ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Books, Literature, and Writing»
  • Commercial & Creative Writing»
  • Creative Writing

Disconnect

Updated on November 26, 2013
weestro profile image

Pete Fanning is an aspiring author and full time Dad. Blogging at father knows little and lunch break fiction

Source

On Monday night, the bar was crowded. Twenty something’s piled in for $1 Pabst and karaoke. I waited for a beer near the bar as a scruffy red head moaned through Paul Simon’s Still Crazy After All These Years, changing the word years to beers.

The witty sap wore a blue zip up hooded sweatshirt with the sleeves cut off over a t-shirt. I would never be that hip. I thought back to the last time I had actually listened to music. Most of my time was spent watching podcast or Netflix while Melanie was at the gym, or at work, or at home.

The bartender pointed to me and being put on the spot I ordered bourbon. The plan had been to stick to beer, but after the incident at the house I could use a shot of something strong. He returned with my drink and I started a tab.

The talk had been a mess. Pulling into the driveway, I parked behind her car, just as I had done countless times before. I took a deep breath before getting out and climbing the flagstone path to our front porch, keeping my strides loose and casual while my heart raced.

I knocked, on the door to my home. Melanie let me in, quiet and solemn as I took a seat on the LL Bean couch that was supposed to be Sea Grass but due to a shipping error had arrived in denim. Melanie liked it and in turn repainted the walls to accommodate. Maybe it wasn’t a mistake after all.

I fought the nagging urge to pull out my phone, instead tugging on my foot that I pulled onto my lap. I had been nervous, anxious rather. We used to talk at length about topics unique to us. Inside jokes, secrets, mannerisms that would cause us to giggle like schoolchildren. A stranger’s ill fitting shirt, a family member’s accent, my mother’s make up, all of it became our little secret jokes, where we’d laugh until we cried in the kitchen. I looked to the fireplace, noticing a few glass shards glittering on the floor. Then I turned to Melanie, who swallowed hard before clearing her throat.

“I can’t be in the same house as you right now.”

Melanie never wore makeup, maybe some eyeliner when she was getting glitzed up for a dinner or party, but she wasn’t the type to smear on the goop. She didn’t need it. But as we faced off, with her on the love seat (yes denim), and me on the couch, I saw for the first time the slight, fine wrinkles near her eyes. Mel was still beautiful and her figure hadn't softened since the day I met her. Perhaps it was the crying or it could have been the angle of the sun, but she bore a faint burden of age.

This coming from a man who was shaped like a pear.

She was still talking--with her hands like she does when making a point--and I picked up at the end. I usually caught the beginning of what she had to say and the end, skipping the middle entirely. After a while you know the routine.

“I just feel like I don’t even know who you are anymore…”

The last sentence hung in the room. The words, the tone, the tremble in her voice, it was all new territory. Her face was somber, as though she’d just read a eulogy. I wasn’t prepared for the emotion. She stared at the wall and the bulky silence intensified the mundane sounds of the household. The ceiling fan screamed with each rotation, the refrigerator groaned from the kitchen. Outside, a mower grumbled about its business. I had planned on coming by and offering a half-assed apology and then maybe squeezing in some World of Warcraft before dinner.

But things were different.

She sniffed, awaiting a response. I sat my phone on the cushion, stubborn and proud. And for reasons I’m still unsure of, I shrugged and said,

“If that’s what you want.”

She closed her eyes. The frustrated Melanie smile peeked out, making its first and only appearance of the evening.. After nearly 15 years together I could muster only five words--a lame response that didn’t measure up to the weight of the situation. But I was unprepared, ambushed by her demeanor. Her eyes charged with vigor and I could tell she wasn’t going to let me off the hook that easy.

“There’s nobody else Mark. It’s us…we are the problem…”

I felt my head shaking as I let out a heavy sigh. My face must displayed my disbelief because she stopped midsentence and hardened to stone. The eyes, the twinkling eyes I had stared into during our vows, on dinner dates, after making love in bed, were now alive and glowing, narrowed, flinty and harsh.

“Do you want to say something?

“So just like that you want out?”

My words surprised me with their rancor, spilling from my mouth without thought. I plodded ahead, fearing only silence more than her rebuttal. I continuing onward as I’d done before, repeating her words, mangling them with sounds and emphasis to make them sound silly and pointless. It was something I’d always done yet never noticed how juvenile and predictable I had become. The room had shifted. I was overmatched. My snide tone and head shakes weren’t belittling her, but instead only making her angrier. I was no longer talking to my wife, instead an adversary who was strong willed and ready for a fight.

