Items Left Behind

Items Left Behind

A Story by Kevin Chelsea
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    Money was tight, he supposed it was like that all around these days. The folks down at the Rimstone mine were always saying it. Catechisms before the day's work. 'Sure do hope things pickup pretty soon, we're going under and I might lose...'. People would take over and list the things they could lose. Car, truck, house, kids, marriage, all the things that people were supposed to strive for to live the dream. But, money was tight.
    This is where Mike was stuck, he'd been walking around the store for twenty minutes with the same three items in his basket. His life was this supermarket lately, everything in its place and separated into neat isles. Nothing touching, but everything within reach. Just had to make the trip down one isle and there go the kids with the wife. Couple isles, couple miles, there wasn't really a difference.
    So, when his phone rang, he flipped it open and it was from the ex. The cracked screen only showed the last three numbers, but Mike knew those. She needed a few things, things she could afford, but the kids. His kids, they were out in the backyard playing and she didn't want to disturb their playtime. Old Daddy Mike was always on hand. A few grumbled words back, then the snark feedback made him snap the phone shut.
    It was have been hardwired into his head, provide, keep providing. Run yourself down to the stumps, even though she doesn't need the help. That car you're paying for, she rarely drives it. That living room set, torn to hell by kids that don't understand refund. Mike paid though, he paid with with his money, his kids, his shame.
    That day in court, trying to get to see his kids a little more often, the judge and every eye there weighed into him. He was a drunk, unreliable as a father and husband. It really didn't help that his eyes were a little on the glassy side. Mike had funneled himself into a life that was only leading to a super market with everything nicely separated. No touching, no feeling, and everybody is nice on the surface, but get your crap and get out.
    Mike did. Get got out of the house, out of his kids' lives, and out of unemployment. The things he got into paved the way to an ex who didn't respond with the disappointed greetings. Kids that learned they were allowed to have fun again around Daddy Mike. Every inch up was battlefield, friends dropping by his side. Had to leave them all staggering through the trenches without him.
    That was the thing though, Mike traded that life for what? An ex who treated him as a delivery service. Kids who only knew him by prefix-name, but not as the guy who went to the wall for them. A job that paid just enough to keep getting that little gulp of air. Mike's eyes focused and he realized he'd been staring at his old brand for a couple minutes. Maybe it was time to start mixing this life up again, "we'll start with the supermarket."

© 2013 Kevin Chelsea


Author's Note

Kevin Chelsea
http://www.reddit.com/r/WritingPrompts/comments/1gb9hi/ip_items_left_behind/cajofwq

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Sad . . . truly sad . . .

Posted 6 Years Ago



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Added on June 18, 2013
Last Updated on June 18, 2013

Author

Kevin Chelsea
Kevin Chelsea

IR#4, The Cariboo, Canada



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►My Blogger website, Stories from #4 I'm just a happy-go-lucky-guy from the rez. Working on putting the links to the stories I moved to blogger here, just smaller. I'll still upload new st.. more..

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