It’s him calling. Once a season- twice in winter- like clockwork. The number isn’t saved but it’s one of the two I have memorized. I don’t know why I answer.
I’m still with her. It’s been over a year now. And I… and I proposed.
The mention of her doesn’t make my stomach leave my body, even with this news. Maybe this is why I answered; my failure to react feels like freedom. I pat myself on the back. Is this my invitation to the wedding?
Ha! No. I mean… No. He takes a long beat.
She reminds me of everything you weren’t. She’s lackluster. It’s just.. so simple with her… A tract home. ..so easy. She complains about him not wanting to go out to eat so much anymore, but she’s a picky eater so they rarely agree on where to go anyway. My name and her nickname rhyme so he gets away with an occasional slip of the lip. She’s ready for children, ready to quit her job and move to the suburbs. But you know, she’s great.. you know …safe.
Safety first. I put him on speaker so I can finish sorting my laundry.
He’s quiet. I know he’s hanging onto my last words, so I wait. Remember when we…..? And we share a good laugh. I hear his smile fall. He reminisces on the home he’d built before we met that burned to ashes. The big one before that? Flooded. And the other small, temporary rental got thrown about in a tornado.
Ours though, even with a few missing bricks and a broken window, was sturdy. Full. Loved. Peaceful. But a shared long-term mortgage- all that work, that commitment- scared him. So he pulled out of escrow. Easily. Quickly. Cowardly. Abandoned me- us. Fled to safety just as the ceilings and walls imploded and nearly crushed me to death.
He can hear my thoughts. I’m sorry.
An admitted (and obvious) masochist, he visits our old neighborhood often- to escape, he confesses- and fiddles with the not-a-promise-not-an-engagement ring. A lakeside selfie. My thong that’d gotten stuck in the lint trap. I think he’s hunting for my heart amongst the ruins, hopeful despite knowing that I’d retrieved it, cleaned it up and meticulously sewed it back in months ago. I’m certain his is still down in there though. Suffocating. I’m sorry. I’m sorry. Things could have been so different, so perfect, he sniffs.
My eyes don’t even manage to roll. No fiery rebuttal. I can’t even find my compassion. Wow! Finally. I sip my tea to drown my sigh. But I do almost almost almost almost feel sorry for her; He’s probably gonna stuff demons under the bed to haunt her. I’m sure his idle hands are building a time bomb or lacing up his best boots to get a move on before the eviction threats commence.
Maybe he’ll go easy and simply push her out and change the locks. I wonder if she can hear the click clacks?
foreclosure © 2018, K.B. Wright