|Nemesis (standard:romance, 1175 words)|
|Author: Cyrano||Added: Sep 06 2009||Views/Reads: 1512/737||Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)|
|Katherine is the woman next door, living the American nightmare. Two kids, a dog, and a husband out of work. It was hard writing this short story; hard because I've never personally suffered the indignity of being out of work.|
Katherine is the woman next door, living the American nightmare, two kids, a dog, and a husband out of work. It was hard writing this short story, hard because I've never suffered the indignity of being out of work. If someone you know is out of work, find a way to reach out. It could mean the difference. Nemesis Every action brings about a reaction it seems. But for Katherine it didn't just seem that way, it was that way. For eleven years she'd successfully held everything together. The mortgage payment was never easy but it was doable, with enough left to get by - more some weeks than others = and it seemed, indeed she knew, it was just like this for so many of her neighbors and friends. Her husband, James, a hard working husband until the recession claimed his job. First with short time work and, after six months came the indignity of unemployment. Their American dream was over. The two children, Jamie and Sarah, never wanted for school supplies and paid for their lunches. But that was then. Jamie was uninspired after a fifteen-month saga of interviews, rejections, and now depression. It was an unspoken thing in the home but if Jessie, their dog, should need a vet Katherine knew what that would mean. But Jamie and Sarah played with Jessie without thought or care for what they did not know. Katherine's life was all about the endless errands - all the mechanisms that go into keeping the wheels rotating; keeping the family going - not to mention holding down a responsible part time job at McDonald's, working with teenagers not much older than her own children, but she did the job gladly, for there were medical benefits, and that, she knew, was worth everything. But here comes Katherine, everyone agreed, the phenomenal one-woman team with the other players looking on from the sidelines. Recalling old times, she chuckled softly to herself. Not one to easily give in to self-pity, she sometimes played the guilt card; it had seldom worked. Love is a strange thing. There were times when she would smile fondly at herself and remember all the silly, the private moments shared that aid in the continuity of a relationship, the familiarity and cohesiveness, the sense of couple-ness. Then there were the times when she had to grit her teeth at the numerous, thoughtless actions of those who had confessed love for her. But she was also aware there were far too many of the smiling fondly moments than these irritations of recent months. She'd taken herself off to the doctor's office while her husband was picking up the unemployment check and while the children were in school. She was going through middle of the night nervous stomach syndrome. She remembered how she entered into a romance - not expecting to fall in love - being so young when they met; so far from home, seeking a new life, adventure, new languages and skills. That was the plan. Actually, in the beginning, it just felt nice having someone who pulled out her 'baser instincts'. It was something physical and pleasant and Katherine enjoyed being with someone who made her laugh after a teenage life of discipline and boredom. Back then they were both light hearted; the timing could not have been better. Their conversations grew longer, their emotions more intense and then they were in love. Or as close to it as either one had ever experienced. Katherine had just once contemplated the irreversibility of her actions. How difficult it might be to walk away from a marriage, even a life, because her husband was not the person she wanted him to be and coming to the realization that he could only be who he was meant to be or - better still (taking a page from one of her endless self-help books) - the person he chose to be. Take your lumps; she remembered her father telling her often, take the bitter with the sweet, etcetera...etcetera. Truth. Jamie was not a god-awful human being and neither was she. Yet, too, she understood something: the best of men and the best of women may sometimes live together all their lives, and for want of some consent on fundamental questions, hold each other's lost spirit to the end. Their marriage had faced some violent excitement. Love, she had pondered of late, could be too violent a passion to make, in all cases, a good domestic sentiment. Their marriage had thrown up not only what is best, but what is worst and smallest, in Jamie's character. He had become malicious with drink, brawling with anyone and virulent. Some Click here to read the rest of this story (37 more lines)
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