Thursday, July 3, 2014

The Pink Post-It Note- A Short Story

Hello, faithful readers!

As you know I attended a writing conference last week. Such a wonderful week of learning and friendship! Unfortunately, my brain is on creative overload and between processing everything I learned, going through Workshop Withdrawal, working on a new story idea, and trying to sew this week has kind of flown by.

And, in the process I have neglected my poor little blog :/

Hopefully, I shall have a regular post at the beginning of next week. And, in the meantime, I hope you enjoy this short story I wrote off of a writing prompt ^.^




Write About the Pink Post-It Note

She left it where I could see it. Plain as day, there it sat stuck to the coffee pot, the pink post-it note, glaring at me with its bright color and harsh black letters.

I’m sorry, Graham, it’s through. I don’t think it can be fixed. :/

That’s all it said, as if those twelve words and a downcast emoticon were enough to make up for the years we’d spent together. Forget all we’d been through. Forget that there had been good times, not just bad. Forget that a vow was a vow and when two people stood before God and said “for better or for worse” they were supposed to mean it.

Maybe I had said some stupid things last night, maybe I’d spoken out of turn, but so had she. We both said a lot if things we didn’t mean. People did that when they were mad. It was just how a fight worked.

I never thought she’d meant it when she said she was through.

She’d said it before. Too many times for me to count. She said it every time we fought but then we always made up before she could. She always gave me that chance.

But, apparently, I had used up my last chance. Apparently, she’d meant it this time.

I’d overslept. I’d meant to get up before her, make her some coffee, bring her breakfast in bed, maybe even attempt to write a little poem about how sorry I was. There was nothing like one of my poems to soften her mood. Once she’d start reading one, she’d get to laughing so hard it was impossible for her to stay mad at me.

I snatched the note from the pot, crumpling it in my fist and shoving it into my pants pocket. Marching back up the stairs, I slammed the bedroom door behind me. Fine, if that’s the way she wanted it, that’s the way it was going to be.

She’d been just as much at fault as me. Maybe even more, since she’d been the one to start things in the first place. She’d screamed and sworn just as hard as me, tore into me with her spiteful words harder than I ever even dreamed of tearing into her.

And just because I hadn’t tucked my tail this morning, bowed and scraped to make amends, she left. As if there was something wrong with the fact that sometimes a man can’t just help sleeping in. It probably never crossed her mind that working all day and then coming home to her nagging tired a man out.

Of course it didn’t occur to her. All she’d have to say is that it probably didn’t occur to me that she worked too. She’d just turn it around to her, make it all about how she had it even harder than me.

Well fine, she could have it her way. Let’s see how long she made it before she realized you couldn’t live as expensively as she did on the pay she made. Let’s see how long it took her before she came to me, waiting to be taken back.

Let her come. But, this time, it was she who was going to have to tuck her tail. It was she who was going to have to do the bowing and scraping.

*****

My phone rang just after noon. I was eating my lunch- a sandwich I’d had to run out and buy since I’d forgotten to make something in my haste to get out of the house. I liked the feeling of it, the power of being able to go out and buy whatever I wanted to eat for lunch, make my own decision. Ellie always said it wasn’t smart to buy out every day, that it made more sense to pack a lunch.

 Of course, it wasn’t impractical to eat out on nights when she didn’t feel like cooking. No, then it was a well deserved treat.

Maybe I’d start buying my lunch every day.

I didn’t answer the first call, since it was my lunch hour and I didn’t have to answer it. But, when it started ringing again within the next minute, I picked it up. Whoever it was, they were certainly a persistent caller.

“Graham Quinlin.”
                
"Hey, Sweetie.”s
                
Ellie. How could she act so naturally? Like this was just her calling me the same way she did every day at lunch? What kind of a fool did she take me for? Did she really expect me to play along, act like she hadn’t just walked out on me with nothing more than a pink post-it to say goodbye?
                
