(This is something I wrote for this week's Three Word Wednesday. The words were: bridge, disturbed, still.)
Christine crossed the bridge into Carrollton five times a week. Ten, if you counted the trip back. It was the trips back when she felt the most alone.
Crossing over into Nebo, the sleepy town lay quiet and still. The streets all but deserted. As she passed the darkened houses, she would think about her friends, all married now. Why wasn't that her?
All she had ever truly aspired to be was a faithful partner and loving mother. Instead, she was driving in from work at 11 o'clock on a Thursday night, to an empty apartment where the appliances and furniture seemed to take on more of a human personality with each passing day.
She had promised herself she'd stop waiting tables before she turned thirty. When thirty came and went, she amended it to thirty-five. Now, forty didn't seem so bad.
The prospect of changing jobs seemed too intimidating. It was easier to just keep doing what she had always done. Tips were decent, and she knew she couldn't make this much money doing anything else she was qualified to do.
Most of the time, the only people she spoke to all day were people at work. That had disturbed her at some point years ago, but by now she had grown used to it. Friends were busy with their families. She never made an effort to get to know her neighbors. And her mother hadn't uttered a word to anyone in over three years.
Christine felt like she had missed some very important lesson or step somewhere along the way. Each day felt like the world was speeding by, leaving her farther behind.
No one cared if she slept until 3. No one noticed when she came home late at night. Would anyone notice if she wasn't there at all? She wondered that often.
Her phone rang. She recognized the number. Her heart sank into her stomach.
"This is Lydia with Lakeshore Assisted Living."
"It's your mother. I... think you should come right over."
"My mother? What happened!"
"Your mother... just asked to see you."
"We may lose our focus. There's just too many words we're never meant to learn. And we don't feel so alive..."