Friday, May 18, 2007

A Strike of Lightning

Today I got my divorce papers in the mail. They were signed by the judge on 4/11/07....exactly two and a half years to the day that I left to start a new life........

A Strike of Lightening
November 7, 2006
Written for Adv. Creative Writing (Got an A in that class.)

When the lightning struck Emma the dagger like point entered through the top of her head and coursed through her body, discharging through the soles of her feet, and rooting her into the blacktop of the parking lot. Her blue Chevy Trailblazer shimmed in the summer heat as it reflected off the blacktop, making the truck look like a desert mirage sitting atop the flatbed truck.
A young male voice on the other end of the phone informed her that she would need to come out into the parking lot in order to remove her personal belongings from that very truck, as he was there to repossess it.

“What the fuck am I doing?,” Emma whispered aloud to herself as she stood there, the young man occupied with fishing her 500 bank deposit slips from above her sun visor, her CD carry case from the glove box and her umbrella from somewhere under the back seat.

Too shocked to even panic, Emma just stood there, hoping that no one from her office would choose this time to venture out to the parking lot. With that thought just barely complete a voice behind her said, “Hey, what’s the matter with your car? Why is it on a flatbed?”

“Ah…ah…I had trouble with the steering on my way in to the office this morning, so the mechanic sent a flatbed to pick it up,” replied Emma to Sara, the office receptionist, who often knew too much about other peoples business. Satisfied with that response, Sara went on her way, leaving Emma to glance uncomfortably at the repo guy, who was now standing next to her with all her car valuables in his hands.

“Here’s the number you can call if you plan to get your truck back,” he said, handing her his card along with her pile of belongings.

“Thanks. I’ve already called my husband and he’s taking care of it,” she replied, thinking back a few minutes to her hurried conversation with Anthony when she furiously whispered into the phone, asking him how this could be happening.

There was nothing left to do, but stand and watch the repo guy climb up into the cab of his truck and drive off with hers.

Emma could not allow herself to think about what had just happened. She knew that if she started to cry, she might never stop. In that short span of time, almost all her worst fears had manifested themselves in the form of a truck on a flatbed. Breathing deeply, she walked back into her office and pretended that nothing had happened. She realized that she’d become very good at putting things that bother her, away. Hiding them in dark corners of her mind, never to be exposed to sunlight or examined in any way.

“Are you picking me up from work?” she asked Anthony, calling him when she got back to her desk.

“Of course I am,” he responded. “I’m so sorry baby. I swear I thought I had it under control. I called the bank to arrange paying them. They never said anything about repossessing the car.”
Possibly in shock, his words were meaningless to her. It was almost as if he were speaking a different language, one that she no longer understood, nor realized now, that she wanted to invest any more time to learn.

Somehow, she managed to pretend that all was well and get through the rest of her day. If nothing else, work preoccupied her, allowing her not to think about what had happened. The lightning strike had numbed her. The flash, blinding her and making her feel as if she was no longer who she use to be.

At the end of her work day, she left at her usual time, walking out as if to get in her car, the one that was no longer in the parking lot. Instead, she got into Anthony’s car and could barely speak to him. He did nothing but apologize the entire way home. “I’m so sorry that happened to you,” he said, over and over again. Gazing out her window, not wanting to look at him, her only response was, “I know.”

What he didn’t know though, was that one of her greatest fears had come true, and she somehow survived it. What he didn’t know was that for years she worried about the possibility of loosing the house they lived in to foreclosure and in that one blinding flash of lightning, she realized that her house was just a house. It was a noose around their necks that just kept getting tighter with every day that passed. And what she also realized in that flash of light was that she no longer loved this man sitting next to her. That the years of constantly worrying about when the next shoe would drop had taken a huge toll on her and that she could no longer live this kind of life. A life of mortgaging, and re-mortgaging the house that she loved so much, of creditors calling so many times over the course of the day that no one in the house ever answered the phone anymore, and that his desire to never talk to her about money, or bills, allowing her to worry alone, had killed all that she ever felt for him.

Riding next to him in his car as he held her hand, all she could think about, was how she would ever end this. How would she walk away from a man she had known longer then she had not known him; leave this person who was the first love of her life, the father of her two children? How would she explain to others who never saw any indication of discord between them, that she was ending this 26 year marriage because she could not live the rest of her life, so desperately unhappy? How would she ever say the words, “I don’t love you any more,” or the words, “I don’t want to be married to you anymore?”

These were the thoughts that she had put away in that dark place inside of her. The thoughts that came spilling out, as if the door of an overloaded closet had been opened, letting everything fall out and onto the floor. Here they all were, scattered about the floor, only instead of things like old fishing poles, hats and gloves or shoe boxes, they were the random bits of her life over the past 26 years….laying there crushed and broken in front of her….shards of broken glass, reflecting her image back to her, an image that she no longer recognized.

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