The following was written is just a bit over fifteen minutes in response to the Weekend Writer creative prompt. Take a look at the other offerings, tackling the prompt yourself?
He thought it was done. Dave looked up from his reading and resisted the urge to heave the book across the living room. At least it was a paperback. Not his e-reader. Of course, it was a paperback because he had thrown his e-reader. A woman walked up his driveway. Not just any woman, that nasty voice in his head reminded him. No, it was most certainly a very specific woman.
He dog-eared the page and set the novel aside. Cold annoyance climbed his spine as he straightened his shoulders and headed for the door. What game would they play this time? He would have to check the calendar in his closet upstairs, but he thought she was three days early. He heard the rustle of the wreath hanging on the door just before the staccato rap of the knocker.
Of course Becca would insist on moving the decoration aside to use the knocker. God forbid she use her knuckles. His jaw clenched, released, clenched and released. Dave pressed his palm against the back of the door and concentrated on breathing, slowly. Do not let her get to you.
He pulled the door open, the hinges creaking a noise that crept up at the end like a question. Always a question where Becca was concerned. Her warm brown eyes met his, a soft impact, an undermining, water pulling sand out from under his feet as waves rushed back and forth. No. No. No. No.
The negative rang through his head, a mantra, a promise, a curse, a reminder.
“Hi.” Her voice hit him, a softer blow, but harder to handle. One syllable and he felt all the broken pieces of their past grinding inside him.
“What do you want, Becca?” He wouldn’t say I thought we agreed… No. That never got him anywhere, reminding her of her promises, broken again and again.
“I don’t want anything,” she answered. There was something different about her. The thought rippled through him, a deep disturbance, leaving the surface unruffled, but his eyes searched her. Her hair was lighter, the brown streaked with sun. The freckles on her nose looked darker, the earrings hugging her small, fleshy lobes weren’t ones he once gave her.
“I’m moving,” she said as his eyes continued to catalog tiny differences that added up to one huge change. “Just wanted to say goodbye.” At last his gaze caught a flash as she rubbed her thumb against the band of a ring on her left hand. “I’m sorry for all I put you through,” she continued, and he felt the sand wash out faster, his footing going, his equilibrium lost. “I know we broke each other. I shouldn’t have blamed you for it all.”
Dave’s silence stretched. He couldn’t seem to find enough moisture in his mouth to get his thick, clumsy tongue to form words. Becca was leaving. Leaving him alone. Just like he asked. At last.
Her lips pressed against his cheek and he swayed, a feather at the mercy of her breath. “You’re a good man,” she whispered. “Be happy.”
He watched her walk away, struck dumb, as at last his ex-wife did exactly what he had asked of her and moved on.