The Worlds Shortest Story
I woke up one morning and she was gone. I figured she went for a run or to the gym, maybe breakfast with her mother or wherever the hell she goes every morning. I went down stairs read the paper, and drank some coffee. I road to work with the windows down, playing songs that made me feel nineteen again. Work was the same as usual, two meetings and a peaceful two hour lunch break, with nothing but me, the window, and the wonderful view of my new receptionist. I think she said her name was Shirley or Candy… No Tammy. Her name is Tammy. After work I met the guys for happy hour, were we laughed off the stress of the day. I left the bar, buzzed not drunk, but walking the edge. I was in that beautiful in between zone where I knew there was no way I would be pulled over, but to gone to really care if I did. I got home at eight thirty, the same time I had gotten home for the last twelve years. I pulled into my drive way, the spot next to me empty, weird I thought but not unheard of. She probably had to get her car worked on, pile of crap not only a year old and has been in the shop more times than my parents 1994 Buick. I walked into a dark house, and figured she was asleep. I popped open a beer watched the news, and then around ten climbed the stairs to bed. I turned on our bedroom light, and there was nothing. The bed laid unmade the pillows in the same exact spot I left them in the morning. Suddenly the whole house felt empty and dark. I quickly made my way around turning on every light until the whole house glowed. I picked up my phone dialing her number knowing I wouldn’t get a response. It rang once before going to voice mail. I did the final thing I could think of, I swung open her closet door, and there it sat exactly like I knew it would. Completely empty, not a hanger or shoe left behind. I stepped inside pressing my hands flat against the walls, that’s when I felt it. Written on a little yellow pad was a note. She was always writing on these, telling me to she went to pick up milk, or gone to the book store. She always told me where she went, and when shed be back, and I guess this note wasn’t much different. “Jerry, I ask myself why I was doing this. And even I couldn’t give myself a good excuse to stay.” I woke up in the morning and she was gone. I didn’t know if she was running, or at the gym. Maybe she was at breakfast with her mother. I had no I idea where the hell she was that morning for all I knew she was in Paris smiling back at the Mona Lisa, or hiking down the Grand Canyon, maybe she was in a hot air balloon overlooking some vineyard. All of those things are things she said she always wanted to do. I got dressed poured myself some coffee while my eyes scanned the paper, and my brain ventured to parts unknown. I road to work in silence. The windows blocking out fresh air, as well as the outside world. Work was the same as usual, two meetings, and a two hour lunch break. I couldn’t look at Tammy. After work I met the guys for drinks, laughed on cue, and left with the same feeling I always have at this time of night, except now instead of feeling beautiful it felt heavy and sour. I pulled in next to an empty spot, wishing there was an irritating explanation for why it was not there. The house was dark. I walked into the living room turning on the T.V. It was still quiet. It took me almost twenty four hours to realize my wife had left me. The next day I spent twenty four hours missing, someone I hardly knew anymore. And tomorrow I will spend twenty four hours trying to get her back.