Sunday, March 30, 2008

The Wall

(I wrote this for 3 Word Wednesday. This week's words were: Glass, Question, Token)

"Why won't you fight for us?"

I was somewhat taken aback by her question, or more accurately that she had said anything at all. After an hour and thirty-three minutes of going back and forth, airing all our grievances and leaving all that once was good buried beneath the bad, I had expected her to just keep walking. But right before reaching the door, she stopped, turned around and made one final stand.

For the first time, she began to cry, causing her makeup to run in dark streaks down her face. And in that instant she looked like an angel, completely vulnerable, pleading to me.

But I was never much of a fighter. I stared towards her, careful to never let our eyes meet, with a much practiced stoic look. The wall around my heart personified on my face. If I cared, I didn't want her to know. And I wasn't sure why.

Somehow that is what we had turned into. Silly fights over who loved who the most had twisted into an unspoken competition over who could care less. Kisses, the kind that sent my stomach into a storm of butterflies and left me gasping for air, had turned into nothing more than token gestures. And "I love you" was spoken more out of habit or obligation now than anything else. I didn't know how it started, but I knew too well this was the end.

I wanted to say something, but "I'm sorry" was the only thing that came to mind and seemed pathetically inadequate by that point. Instead, I sat in silence, watching the last of the embers die, three years reduced to ashes, and never being sure if this was a mistake.

And so, she left, slamming the door with such force that it shook my heart and rattled the glass in the window pane. But it didn't break. It used to, but I fixed that.

"The end is coming. She don't even feel it. It's a strange sensation. I'm almost happy. Well I believe that I'm just plain tired..."


  1. This paragraph and the last two lines says it all, so beautifully
    But I was never much of a fighter. I stared towards her, careful to never let our eyes meet, with a much practiced stoic look. The wall around my heart personified on my face. If I cared, I didn't want her to know. And I wasn't sure why.

    Love how you're exploring the same subject from different angles

    You have the amazing knack for incredible lines

    I would love to see you take this further. You have the ability to be the new "Bridges of Madison County" writer for your generation, whatever it's called.

    It's a rare gift Bone, but rare gifts like Ming Vases need to be taken care of, and delicately polished

    As you're my tee, I know you can. Would never pick somebody who left such an amazing first comment if I didn't believe :)

    Treasure that gift. I do.

  2. This was so incredibly sad.

    I think that anyone who has ever been in love, especially in love with someone like your main character in this piece who refuses to fight for something - even the most important thing in the entire world, knows just how much she's suffering through. Because it's not really about fighting, fighting, it's about the willingness to make it work. To say, "It's worth it, you're worth it, we're worth it." Worth going out of a comfort zone for. Worth doing something one wouldn't normally do for just anyone, or anything.

    I hope that at some point in time, you can say that about your own writing. We've been saying it all along, but us saying it isn't enough. Your writing IS worth it, Bone. Know that. Understand that. And then do something about it.

    And just remember to grace the blogosphere with your presence every once in awhile once you've become famous ;)

  3. Like Pia & TC said...this is really good.

    It is weird how couples will do that fighting over who loves the other the beginning it is kinda cute and eventually it moves to annoying and if it makes it you realize there isn't any prize for winning this argument, if you really do love that is your prize.

  4. very realistic, I feel like I'm there to witness this argument, this end to a relationship.

  5. this was a very appealing piece.. one,, because i do not believe i have ever read a piece that so poignantly allowed us to see what it is we allow ourselves to become where we are grasping at the last short hairs of a relationship,, and two,, because you wrote it with impeccable talent... thank you bone.. this was a work of art....

  6. You have captured thatongoing battle between mind and heart; the battle of "logics" and "emotions".

    Your "just plain tired" at the end suggests there can never be any real winners. There is just the next moment in time, as always.

    a great write!

  7. Pia - Thank you so much. I definitely need to make more time to practice and polish.

    And by my generation, you mean the sitcom generation, I'm sure :)

    TC - Thank you. It's hard to know sometimes when it's time to let go. Either way, it is sad.

    And no worries about me leaving the blogosphere. It's like the Hotel California up in here :)

    Renee - Thanks. And very well said! There's only a "winner" if it doesn't make it, and then as you said, there's not much of a prize.

    Lissa - Thanks. Those things are always nice to hear about something you've written.

    Paisley - Wow. Thank you for the kind comment. I'm not sure what else to say, except it truly means a lot.

    Greyscale - Thanks! I was definitely trying to capture that whole "I know we should end this, but..." conflict.

  8. This is real life too. And the inability of some to allow their own vulnerability to show, the impenatrable wall...which explains not being much of a fighter...afraid to risk, afraid to lose...even afraid to win.

    Loved this piece.

  9. Fiction, maybe, but an echo of what so many have experienced.
    You put it excellently, and so true.

  10. Well written - two people with the inability to keep love going. Competition goes on - even off the field, court or course.

  11. Sit com generation? OK. Two are on tonight--but I think you should polish your dialogue

    Not really....I'm always for good escapist TV

  12. I love reading your blog! I always leave with a new story in my mind. Glad I found the blog I should read if I only could choose one.

  13. Sherry - afraid to lose...even afraid to win.

    I like that. Thank you.

    Anthony - Thanks. I was thinking this one would be most relatable.

    Tumblewords - Thank you.

    Pia - What is on tonight? 2 1/2 Men & Old Christine? I think Monday has become the new TV night.

    Charlotta - Aww, thanks :) You never know when the anti-blog establishment could take over and put a strict quota on our blog reading.

  14. Bone - TC said it all for me, just ditto her words, especially the first, second, third, and fourth paragraphs. However, once in a while, in the last paragraph needs to be defined as more often than not, for me.

  15. There's so much in this piece. It's so open, vulnerable, and contrasts the truth to us with how little he is giving to his partner. It's excellently juxtaposed. The paragraph starting with "Somehow that is what we had turned into.." - this is so immediate, so relatable.

    I love the lines about her slamming the door, the window pane doesn't break, he fixed that. Excellent!

    I agree with the above comments. This is art.

  16. Spot on description of a slow break up. Funny, a lot of marriages stay in the zone you describe, where each person is too defensive to make up.

    Great insight into human behavior, and well written too.

  17. ..spoken well... almost made me gasp inside... "The end is coming. She don't even feel it. It's a strange sensation. I'm almost happy. Well I believe that I'm just plain tired..." .. that pretty much did it for me...

  18. Hi Bone,
    Nice to meet you and I was sorry to read about your dad. I'll think positive thoughts.

    I agree with Pia and his reaction gave me chills. Well done!