“Ellie.” It was all I could manage to say.
                
She let out a little sigh. “Oh, Graham, honey, I’m sorry. Are you still sore about last night? I hadn’t oughtn’t to have said those things.”
                
No, she hadn’t oughtn’t to. But, did she really think I was sore about that? Was she really that stupid? I’d lived with her for enough years to know that she got confused sometimes. But, I’d never thought her to be an idiot.
                
“Graham?”
                
“No, I’m not mad.” It was a lie. I was beyond mad. But, I wasn’t about to give her the satisfaction of hearing me say it. She wanted to play it this way, fine, but she wasn’t going to hear any complaints from me.
                
“You sound mad. Honey, listen, what more can I say?” Her voice was desperate, pleading, like she really wanted to make up. Did she seriously think it was that simple? “I can’t take back what I said, but honestly, if I could, I would. Please believe me. I was wrong, Graham.”
                
“Is that all you called to say?” She was going to have to admit how wrong she was a hundred more times and about a lot more things before I’d believe it.
                
She let out a sigh of defeat, as if she was accepting that I wasn’t going to play it her way. Her first smart move of the day. “No, I called to ask what you wanted to do about the coffee pot. Do you want me to get one on the way home or do you want to?”
               
Coffee pot? She could seriously talk about a coffee pot at a time like this? “What’s wrong with the one I’ve got?”
                
“Did it work for you this morning?” she asked, sounding completely baffled.
               
  I started to tell her that yes, it worked just fine, like it did every morning, when I remembered. I hadn’t made coffee that morning. I’d been too upset. I’d waited and made some here at work. “I didn’t use it this morning.”
                
“Because you got the note I left on it, right?” she pressed.
                
I let out a long breath. Could she really bring it up that casually? As if it where nothing more than a little note left to remind me to lock the door before I left? “Yeah, that’s why. What does it have to do with getting a new coffee pot?”
                
Keep her on track, keep the conversation going the way I wanted it, stay in control. She could play all the mind games she wanted, I wasn’t falling for them.
                
“Graham, honey, you’re not making sense.”
                
I wasn’t making sense? Was I the one who couldn’t handle a little fight? Was I the one who left? Was I the one trying to discuss it by going roundabout by talking about buying a new coffee pot?
                
“If you got my note, then you know the coffee pot’s broken. I was going to make you some before I left, but I couldn’t get it to turn on. I thought about waking you, but you were sleeping so soundly and you work so hard I figured you deserved to sleep. So, I just left the note.”
                
I’m sorry, Graham, it’s through. I don’t think it can be fixed. :/
                
She’d talking about coffee pot. That blasted pink post-it hadn’t been about our relationship at all. She’d meant my coffee maker. Not us, not our marriage. She hadn’t walked out on me after all.
               
I’d never been so happy to be wrong in all of my life.
                
“I left you lunch in the fridge too, with another note. Did you get that?”
                
“No, no, Ellie, I didn’t,” I said, unable to contain the joy that burst forth in me. “I was in a hurry, I’m sorry, sweetie.”
                
“It’s all right, it was just some leftovers. Are you all right, Graham?”
                
“Fine, Ellie, fine.” I was grinning so hard my face began to hurt. “About the coffee pot, let’s go and get one tonight, after dinner. Maybe we could go out somewhere. Somewhere fancy. It’s been a long time since we’ve had a real date.”
                
“A date?” Ellie accompanied the question with a little laugh of joy. “Graham Quinlin, are you sure you’re all right?”
                
“Fine, Ellie, I’m fine,” I told her, meaning it. In fact, I was beyond fine. Today was just about the most perfect day of my life.

And, there you have it! Let me know what you think?

2 comments:

  1. That's great! and made me laugh:D

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wow! Jenny, this is excellent. You really had me worried, anxious, then sooooo relieved. Thank you for this window into how we really operate.

    ReplyDelete