming to her home first. It reinforced to him why he didn’t make a habit of this.
He went back to fussing in the garden. He was stewing in his own thoughts, casting glances like daggers at the house across the river. It tore his heart apart knowing she was in there with him and he felt totally helpless as to what to do next. Should he barge in and announce his knowledge? Should he continue to rid his garden of all weeds, and at this rate, all the flowers too?
It got him thinking at which point are things considered a deal breaker…Infadelity…and Love…He felt responsible for the situation and remembered the vows he said before God 7 years ago, till death do us part. But she’s strayed to another. John gave up torturing himself and went inside to pour himself a drink. The weeds will just have to take care of themselves.
When Susan returned home, John was passed out asleep in front of the TV with the game on. She saw he’d been drinking, but it was still not like him to fall asleep in front of the TV like that. Something about him looked strange although she couldn’t put her finger on it.
She went over to nudge him awake so he could come upstairs to bed and be more comfortable. She knew he would have an awful headache in the morning and could use all the restful sleep he could get. As she put her hand on his shoulder, he felt cold for sitting in front of the fireplace, and with a start she realized her husband wasn’t moving at all. No breath, no reaction to her touch. He was dead…
She stood there stunned, taking her hand away and touching him again. She shook him trying to wake him and his body was limp. Tears streamed down her face as she shrieked out in horror. Susan fell to her knees and wept by his side, burying her head against his lifeless body. This can’t be true, it just can’t be happening she thought over and over.
Time passed without her even realizing it, and she finally got her head about her enough to call for help. Her first thought was to call her new neighbour Alex and he heard her tears on the other end of the phone and came over right away. When he saw John sitting in his chair, lifeless, he gave Susan a quick hug and then left to call for help right away.
The next few hours were a blur of activity and questions and Susan couldn’t even think straight. It felt like a dream. Only a few hours ago she had been over at Alex’s planning the big surprise birthday party for John and now the doctors and police were telling her that her beloved husband had died of an overdose of sleeping pills. She couldn’t imagine what would make John want to take his own life. He seemed so happy to be working again, and their love was growing stronger every day…