This is my entry to @atc74 Angelina’s second Break the Zone Challenge. The goal is to break us out of our comfort zone. This challenge was to write from an angsty/strong woman song prompt.
As I am quite comfortable writing angst, I kept it short and tried my hand at zero dialog.
Hope y’all enjoy it!
He’s been coming here
for longer than she cares to remember. It’s the way they’ve always been. She has a house and a job. She has a life of
her own. But she knows this is his. She understands that this is
how it has to be. How it always will be. She is content to get what
she can. Whenever she can.
She can hear his car, as it pulls in the drive.
She can whisper a prayer. Thank God, he’s alive. She always worries about the state he will be in
when it’s late and even the shadows are sleeping. She can meet him at
the door, catch him when he falls. She used to patch him up and put
him to bed. But now he’s more broken than ever. Her stitches and bandages
can’t hold him together. She can even believe that it isn’t his fault.
She can keep the bourbon flowing and the touches gentle. But
she can’t save him.
Sometimes she dreams that he’s caught in a
stream. And the water keeps pulling him down. She reaches for him,
as he pulls her in. She wakes just before she drowns. Barely awake she feels his grip on her arm, she
ignores her own fears.His terror is real and alive. It is
next to her in bed, thrashing. She tries to wake him gently and suffers a
bruise or two for her efforts. His broken apologies fall on deaf ears as
she holds him. His grief tears him apart.
She can make his coffee, in the cold light of
day. She can make his excuses, tell the boss he’ll be late. She fields his calls from Sam and Cass. And now,
even from Mary. He needs this. He needs their time. But it’s
getting worse. She tries to forget the nights that the tears come too
easily. She can wave at the neighbors, then kiss him goodbye.
And not say a word ‘bout what happened last night. Watching his
tail lights fade in the distance, she knows she loves him. Always will.
But she can’t save him.
She can remember the man that he was. The first time she saw him, she fell. He was young and
cocky. Reckless and free. A sweetheart packaged as a bad boy. And
still shed a tear for what he’s become. A man who is shattering, slowly
before her. His smiles are dimmer, few and far between. The
recklessness is there, along with self-loathing and doubt. She can
live in that house until the day she sees that it’s only herself she can save.
Her door will always be open for him. She will wait with bated
breath and open arms. But she can’t save him.
She can’t be sure when
he will show up next. She hopes that he continues to seek her when he needs.
And she knows he will never chose her above the rest. But she hopes he
understands that she’ll wait. She is terrified of the day that he decides
not to show up on her doorstep again. That day, she’ll know she hasn’t
failed. 'Cause nothing can change until he saves himself.
She will hold her head
high and continue to live. One day at a time, she will soldier on.
She will continue to stock bandages, bourbon, and pie. She will
wait for the man who holds her heart. Because she knowshe will save the world, but she can’t save him.
what could I say if I said I wouldn’t shouldn’t care but I could’ve shared some startling apprehension undeveloped thoughts wreak havoc water wastes in the woods too full and I’m drenched in my own self doubt doubling as a dire need for you to believe believe in me like I never could that I will be all that I am more than I can stand in the late evening shadows that cast themselves across the floor thundering as night can’t keep itself away
The hearth, even unlit, is a welcome sight after your 16-hour work day. You start a small fire and place your hands as close as you can get to it, palms absorbing the warmth and light, instantly making you feel happy and safe.
You hear the person who triples that feeling, Kili, fumbling around in back of the small house. You’re glad he’s not having another meeting with his uncle, Fili and the other Dwarves. Every time Kili returns from those mysterious gatherings, he looks as though he has the weight of the world on his shoulders.
As much as he wants to share every detail, he doesn’t say much. It’s just some business affairs of the Dwarves, he tells you.
Regardless of the late outings, though, Kili always does as he said he would from the start of your marriage: “No matter where I am, either I’ll be back in time for supper, or I’ll be back in time for bed.” That last part means before midnight. And there’s absolutely no place he’d rather be than curled up under the covers with you.