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Falling out of Love--short story
Posted On 09/01/2021 18:33:29 by Altara33606

You may have to 'zoom' this. The only way I could get the spacing  right! I wrote this in the 70's for some contest. Not even sure I submitted it, though. I  found it recently when looking for other stories.


 The country music blared from the radio, drowning out the sounds of the two children who were loudly arguing in the next room. The woman sitting quietly in the living room seemed oblivious to the loud music and the bickering children. As she rocked gently in the old, overstuffed rocking chair, she stared blankly into space.

Her thoughts focused on the word of the bittersweet country song, its message cutting into her reverie. Tears formed in her blue eyes as she realized just how appropriate the lyrics seemed to be.

Blinking away the tears, she forced her thoughts away from the words of the song as she stood up and began picking up the newspapers and toys scattered around the living room. Then, she hurried into the kitchen to finish up the dishes before turning her attention to fixing supper. It wouldn't be long now before her husband came home from work.

A wry smile appeared on her weary face. She knew the man would be tired and hungry--and impatient to sit down to the evening meal. After a long day at the mine, he wouldn't be in any mood to wait for his supper.

Not that she blamed him. She knew he worked hard. He worked long hours in the dark mine, fighting to bring home enough money to support his wife and two kids. And she knew that beneath the surface, he loved her and the two children.

But sometimes, just knowing that wasn't enough. When she was bone-tired from chasing the children all day, and weary of the washing, cleaning, cooking, and all the dozens of other daily chores which never seemed to end, she wished for something more.

She wasn't sure what she wanted. She just knew that something was missing from her life--something that might make up for all the dreary chores and never-ending responsibilities.

She sighed as she peeled the potatoes. Occasionally, she would stop and call out to the kids, telling them to stop fighting. Then she would turn her attention back to her work. It had become second nature for her to go about her daily chores with only part of her mind focused on what she was doing. She had become accustomed to daydreaming with another part of her mind.

She often wondered just what her life would have been like if she had not married right after high school and had children right away. What if she had just gone on to a business school, or if she had entered the local junior college. Her grades had been high enough, but she had been tired of all the classwork. She had been starry-eyed, positive that all she wanted out of life was to marry her childhood sweetheart and have his children. But what about now--ten years later? Was it enough? If it was, then why was she feeling so depressed and restless? What could she do about it?

She sighed again, knowing she was trapped in her life now. With two children and no extra money, she couldn't possibly go back and start over again. Even if she wanted to--and she wasn't even sure that she did.

The woman had just finished putting supper on the table when she heard the truck pull up outside the back door. A moment later, her husband walked into the kitchen, giving her a tired

look and a quick, perfunctory kiss on the cheek. She could tell he had done his usual quick shower before leaving work.

She nodded as he asked if supper was ready. And she called the children in to eat. As she sat at her place at the table, she listened quietly as her man told her about all the little things that had happened today at work. As he started talking about the rumor of a wildcat strike, she found her thoughts wandering.

She was suddenly aware of feeling as if she were outside of herself, coolly detached from the whole scene and watching as if from a distance. Listening to the stranger across from her, she felt a sudden shock.

“This must be what it’s like to fall out of love,” she thought impassively.

Because she suddenly knew that that was what was wrong with her. She didn't love him anymore. It was as simple as that. Simple, and yet complicated at the same time.

As she sat there, staring uncomprehendingly at the man who was by now talking animatedly about his strong feelings on the possible strike, she could not believe her feelings. Or rather the lack of them. She felt nothing. Only a strange sense of loss as she realized the turn her thoughts were taking.

 Was it possible to fall out of love? She wasn't sure. And yet, that's the conclusion she had made.

As the man finished eating, he stood up and told her he was going in to watch some television. She nodded silently, quickly clearing away the dishes as she tried to sort out her confused thoughts.

That just wasn't possible. Was it? But if it wasn't, then what was happening to her? She wished she could understand what was happening.

As she finished the dishes, she suddenly became aware of the man standing in the doorway, watching her silently. Turning around, she put down the dishtowel and stared at him.

"Honey, I just wanted to tell you---I love you," the man spoke softly, giving her a hesitant smile as he took a step toward her. His eyes told her he was aware of her uneasy feelings. And he wanted to help her over this rough period.

Suddenly, she felt tears form in her eyes as she stared back at him. Swallowing hard, she blinked away the tears and ran to him. His arms went around her protectively and held her tightly to him as he wordlessly tried to comfort her.

Finding comfort in his arms, the woman tried to find the right words to reassure him that everything would be all right. Because she knew now that she could never tell him what she had discovered. He loved her and needed her. And she would not take that away from him.

Maybe time would repair the broken ties of their love. Until then, she would give him whatever he needed. He had given her so much. And she would give everything in return for his never-ending love.

Forcing a smile, she managed to choke back her tears and say the words he needed to hear. A moment later, she was answered by his relieved sigh and quick smile as he hugged her.

He seemed to gain strength from the gentle touch of her body against his. Things would be all right now, he seemed to be thinking. And she gave him a quick smile in return.



Viewing 1 - 3 out of 3 Comments

09/08/2021 06:07:41

I love reading the story. Thanks for sharing. 

09/03/2021 21:07:09

I agree with what Greg stated... Enjoyed the read.

09/02/2021 05:10:34

I like this story. This happens more than you think.

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