THE EMPTY HOUSE

I drove by her new house yesterday.  It sits on a corner.  Gravel in her driveway, little sprouts of grass starting to peak through, growing between the rocks.  The sprinkler was watering her grass.

It’s the middle of winter.

A few newly planted trees are scattered around.  You can tell she’s been working on her landscaping. A job she can do by herself.

The lights were off, the garage was empty.  She was most likely at work.  She doesn’t spend much time in an empty house these days.

She didn’t even put up a Christmas tree this year.  I tried to say something, she cut me off.  “There’s no need.  I don’t care.”

When I met her twenty years ago she had a family.  There was the husband, working Monday through Friday, nine to five, a good paycheck every two weeks.  They had a kid in elementary school, a dog and a cat.  A lot of photos hanging on the walls.  A collection of what all she loved.

She thought her life was one to be lived happily ever after.

That was yesterday, a long time ago.

I never asked her what happened.  Didn’t need to.

The different stories always have the same ending.  There was once a beautiful dream, hopes of a castle on a hilltop.  The prince and his princess.  Plans to hold hands and watch the sun set forever.  Happy times!

Then one day, the dream was shattered.  The clock stopped.

A heart was broken beyond repair.  Nothing to fix, nothing much  to salvage, except maybe some old Christmas ornaments, but they were shared once, so they’re tainted  with a bit of cold pain today.

Even the photos of her kid kept reminding her of what she wanted to forget. That made her cry more than anyone will ever know.

She packed her bags, collected what she really wanted in a few boxes and moved out.  Maybe she kept a lamp her aunt gave her or a blanket she had in college. I don’t know.

She really didn’t want a lot of reminders.  She just wanted to forget.

She tried to regroup, try to find someone once again.  She was lonely.  She wanted some of her life back.

That didn’t work out either.  She met a couple of guys who had some promise of happier times.   They smiled, opened the door for her, took her riding in their truck and talked about football.  They even helped her with her chair at the restaurant and held her hand when they were watching television.

She cooked some home- made meals and shared.

But she kept remembering those earlier promises that were broken.  She didn’t want to believe a new promise.  Maybe she couldn’t.

Sometimes the scars on a broken heart hurt even those who try to help.

Trust was a word she could never use again.

She was alone once more.

 

Please feel free to share.  I welcome your comments and thoughts.  Contact Mike Windham at amwindham100@gmail.com.  You can follow my blog at mikewindham.com.

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