Welcome back to another Monday-One Word Writing, the series where I try to take an entire word and turn it into one story! (Strike that, reverse it.) Today’s word came from the good ol’ random word generator, but computers aren’t as fun as people, so if you have an idea for a word, please leave it in the comments below! Of course, read this awesome story (which happens to do with the word vacate) before heading to the comment section below…
He packed the few objects he still owned into his bag: a few blankets, some spare t-shirts, a small toy doll. He took special care with the last object, making sure nothing would rip any of the seams in her dress or leave a stain on her plastic face. It was all he had left.
He looked around the room that had once been his and his wife’s. The day they had bought the house, she had looked at it with such glee. A walk in closet, and plenty of space for a king sized bed! He had been happy as well, but only because she was. The room would have been just the same as any other if she hadn’t liked it. He hefted his bag to his shoulder and left the room, closing the door behind him. Closing it like he should have so long ago.
He followed the well-worn path between his room and the small bedroom down the hall. There, the walls were painted pink and the faint outlines of princesses could be seen on the faded molding running the outside of the room. It was empty, as was every other room, but the depressions in the carpet of a long forgotten single bed were visible.
He left the room and began walking down the stairs. He paused on the third step from the top and searched for the faint stain that no amount of cleaner could remove. It was there, and he scratched his thigh slightly while staring at it. He broke his gaze and continued down to the stairs to the foyer, where he looked closely at the door frame, running his hands up and down it. But it had been repaired well, and there was no sign of the unwelcome visitor’s entrance.
He reached out his hand to grab the doorknob, and realized that this would be the last time he ever opened his front door. He put his hand on the cold metal and felt the thing that had welcomed him into the house so long ago, and that had welcomed him again just a few months ago, but not as its owner, not after the medical bills and custody battles, but as a guest in a hotel room under someone else’s name. He had hardly been welcomed by this house after that warm August night, and he wondered, not for the first time, why he had put himself through the torture of living here again, without her, and with the faint consolation that he might one day see his little one, and come to her as a father who could support her instead of having to live with her grandparents.
He turned the doorknob and walked out into the cool night air. He wondered what it had felt like for the man who had fled with the jewelry and life of his wife. Had he regretted his mistakes in life? Had he wished he could spare her as if she were as innocent as the one he had left alive? Had he known that he had left the wounded man alone in this world? He shook his head and cleared the thoughts that so often ran through it. With one final parting glance at the house that had once been home, he moved on to find a new place to live.
This is usually the part where I say I hope you liked the story, but you really shouldn’t like the story, so I hope you enjoyed the literary techniques and feel sorry for our sad protagonist. Again, please leave a comment with your suggestion for next week’s word, and I’ll see you next week, same time, same place!