“Just like that? What is it we do here Mark?” She pounced, flinging an arm into the air, shifting to the edge of the loveseat as though she were on the verge of lunging over the coffee table and strangling me. I felt blindsided, and went on the offensive before I could think better of it.

“Well, I’m not the one cheating, over there with our neighbor. Couldn’t you have at least been a little less obvious?”

Her mouth fell open. She brought a hand to her forehead in disbelief. I felt the gravity of my accusation becoming heavier with each spin of the fan. I wanted her to speak, just to cover the pressing echo of my words.

“Back to that. Of course. I’m cheating on you with the neighbor. “

Her hand fell to her lap, exhausted and weary. She turned to me, her eyes a flash of gold that used to remind me of leaves changing colors in the fall but were now cloudy and dull from the years of monotony. I used to get lost in her eyes, now I passed them in the hallway without a second glance.

“That makes it easier for you, I suppose. After supporting you for over a year, paying the bills only to come home and find you wearing jogging pants and playing video games, I have the nerve to go out and cheat on you. You lie to me about money, contribute nothing, and now you accuse me of having an affair?” She was standing, pacing the room. “We have no friends, we do nothing. Mark you’re almost 37 years old. Get a job, stop being a child. Sometimes I feel like I did become a mother.”

For a fleeting moment—a mere heartbeat— I saw the regret on her face, piercing the numbness. Her lips parted as though she were on the verge of an apology, but then snapped shut. In all of our fights over the years we had few unspoken rules. The fact that she disregarded the sacred topic of children let me know that it was over between us.

This was real.

Perhaps it was the panic, or the fear of what I saw in her eyes. I went berserk, yanking out my wallet and fumbling through the plastic.

“Here, I’ll make this easy for you. Take the cards!” I whipped the bank card across the room, its flight curved towards the wall and hit a picture of her parents. “and the credit card,” I slung the flimsy plastic as though I were dealing a poker game, it hit the floor and slid under the door into the closet. “I’ll go get my things and be out of your life!”

Storming out of the house I realized the car was also in her name. I jabbed my hand in my pockets and then slung the keys at the front porch, hitting the storm door with clap. The ferns on the porch, the welcome sign, the wind chime ringing in the wind, it was all a sham. I slung my two bags slung over my shoulders and started up the street.

Just like a man.

Another bourbon. I hoped to drown out Melanie’s crying on the sofa. Real crying, vocal and messy, like after a natural disaster crying. I could still hear it over a drunken rendition of Livin’ on a Prayer.

A burning swallow. I knocked into the crowd looking for a place to sit. I had $100 cash in my wallet. My things were back at the hotel. I had maybe $800 in old bills in my backpack, mostly in blue seal $5’s and 10’s from the thirties, a couple red seal $100’s, and a roll of 1976 bicentennial two dollar bills. They were a gift from my grandparents when I was a kid and now they were all I had left, along with a bag full of clothes and two pairs of shoes. I was homeless and alone, and with each sip of bourbon I couldn’t have cared less.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • weestro profile image
      Author

      Pete Fanning 4 years ago from Virginia

      Thanks Genna, I appreciate it!

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 4 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Very good, Weestro! I sooo look forward to more. :-)

    • weestro profile image
      Author

      Pete Fanning 4 years ago from Virginia

      Thanks torrilynn, I appreciate it!

    • torrilynn profile image

      torrilynn 4 years ago

      this was a very good story. I can't wait for more.

    • weestro profile image
      Author

      Pete Fanning 4 years ago from Virginia

      Thanks W, I appreciate the input! It's hard to post them as stand alone stories but I wanted to get some feedback.

    • W1totalk profile image

      W1totalk 4 years ago

      This is really good. It moves very fast and within the characters mood. It's unresolved, messy and nasty. Great Chapter. I felt really uncomfortable reading it but its good. I'd be curious to see where it goes. Great hub weestro.

    • weestro profile image
      Author

      Pete Fanning 4 years ago from Virginia

      Thanks Becky, I appreciate the read!

    • Becky Katz profile image

      Becky Katz 4 years ago from Hereford, AZ

      Heartbreaking, and very well written.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)