Discernible Differences

by on April 4, 2023 :: 0 comments

photo "Get Away" by Tyler Malone

Eloise screamed, “Come back here, dickwad. I need you!”

I left the front door ajar, although a good slam would better suit the dark thoughts rattling in my head.

My leather soles slapped the concrete as I stomped down the front steps.

There was nothing she could say that I hadn’t heard a million times before and I’d long since stopped believing the crap that poured from her twisted mouth.

When we married in Vegas, I must have been drunker than I thought. If you looked up a gold digger in the dictionary, her picture would grin back at you like a well-fed fox.

A missile whirred through the air and a batter-coated mixing spoon bounced off my shoulder with a splat and clattered onto the steps. She was aiming for my head. Eloise could nag like a cat in heat, but couldn’t throw worth a damn. Our shattered dishes were proof of her pitching abilities.

I glanced over my shoulder to survey the damage. An ugly white blob, pungent with almonds and too much cinnamon, clung to the back of my blue blazer. During our nine week marriage, it was her first foray into the kitchen except to get another glass of Chardonnay. God only knows what she attempted to bake. She called it a makeup cake.

I scooped the goo off my jacket and flicked it onto the lawn, wiping my fingers on the grass. Gluey remnants burrowed between my fingers and I was running late for the meeting with my divorce lawyers. No time to detour into the bathroom and endure another barrage of insults. I licked the rest of the batter off my fingers.

As my foot hit the last step of the front walk, I staggered and grabbed the wrought iron post of our mailbox. Both hands grasped the rough metal as the sun spun in slow circles. My throat closed as my tongue ballooned, filling my mouth, impossible to speak.

Tears filled my eyes, like looking through a dirty fish tank. Intervals of murky vision alternated with ragged breaths as I struggled with consciousness. The blackness increased and my grip weakened. I let go of the post and slumped onto the lawn, gasping like a bass out of water.

The click of high heels crept closer and closer.

My eyes bulged, and I fought for each breath.

Eloise bent down and slipped the wallet from my pocket..

Her voice was soft, almost loving. “You should have been a better husband.”

editors note:

It’s the trajectory: come together to fall apart. ~ Tyler Malone

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