A Long Ride Home

Posted on October 25, 2010

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Meta: So, day 1 of “practice” was not amazing. It took nearly an hour to write just over 300 words. But it’s all okay. I’m going to hang onto the fantasy that it will be easier when I’m working on a single story rather than a random writing prompt. And hopefully I’ll at least build the words/hour as the week progresses.

* * * * * *

“So you’re mad at me because I talked to Sharon tonight?” Mike said, breaking the silence that lasted from Elm Street to the 105.

“I didn’t say that,” Christine replied in a flat tone. She stared past the dashboard into the never-ending darkness beyond their lights.

“Oh yes you did. With your standing in the corner with your arms crossed all night. You were a fucking billboard for your misery.” He accelerated up a hill, just a little too fast.

“I was just uncomfortable.” Her stomach rose into her chest on the downhill, and she closed her eyes to ease her motion sickness.

“Yeah, like you are every time we go out. When does that stop? When do I get the old Christine back?”

She wanted to remind him that he cheated on the old Christine, but she knew the script to that conversation, and she didn’t want to go over her lines again. She had no idea when the hurt would go away, if it ever did.

“I don’t know.” And she didn’t. Mostly, she didn’t know why she always adopted a conciliatory tone while Mike got to be angry and resentful. She only felt bad for trying to make it work, since it proved to be so damn hard for both of them.

His breathing slowed and their speed leveled off. He wasn’t angry anymore, she could tell. She could just make out his expression in the moonlight, and he looked tired. Sad. And she knew it was that look, the glimpse of him vulnerable in his weathered face, sunken in his broad shoulders, that bound her to him inextricably.

She uncrossed her arms, the defensive stance that she found herself in most of the time, and sunk into the seat. They were almost home, but she was in no mood to fight off sleep. She felt his hand brush along her arm to find her hand. And as she dozed off, she wanted to hang on to the answer, to remember something about being soft.

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Posted in: writing prompts