Posted in Short Story

My Bed of Thorns (by Cortney Joseph)

I suppose I should have been like most fools; lie some more and deny. Speak softly and sweetly in hopes that my beauty and presumed innocence would let me off the hook. That my gentle nature and presumed meekness would give him reason to doubt the rumors he’d heard, that he’d keep believing I could never do such a thing to break his heart.

Perhaps if I had done something menial like overdraft our account or been the cause of a scratch or dent appearing on his car, perhaps the outcome would be a little different.

That wasn’t the case, nor could I worm my way out of the problems I’d caused. Reaping what I’d sown, I silently watched as my husband walked in and out of the home we once shared, making numerous trips as he packed and boxed up his belongs, carrying them out to his car. Leaving me and our life behind for good.

 

No matter how I sought and tried to explain, he wanted to hear nothing.

You had plenty of time to talk when you were running to the arms and bed of another man. Instead, you lied and kept me in the dark, too busy finding satisfaction with another. It didn’t matter how many times I’d uttered the words I’m sorry, or how I meant them with every fiber of my being.

I would be left to deal with the pain and guilt of what I’d done alone. Suffer by your lonesome.

Those were his words, and I had no choice but to rest with the mess I’d made.

As he began picking between the photos that lined our dresser, I noticed the way he caressed our wedding photo with his fingertips. His shoulders dropped, a low sigh escaped his lips as he finally turned to me.

Eyes bloodshot red, boring into mine with fire that left my face heated until the painful expression he held became too much for me to bare. I dropped my head, inquiring about if there was anything he wanted to say.

I hoped against hope that his words would be more loving than they’d been over the past three weeks.

“I just want to know, where’d I go wrong? What I’d do? All of the love and trust, the life it took us years to find and build; you throw it all away in a split second, for what?”

Foolishly, I shrugged my shoulders, jumping when he made one swift move, punching his fist into the side of the dresser. “It wasn’t you, it was me.”

 

He scoffed, no doubt feeling I was throwing out a cliché excuse. I wasn’t. “I became comfortable, began feeling as if our little life wasn’t enough. I became bored, began to feel you were too nice, not exciting enough. I was so dumb,” tears slid down my face, dropping one my one against my arm. “searching for something that I thought was missing in my life. I went looking elsewhere, instead of bringing it to you.” Finally, my truth found it’s way out. “I was so used to having you, so used to your devotion to me and our relationship, to our life together; I thought I had you all wrapped up tight, that you’d never leave. I took your love, your kindness… you, I took it all for granted, and I am so sorry. Lawrence, I am sorry.”

“Who was it?”

I shook my head, begging him not to ask that question. I couldn’t bare the thought of giving a name, thoughts of how he might react clouding my mind. “It doesn’t matter.”

“It does! You want to finally come clean, after a whole year of lying to my face, come clean about it all. Who was it?” I stuttered the name, sobbing as he groaned in anguish. “Teddy. My coworker.”

“I didn’t mean for it to happen. I didn’t mean for it to go on, Lawrence.”

“Do you love him?” My voice was low, shaking as I tried to get my answer out. “Do you love him, Cassy?”

“No, I don’t. It was just a thing, a mistake.”

Looking up, I could see as he clenched his jaw, holding back the fresh tears that begged to be released as he stared at me intently. The pain shifted to hatred. “You’re right, I shouldn’t have asked who. Still love you so much, I was thinking that I could work through this.”

 

I stood, rushing to his side. Clinging to him, I pleaded heavily. “We can! I’ll do whatever it takes. Lawrence, please, please let’s work through this. I’ve been so lost without you, this house has been so empty, my days so dark. There’s not a day that hasn’t passed since you’ve walked out that I haven’t regretted hurting you.”

He pushed me away, prying my hands from around his arms as he shook his head. “No, not now.” Lawrence turned from me, walking out the door without another word. Out of my life once more, and possibly for good.

My eyes filled with fresh tears, threatening to spill over as I looked towards the dresser. Grabbing our wedding photo, I clutched it to my chest before moving back to my original resting place.

Climbing into the center of my bed, I lay quietly. Curled into fetal position, I clung to what had been the happiest day of our lives, and to my hope, as the realization that I would have to pay the consequences for all that I’d done to chase away the only man that had ever loved me. The bed beneath me grew cold, the sheets prickling my skin as bits of pain began to pang through my body, resting at a heart now attorn.

I laid myself down to cry in the bed I’d made; surrounded by the seeds of deceit I’d sown with my own selfishness.

“I’m sorry.”

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Author:

Creative Soul. Artist. Perfectionist. Virgo.

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