Stories

The Parting, by Andrea N. Carr

#poetry #sex #shortstories

ONE

When I first found my seat near the front of the plane, a man helped me with the overhead compartment. I thanked him and sat down, planning to sleep,
but I couldn’t. We’d taken off two hours ago.
I booked a night time flight purposely, to help with sleep.

I usually stay up all night the day before I travel, packing and stressing if I will make my flight – will I forget anything? The trip is usually impulsive.
This time was different, though. I had known I was going away for a long time. I was calm and ready.

This time I was serious. I was gonna find a place to live in Europe like I’d been saying for years. I was only coming back to say goodbye once I knew where I was living. No one believed me.
They all kept telling me to wait and think about it.

I’ve been thinking. Thinking, how unhappy I am. If I didn’t leave, I felt I would surely die.
“Are we breaking up?” Chris asked.

“No.” I said. But I felt different.

“You can come, when I go, take a leap of faith with me.” I said. I was thinking, when he asked about us, that he doesn’t have the amount of trust needed to come. It felt so right to me.
I wished he felt the need to change things in his life as much as I did. He didn’t. But, I had to go – now or never.

“You only said two weeks ago you was leaving.”
I know.” I kissed him on the cheek as I got up.

“You always say this,” I was getting dressed. “Why do I believe you this time?” he shouted from the front door.

“I’m finally gonna do it.” I put my hand out and tossed. “Here’s the keys to my car, you can have it. Come pick me up tomorrow, take me to the airport.”

I left his apartment and hailed a taxi while he looked for the keys on his porch.

My cell phone was ringing the second the taxi pulled away. I didn’t answer it. I received a text.
I’ll be over later. Why won’t you answer the phone so we can talk more?
I didn’t need to talk more. I couldn’t blame him I guess. For not leaving everything with only two week’s notice. I was leaving anyway, with or without him.

Chris was great in a lot of ways but being supportive wasn’t one of them. He was creative and the only person I know of who can have me hang on his every word.

When he told me bedtime stories, any story really, rubbing my feet – when he spoke in his confident and soothing voice he could distract me from everything… from myself when I worried or stressed. I loved him for taking me to his distant lands, introducing tribes wearing animals he made up.

He would explain why they wore them. Some animals had reflective skin that helped them
during battle. Even detailing maps and why these tribes lived on ridges so you can see an enemy
approach. With tall trees, I can’t remember what he named them, but they made the strongest bows for
battle. He taught me a bow was the most efficient weapon – the most damaging and silent.

I don’t think he knew how much I valued his company. Taking care of my needs when he was with me… he was so gentle and sweet. I needed that. He called me Pretty, as if it’s my name. I smile whenever I think of it.

I took care of him, too, no matter where I was if he needed it. But my help was financial.

I made a lot of money compared to him. He didn’t. I could care less about it. I made enough for us both and then some. He had issues with that. In fact, it came between us from time to time.

I wanted him to be able to come with me anywhere. I told him I would pay his few bills while we were gone. I’ve said it to him in the past. But he didn’t want me doing that. I couldn’t understand why he never went anywhere with me anymore.

“I want my own money,” he said.

“It’s our money to get whatever we need.” But he never felt that way.

“No, it’s your money Angie.”

See, he couldn’t make decisions about it, so I guess it was true. He didn’t do well with spending. So I didn’t trust him with the money. I didn’t care about that aspect of it until he brought it up – not being able to spend it on something. But he wasn’t gonna throw away my cash on his projects.

Chris didn’t plan well or set goals very often. When he did, his losing interest was common – not finishing what he started. He often said he needed money to finish, but I didn’t feel that was it.

He never asked when he needed it or explained before hand… I would have given it to him. His pride got in the way. He’d throw in my face all the time when I wouldn’t speak to him for seven years, after we broke up the first time years ago.
I didn’t see you, I’d say. I wasn’t avoiding you; I would have spoken to you. Without fail, he reminded me of that same issue whenever he’s upset. Honestly, who holds a grudge that long?

TWO

“You’re probably gonna throw me away after we get to Europe. It’s really your money, not ours.” He was immature far as I was concerned though I was His senior by almost ten years. I thought maybe he was insecure. Again he was reminding me of the same old things… I said what I always say about dwelling in the past. He said what he always says about how it hurt him. Blah blah blah. We were like broken records.
“I’m leaving.”
“Why did you start seeing me again, Angie?” He was getting on my nerves now.
“Why did you?” I said. “I was paying you to train me, not have sex with me.” Best results with any personal trainer I ever had. “I told you, I wasn’t trying to be with anyone, that I planned to leave one day, soon – said we could have sex but nothing serious.
You said it sounded like a perfect arrangement. Now it’s my fault. You’re the one with the dick. Stop acting like a victim.”
I didn’t want to argue right before I left. So I stopped.
“It’s something I have to do. I’m gonna die if I say. The stress will kill me. I can’t take it anymore.”
I paused then said, “Forget it; I’ll take a taxi to the airport.”
But I couldn’t leave it there. “What if you come for two months? While I start writing my book – help me get a good start on it. I’m gonna write it while I’m gone and I want your input on the story – you tell great ones.”

