(This is actually still in the rough draft phase. It was meant to be short and may some day get the revision and any additions it may need.)
“Who is she,” Lori yelled.
Jim said nothing. he stared at her intently, words seemingly choked up in his throat. He kept his hands in his pockets, his eyes drifting from her to the floor.
“Well I hope it was worth it. Three years of my life and I have to start over.” Jim shook his head. She wasn’t sure if it was regret or something else that kept him from saying anything. Tears were now falling off his face and down the front of his shirt.
She finished packing the bag, grabbed the handle and walked over to him. “You’ve talked to her every night this week. Locking yourself away in the room and the phone rings and I hear you talking through the walls.” She dropped the suitcase and walked over to the phone. The old green rotary phone she didn’t realize they made anymore. She scooped it up with one hand and stared at it. His arm came up in a pleading motion. His eyes were hollow and almost dried through the tears. Then she threw it at him. It didn’t hit him, but crashed to the floor, the receiver spinning across the hardwood.
Jim dropped to his knees, touching the phone and looking at her as he put the receiver back. His face said forgive me. His eyes insinuating there was more to the story. Without looking back he ran from the house. She was angry but didn’t want anymore lies. She sat on the bed and started to cry. Trying to find a way to work this out. She thought intently about the situation when it occurred to her. She walked over to the nightstand that the phone sat on and pulled it away from the wall. There was no phone jack. There was no cable on the phone. Realistically the phone shouldn’t work. And then it rang.
She stared at it for a moment, fear oozing out of every pore of her body and lifted the receiver and put it to her ear.
“Take care of him,” a voice on the other end said and then it clicked. Her hand released the receiver, the phone once again crashing to the floor. The voice she heard was not that of another woman, but the voice of a child. She tore through the night stand, rummaging through paperwork and keys, when she found the key. She knew what it was for. She had seen the lock box in the back of his closet before. Pulling it out she inserted the key, turning it until the gentle click. Inside she found photos of Jim and a young girl. Along with her death certificate and the reason for death. The daughter she never knew he had who died of cancer before they ever met.
With the last photo she ran from the house, knowing where she would find him. She hadn’t understood. She never asked. He was in the cemetery, staring down on a grave stone. He looked at her with eyes screaming apologies.
“I understand,” she whispered.