Friday, April 3, 2015

Claire - Imagine That #A-ZChallange

Blogging from A to Z Challenge
April 2015
This month I will be participating in the “Blogging from A-Z Challenge
What is it?

Blogging everyday beginning on April First with a topic themed on something with the letterA, then on April second another topic with the letter B as the theme, and so on until I finish on April thirtieth with the theme based on the letter Z.   The theme of the day is the letter scheduled for that day.

My theme will be short fictional (well mostly fictional) stories about women.  Each woman’s name will begin with the appropriate letter of the alphabet for that day. 
All of the women will have the common life experience of a loss of some type. 
I invite you, Dear reader, to comment on how you interpret the loss.

The phone was ringing, again. Claire was annoyed.  Annoyed at the phone of all things.  Of course not at the device itself, but at those incessant telemarketers.
“Oh, Mom,” her daughter chided her.  “That’s their job, you know. After all, they have to make a living too.”
She wasn’t going to answer it.  She wasn’t even going to look at the caller ID.  Let the machine pick up, she decided.
Claire liked to describe herself as a real woman.  One with curves.  She wasn’t one of those stick thin runway women.  Anyway those wispy models were probably barely past puberty.
Her best feature were her eyes.  Well, her eyes and her curly, still sandy blond hair (thanks to her hair dresser, Molly).  At least that’s what she had been told by many.
Her husband, well ex-husband now, used to go on and on about “those baby blues.”
She heard the voice on the answering machine.  It was Ben’s new wife.  She sounded upset.
Claire couldn’t think of a single reason why Amy would be calling her.
She went over to the machine and pressed play.
“Claire?” A pause.
“This is Amy, Ben’s wife?”
Another pause.
“I thought you should know, Ben’s in the hospital, in intensive care.”
Again a pause, probably  waiting to see if Claire would pick up.
“Anyway, I’ve already called the girls.  They are on their way to the hospital now.  Community General. In town.”
Amy hadn’t left any other details.  Claire tried calling her back, but there was no answer.
She was conflicted.  She certainly did not want to see Ben.  And she especially didn’t want to see Amy.  But she should be there for the girls, shouldn’t she?
She tried her eldest’s cell phone.
“Oh, Mom.”
“I didn’t make it in time.”  “He’s gone.”
“Are you there?”
"Yes, honey. I’m here.  I’m so sorry, honey. So, sorry.”
Her daughter told her that they were all going to go over to Amy’s.
“Amy said to tell you that you were welcome also,” her daughter said.
 “I can come pick you up, Mom.”
While Claire waited for her daughter, a her mind overflowed with old memories.
She remembered the day Ben admitted to her that he was in love with another woman.
Of course she had suspected for a long while.  She hated that she had to be the one to confront him.
He hadn’t even had the courage to tell her himself.
She asked him, “Why?”
He gave her the usual answers about how he felt that they were growing apart.  He claimed that she had a different view of what their future looked like than he did.  And of course, he hadn’t meant for it to happen.  It just did.
And just like that, she became a single woman again.  After almost 31 years of marriage.  Imagine that.
That was 9 years ago.
He had been right.  Their relationship had grown, well stale, she supposed.
They had been so young.  Too young.  What did they know about forever.
She was angry.  Angry at him. Angry at herself. The last nine years were filled with teeth clenching anger.
Her thoughts were in constant circular motion. The conversations she had with herself were incessant.  Scripted, just like one of the telemarketer’s bits.  She went and on about on how all of those years, her youth, her dreams of what she might have accomplished were lost to her.
But she kept all of that rage between her and the self she shared all of those rantings with.
In fact the divorce was quite civil.
They had even been able to share Christmas dinners together.  All together.  Imagine that.
The funereal was surreal.  As she stood by the coffin, looking down at Ben, who looked nothing like her Ben,  she expected her anger to dissipate.  Poof!  Vanish into thin air.
She expected to feel sad at least.
But she felt nothing.  Numb almost.
All of those hopes and dreams, lost now to both of them.
Imagine that.


  1. This really would keep me turning the pages. Quite a beginning and so very real. So many people experience this with divorce; but not many I know see each other after the divorce unless the kids are young and their sharing custody etc. Anger and happiness is often imagined to be the other spouses responsibility; but sometimes it's our own fault we're not happy and sometimes the anger is misplaced. Hope she lets go of the anger, because it can and will make her less able to move forward to find her own happiness, instead of tying it to what might have been with Ben. You write with such passion and emotion!

    1. I agree letting go of anger can only benefit the person who is holding onto the anger. I have discovered that recently myself.

  2. I can see her feeling numb at the funeral. I'm betting down the road she might feel regret at her actions over the last 9 years following the divorce. She allowed bitterness to consume her for a long time and now the subject of that bitterness is dead. I allowed bitterness to come into my life over things my in laws had said or done over the years and it affected immensely the first year we moved down to live in their house that hubby would eventually inherit (it is so interesting the irony of life, LOL). They both died that first year, a month apart, and I felt numb at their deaths, but over time I have come to regret that bitterness I allowed to consume me and all that anger I had about what they had said and done seemed so worthless. So I'm thinking Claire might get to that point in her own life.


    1. Wishing for those woulda shoulda coulda’s is a lesson hard learned, isn’t it? I think Claire is already on the right path towards realizing that she has control over how she lives the rest of her life.

  3. This reads like a novel.

    1. Well, maybe the first page of one anyway. :)

  4. This reads kind of like the stories one of the writers in my writers group writes. That is to say, very good and with a stinger at the end.