what isn’t by ingridf

2 May

“It’s not yours,” she said, looking down at her hands that twisted a tissue into a ball.

“What,” Mike said, “what do you mean?”

“I … I’m sorry Mike. I wanted it to be yours but it’s not. The dates just don’t add up. You were… on the road when… ” Shelley stammered looking up at him furtively with red eyes and then back at her hands.

Mike sat next to her, stunned. He didn’t quite know what he should feel. In that second he felt a huge gaping blank. They sat silently on the park bench, not looking at each other, a foot apart. Mike folded his hands and put his head down, as if prayerful to know what he do, how he should respond. They both looked ahead at the dog walkers, the joggers and the strollers, at the families and the playground.

“Aren’t you going to say something,” the girl asked after the silence was too much for her, pushing her hair behind her ears, sounding somewhat belligerent.

“What do you want me to say?” he asked with measured control. “Do you want me to say I’m glad you’ve been sleeping with someone else? Do want me to say I’m happy you’ve been lying to me?”

“Well at least you could care,” replied Shelley, “we were together for four years and you’re just sitting there like a statue or something. Didn’t I mean anything to you?” A wave of anger rolled over him, that she could have the audacity to feel that he owed her anything. He owed her nothing.

“I care to never see you again,” he said, coldly. He got up, stuffed his hands in his pockets and walked away from her. He looked back at her briefly, and saw that she looked small in the park bench. Small and vulnerable. But, he told himself, he didn’t care. She and that baby she carried were no longer his responsibility. No longer his. Not his baby. They weren’t his.

As he walked away from her he felt his heart implode and all of the hopes he had felt for them, leave. All of his resolutions of finding a steady job, of quitting his band, of making a family, left him. He had had almost made changes, big ones to accommodate a new life and didn’t know whether he felt regret or relief.

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4 Responses to “what isn’t by ingridf”

  1. juleshg May 3, 2010 at 3:59 am #

    Poor Mike. Part of me just wants to give him a hug and say: it’ll get better. You did a great job capturing how torn he felt in that moment. Part sadness and betrayal; part relief that he could continue with his life as he had planned.

    • ingridfnl May 3, 2010 at 7:48 pm #

      I’m always surprised by what happens with characters emotionally… it’s almost like I don’t really make choices for them… I wanted him to be OK too…

  2. jmforceton May 3, 2010 at 8:20 pm #

    Off balance but only for a moment. Given the facts of the case, a great decision. At least she was honest in the end. What was she hoping for?

    • ingridfnl May 3, 2010 at 9:18 pm #

      That is a very good question. I’m not sure if I know… I suspect she wanted to hurt him.

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