Tuesday's Tale

This is, I promise, a fiction.

It was times of quiet like this that hit him hardest. Times when life conspired to give him time to think. Times when there were no outside distractions to take his mind off the shit that had become his life.

She had taken the kids. She had taken the house. She had taken everything he owned. And left him with nothing.

Once upon a time they had been happy. Two young kids with nothing but their passion for each other and a small apartment. Working together to make a life for themselves. Working all day. Making love all night. That's where they started.

But the kids came and the house came and the cars and the bills came and soon they were not so much the young kids in love but the young couple down the street that seemed to be fighting all the time. You could hear the yelling down the block on warm summer nights when the windows were open and the curtains gently lapped at the windowsill.

These quiet times were the worst. He really missed his kids. Thinking of them made his chest hurt so much he could barely breathe. He wanted them back. He plotted all the ways he would get them back. How he would win them back in a custody battle. All he needed to do was to let the judge know how much he loved his kids. He wanted to play with them and watch them grow and play catch and dolls and all the other things those two great little kids loved to do. At least he was beyond the point where she hurt so much - thinking of her didn't rip at his gut like it did at first. But all of it still hurt.

He was living in his friend's house. In a rented room in the attic. And there was a window that opened and let him out on the roof. That's where he was now. Laying back on the roof looking up into an empty sky and contemplating how long it would take him to hit the ground and wondering if it would hurt if he did it and wondering if it would hurt anyone if he did it and then he thought of his kids and the urge went away as quickly as it had snuck up on him.

He knew that wasn't the answer. That stepping off the roof would never be the answer.
He climbed in through the window and closed it behind him. As he drew the curtains back over the window, he realized he had just experienced the ultimate irony. He had been imagining how he would rescue his kids from her, how he would get them back and build his life all over again and in the process, his kids had rescued him.

And the funny thing was, they would never, ever know.



Nicole said...

I guess another short story just poured out of you.
Touching and oh so true in many cases.

Shadow said...

this is a moving short story. it flows. and has a light ending, i like that.

Jientje said...

If you say so Lou.
But I know the hurt and the heartache if you loose your kid(s).
I know about being desperate.
I know how thoughts like that come into ones mind.
I've been there,it was a different setting, but still.
I have never thought of it that way, but it's true, the kids were the rescuers.

Eric S. said...

Very touching story. This fiction just seems to fly off the shelf in your head doesn't it. Excellent story, I like the ending best.

Tash said...

So true to life Lou!

Great piece as ever! Love the ending.

witchypoo said...

Good you included the disclaimer. It smacked of truth. Well done, Lou.

Cat said...

I have to tell you - my boys have rescued me many times over and they have no idea! Wonderful writing as always.


Christy said...

Fiction, huh? If you say so....

My kids kept me from spinning off into oblivion a 1000 times, too.

hockeychic said...

Very sharp, I could feel his pain.

My daughter rescues me all the time, I like the way you put it to words.

Tara R. said...

Wow.... very powerful. Makes me wonder if my own divorced dad ever had those moments. Thanks for that insight.

Employee No. 3699 said...

Great short story. I liked how you ended it.

Take care~

www.ayewonder.com said...

Man -- there's experience in there somewhere.

maggies mind said...

You made me cry, damn you. ;) Really beautifully sad and so filled with what's true. None of my business what people do, but sometimes I wonder how much they really know about how much more it will hurt to make certain choices over others. Love the irony here, too. This might be my favorite of your fiction - can I say that?

Julie said...

Wow. You can pack a whole hell of a lot into a few words.

Very impressive.

Patsy said...

I wonder how often a similar senerio has played out in life? This is a wonderful, powerful piece. The reason I keep coming back to read. I like how you say things.

Nan said...

Would you just write a novel, already?

redchair said...

Exceptional Lou. You are a master of short tales of the human condition.

Momisodes said...

You continue to WOW me. Is it me, or are your stories flowing smoother and richer all the time?

I can only imagine the heartbreak and mental struggles a parent faces in custody battles. I imagine many feel just this way.

Well done.

LceeL said...

Nicole: Glad you liked it.

Shadow: I like 'lighter' endings.

Jientje: In every fiction there is a germ of truth.

Eric S: I'm glad you liked it, Eric.

Tash: I am so glad to have pleased you, Tash.

Witchypoo: As I said, in every fiction there is the germ of truth.

Cat: I'm glad your boys have rescued you.

Christy: To think that we're supposed to be protecting them!

Hockeychic: It's a mutual dependency society.

Tara R: Chances are, Sweetie chances are.

Employee: I'm glad you liked it - and I will.

Ayewonder: Mike, as I said, all fiction contains a germ of truth.

Maggies Mind: Yes, you most certainly may say that. And thank you, for doing so.

Julie: Thank you. I try.

Patsy: Thank you Patsy. That is so nice a thing to say.

Nan: I'm working on it. I am.

Redchair: Thank you, Vikki. That's sweet of you to say.

Momisodes: Thank you, Sandy. I've been getting a lot of practice.

Joyce-Anne said...

That was wonderfully written and so powerful too.

Zoeyjane said...

It might be fiction, but it's so the truth for some people. Good on you.

Hyphen Mama said...

I'm glad that was fiction. Nobody would ever want to live that. *wink*

Holly at Tropic of Mom said...

What a perfect, tight short story that comes full circle!

Huckdoll said...

Wow. Hits close to home.

Other than that, speechless (in a good way).

Lady Language said...

Amazing, especially the end. Bravo!

Jennifer said...

Lou ~

great story. and although totally fictionaly for you... I'm sure some where out there this is a true life story for some one. some one that is having their heart broken and missing their kids with all they have.

reading this will remind me to try to love my husband, even though he is an ass, and that if God forbid things don't work out... not to keep our kids from him. **although everything will work out, we love each other. I know and understand he is a complete jack-ass at times and he knows and understands that I'm the bitch that he calls his wife!! ** :)

great job! I love how you take me right to the place where the story is happening... I was on the roof... i could even see the ground while he was thinking of it in his mind...

very good.