So I thought I’d do something a bit different with my blog for this post, and give you a read of one of my short stories. It’s not the whole thing, but the full story can be read here on my Jottify page.
Sending out a story into the world for everyone to see is a scary thing but necessary for growth. This is why I welcome any comments (constructive, there’s no need to be mean) that can help me to improve.
Without further ado, here is a snippet of my short story – Another Life.
I hope you enjoy it. x
He gave up a long time ago. His life was meant for so much more.
I watch as he fumbles to put the key into the lock with one hand, his other occupied by a plastic bag that holds a pouch of Whiskas and a small bottle of milk. Using all of his weight, which is not much, he pushes open the door and steps inside. Brushing off the drizzle from his jacket he takes it off and hangs it on the empty coat rack.
‘Mazi, I’m home! Ah, here you are. Did you miss me?’ He bends down to scratch her head as she rubs against his legs. ‘Are you hungry old girl? I bet you are.’
Making their way into the kitchen Mazi jumps up onto the counter and tries to get her head in the bag as Doug puts it down. ‘Ooh, you know what’s in here, don’t you?’ Taking out the pouch he tries to rip it open but after a couple of attempts, get the scissors out of the drawer cuts it open and squeezes the food into Mazi’s bowl.
Doug then makes himself a cup of tea and takes it into the living room to settle in front of BBC One for the morning.
Doug’s days carry on in much the same way shuffling between the two rooms for cups of tea, vegetable soup for lunch, bread and cheese for dinner; all the while the television chats away to itself. And this has been, near enough, the same routine for the past seven years. Before that, the only difference was the name of the cat and the fact that he could open the tins without the use of any utensils.
The thing is, if Doug was happy with the way in which he had chosen to live his life, then I would be glad that he got to spend every day doing what he wanted -regardless of his destined path. But I know he isn’t and worse still, I know he blames me for it.
You see, more than my knowing that his life should have been different in more ways than one; growing old is not a job to be done alone, by anyone. And it breaks my heart to know that he chose to do just that.
I sit beside him and rest my head on his shoulder, hoping that he knows I’m there. Mazi doesn’t keep him company in the living room anymore; her poor ears can’t take the decibel reading from the TV. I tell him everyday that he needs to get his hearing checked, maybe one day he’ll listen.
Doug drinks his tea with loud slurps then puts the empty cup onto the side table. He settles deeper into the sofa and watches the people on the TV. I think deep down he knows I’m with him, that’s why he doesn’t sit in the armchair; how could I sit with him if he sits in that? His eyes begin to close and his head slowly falls forward as he drifts off to sleep.
He looks so peaceful; like his neck will kill him when he wakes up; but peaceful.
I, however, am feeling anything but. I’m scared. I know what I must do next, but I’m scared. To really see him after all this time, for him to see me and be able to talk to me… the thought is terrifying and terrific all at the same time. It’s what I’ve wanted and waited for for so long, to be seen and held by him. But I can’t be selfish. This isn’t about me. This is my one and only chance to change it all. To hit the rewind button. Doug’s life can still be as intended, if he wants it.