The Surprise

by on November 7, 2020 :: 0 comments

photo "Dirty to Clean" by Tyler Malone

Walter Nye would overcome his shyness towards his lover Kristin. After his eventual first date they became a great couple. Collecting comments from street gossip about their togetherness.

Walter would talk of nothing else. Kristen this. Kristen that. Until all his friends deserted him. But Walter didn’t care. Nor hardly realize. All he wanted and needed was Kristin.

As time went by Walter would gain an obsession towards her to reinforce the desperation that she was gaining distance from him. She would stay away for weekends without ringing. While he seemed to be a burden when she was at home. Although they never argued, since he was afraid of the reality, and she couldn’t be bothered to acknowledge him in any attentive manner. This went on for some while until Walter’s delusions began eroding his sensibilities.

On Kristen’s birthday, Walter announced he would be late home from work as he would go to town and buy her the best present he couldn’t afford. Kristen smiled solemnly and Walter left with a kiss and goodbye. He managed to get off work earlier than expected and he went into the town jewellers. Glancing through the glistening, shimmering display, he finally decided on an uncomfortably priced diamond ring.

On the journey home Walter imagined the surprised expression on Kristen’s face. Maybe he’d give it to her later that night when they’d settled down. Or maybe he should give it her straight away. Maybe I should, he thought. Yeah, maybe I should.

Walter climbed the stone steps, then sprang open the door. He checked the dining room. No, she wasn’t there. Then the kitchen. No. The living room. Upstairs, he thought to himself. As he climbed the stairs, he heard muffling and moaning from the partly shut door of their bedroom. He peered inside and there was Kristen in bed with another man. Walter’s world enveloped behind him. His beloved Kristen, a cheat. Later she would explain that she no longer loved him and was leaving him for Jonathon. How could she? Walter thought. “I’m sorry,” she would say as she packed, leaving Walter alone in despair.

For the next week Walter remained heartbroken. Holding the birthday ring in his palm, his anger grew stronger and stronger. Kristin hadn’t called or phoned. It seemed she didn’t care. After all he did for her, she didn’t care.

Two days later Walter decided he’d had enough. He wasn’t going to kill himself. Why should he? He did nothing wrong. He did everything for her. Everything. She had left him for someone else. Walter held the ring tightly. She needs me to help her, he convinced himself.

Outside Jonathan’s house Walter stood holding a lighter and canister of petrol. He poured the petrol through Jonathan’s letterbox, drenching the carpet. Then he lit an old newspaper and dropped it through the letterbox. An anatomy of blue and orange flames jumped back at him before he raced off into a nearby garden. And as the flames spread more and more Walter began remembering the times in the back row. The oceanside. The meadow. After a while of these memories, Walter stared wearily at the burning house. Oh no! he thought, What have I done? He jumped up, ran through the front door, through the flames, up the burning staircase and into the master bedroom. Only to find it vacant. He sat down in despair on the bed and reached into his pocket and pulled out the diamond ring, admiring it.

Suddenly the flames spread into the bedroom, leaped onto the bed, and engulfed Walter Nye as Kirsten and Jonathan pulled up horrified onto the drive.

editors note:

Fire cleanses down to roots. What’s left, after time, blooms taller than ever before from the once charred heart we thought was the whole world. ~ Tyler Malone

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