I finally wrote another fictional short story. In case you haven't been able to guess, each short story deals with the emotional responses and decisions that people make in response to some of the darker sides of life. I'm attempting to show the strength, tenacity, and beauty of humans inner strength. The beautiful ways in which we learn and love- and grow. I do hope you each are enjoying these shorts as I post them.
Swallowing Fear by April L. Gerard
She stood staring out the window. The rain was coming down in sheets. It made the green things greener, giving the day an eerie forlorn look to it. “Nature being exposed in the shower of its tears- in its naked form,” she thought. Just thinking that made her want to wrap it up protectively, shielding it from such pain and humility. She knew such emotions well, she'd been living with them inside her for what seemed like forever. Never would she wish for anyone to feel such heartache, not even Nature herself.
She glanced over at the last suitcase sitting in the corner as she ran her hand across the window sill, the dark mahogany trim gave her comfort. The contrast it made against her own paleness reminded her of strong arms that she longed to be there to hold her. But He wasn’t. He couldn’t be. And she would never ask him to be.
The thoughts that wandered out from their hiding places brought forth anxious, desperate tears. She’d just have to let this go, there was no need to allow those thoughts to go any further. He wasn’t hers and she certainly wasn’t his. It was all foolishness to think it might be possible anyway. There was more at stake today than just a fleeting thought of happiness in the future. Futures had a way of becoming unsteady when the present day's decisions ran a different course than originally intended. She needed to stay focused, she'd deal with her emotions later.
Turning from the window with a sigh, she walked over to her bed and continued getting dressed. The heavy empty feeling in her stomach made her queasy. And the queasiness led to a growing anger at herself. She should have left a long time ago. The other occupant of her household never asked permission- he took what he wanted, when he wanted it -including her.
So long it seemed that she had taken it. She had bore the brunt of his childish behaviors over the years. Sprung from insecurities that he’d never bother to look at inside himself, they left her trembling in a raw, edgy fear. She was tired of trying to protect him from his own demons. She was tired of protecting herself from them. She was tired of hiding the truth from the world. He’d have to learn to live this life without her.
The photograph sitting framed on her dresser caught her eye. They had been happy together once. Or maybe she had just pretended he was happy with her, convincing herself that she didn’t deserve much more in life than him anyway. She shook her head angrily at that thought and impulsively reached for it and laid it face down. No need to have him watch her every move as she laid out her plans. He’d watched and controlled enough of her life. It was time for her to feel the sun shine for a change, not just watch it glow from a distance.
She moved silently over to her last suitcase, pulled up the handle to allow it to roll behind her. She took one last look around. She could do this. And then she walked out the door, down the hall, and out into the rain.
As she reached the yellow car parked in front she looked up at the sky. There in the distance, the same direction she'd be heading, was a beautiful rainbow brought on by the rays of sun sneaking their way through the cloud filled sky. She smiled inwardly. This learning to re-live again thing was going to be freedom unlike any she'd ever felt, and it felt good to know it was waiting for her.