At that point, we’d just had sex, did our high-five afterwards. So this was as good a time as any to ask him about going with me. He was in a good mood, but he was sleepy. He would say yes to anything after sex – denying any memory of it the next day.
We had an agreement not to ask each other anything important after we’d just had sex. Because it was so great. We could get each other to agree to just about anything then. We broke that agreement all the time. Now was no different.

“Let me think about it.”

I got angry. “Think about what? You should know if you want to go. You need to go home now.” How could he not want to come to Europe with me? We just had sex.

“See what I mean, Angie?”

“Whatever, get out. You have your excuse now.”

He left with anger and hurt in his eyes. I hated his reluctance but it wasn’t gonna hold me back. I was finally motivated to do what I needed for myself. I wanted his support, besides he wasn’t doing anything worth staying here for.
If I wanted to be encouraged, I couldn’t listen to him. He knew he wasn’t gonna go. Not ever. Even if he loses me because of it. Why not tell me now get it over with?
We hadn’t even scratched the surface of what needed to be said between us.

As the cabin lights dimmed, I decided again I was gonna try to sleep; it was coming, I could feel it. But not yet…
Away. I was getting away from the confusion and chaos in my life, distracting me from the purpose that I live to serve. I tried giving in to the idea of doing nothing great but it never stopped bothering me. I was meant to do something grand that the world was waiting for.
I tried before to find what that is. I still don’t know. But I wanted to go write down some things that I did know because people seemed to listen when I talked to them. The often said how it helped them change their life.
I was proud of that. If I could only do that again somehow, maybe in a book to benefit the many’ then I could die in peace.

I’m getting older and feel that God’s gonna be mad at me for not accepting my fate. I won’t die, wondering and saying, “if I had only –” Tried… felt bad… I won’t be Chris – a quitter. I felt enough greatness for both of us.

This truth to myself would not go unanswered. He could’ve been great with me and done whatever he wanted after I got started. Truly, I loved only a part, a fantasy of him, not what he really was but what he could’ve been had he tried. That’s no longer good enough.

THREE

Omnipotent or not, we had the best conversations and sex I ever had with anyone. I could talk to him about the Egyptian Book of the Dead; Aliens; Paganism; MK Ultra and scientists being on acid discovering the double helix strand in DNA… He always knew what I spoke about. I never had to explain anything to him about what I was referencing because he read a lot of books. In fact,

I often asked him for clarification when we spoke to my friends about the things we read; he didn’t have any because books were his friends. We’d make up stories linking all the chaos together and laugh together in bed before falling asleep.
His mind is brilliant. He exercised my thoughts but held me back with his lack of motivation. I hated the uncertainty; not knowing which part was coming over when I saw him next.

With that thought I picked up my bags and left, heading to Lax in a taxi. I would board a flight to Zurich, then Malaga Spain after a lengthy layover. I won’t arrive for two days, to my final destination.

As sleep teased, I thought about Martin Luther King Jr. as had when I first sat down on this flight… “Free at last.” I laughed silly to myself. But that too, made sense. Freedom from purpose wasn’t working in my life anymore. I thought about something else he’d said, “In the end we will remember, not the words of our enemies but the silence of our friends.”

I tossed my pack of cigarettes in the trash as I boarded the plane. I wasn’t looking back either – I couldn’t. I loved everyone; I still didn’t understand why I had to leave them all to do what I needed to. But everyone had become a distraction from having purpose in my life. How could I explain that to anyone?

Quickly, I tucked it all away along with my carryon suitcase in the overhead compartment. The older man trying to pass behind me was helping to open it and get my bag inside. But I knew, sometime in the near future, the guilt I was feeling would surface again. I was tired of putting others before myself – not feeling the appreciation I knew I deserved. It was no one’s fault. Things just turn out that way. Not now, though, I was putting those days behind me for good.

I could hear two passengers behind me talking. One was the old man talking about his rags to riches and rags again story. Explaining to Jack, the younger man sitting in the seat next to him, what life was about. He spoke about his three dead wives and to not worry about anything.

“Don’t get angry no matter what. Life’s too short for anger.”
I remember thinking as I dozed off to sleep that I wished I had something else to eat.

No wonder he had three dead wives, with that lack of passion he likely bored them to death. But I understood what he meant.

* * *

I’m out of my element when negative energy strikes.
Infiltrating my being, hindering my existence,
altering my path to… becoming.
My world originated in the dark and quiet of peace
perpetuating the positive energy of growth
still living here in my heart – Outside of love’s vibe.


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