This wasn’t the first
time he had stormed away fuming, after she refused to cuddle the weakling beast
that was his ego whenever she disagreed with him. But as she watched him walk
towards his car, carrying the last of his things out of the old cottage that
used to be their home, she knew that it would be the last time. She followed
him outside barefoot, her soles welcoming the soothing touch of recently rained
Turning around to
look at her, he said, “Professor Bain might not share your ‘cripples, fags
and chicks are so very oppressed’ opinions, but the man is beyond brilliant where it
counts. And he would have seen my potential, if your mouth hadn’t shat on every
chance he ever gave me.”
“I suppose prejudice,
hatred and brainlessness can look like brilliance when it fits your views,” she
said, wondering if she would ever be able to explain to her brain why she
had shared her time and her body with a bigoted stranger for three years.
He got in his car.
But before driving away, his gaze sizzled in her direction. “You can’t open
your mouth without letting the whole world hear just how naïve you truly are. What
you call ‘prejudice’, the rest of the us know as reality. You better get with
the program, my dear, or no one who matters will ever take you seriously.”
As his car disappeared around
a corner, disenchantment and rage blurred her vision before spilling down her
cheeks. She looked down, blinked hard, and felt a few tears fall on her feet.
She took a deep breath and wiped her face with the back of her hand. When more
tears came, she let them rain, thinking, First storms and then rainbows.
photo by Harry Quan, on Unsplash
- the first draft of this story, which I shared in 2014, was written in the first person point of view. The original story had three characters, and they all had names. I feel rewriting her on her own, to confront him, makes her (and the story) a tad stronger. The same feels true (to me *cough*) about the anonymity; omitting the characters’ names leaves more focus for the plot, methinks.
- for Poets and Storytellers United--Weekly Scribblings #84: The Last Time and Writers’ Pantry #85: Things to remember if you’re not rich and famous yet.