Replaceable

Replaceable

A Story by Natalie Sherwood
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This is a short story that I wrote, it is based on the song Replaceable by the Killers. It does get EXCEEDINGLY CHEESY toward the end, but aside from the general quality that is the only caveat.

"

You open the door to the house you share with your fiancé, a tiny old place in the middle of the city.

“Rose, I’m home!” you shout, pulling off your jacket.

No reply.

“Rose?”

You’re a little worried, so you go looking for her, and find her in the living room.

Now you’re a lot worried.

“John,” she says flatly. She’s got her arms folded, her chestnut hair’s in a ponytail, the way she wears it whenever she’s going to do something important. She’s still in her work clothes. If she wasn’t so scary right now, you’d kiss her on the cheek and tell her how beautiful she is, and she’d smile and say something along the lines of “oh stop it you” and you’d say no and she’d laugh.

“Is something wrong?” you ask.

“Yes. No. I don’t know.”

“What’s up, baby?”

“It’s not working out,” she sighs, and bites her lip.

What? Your face melts from concerned to confused. You have no idea what she means. Why isn’t it working out? Just last night the two of you were out at a restaurant, smiling and laughing and feeding each other forkfuls of lasagna. Just last night the two of you were the perfect couple, and now this?

“I need to get out of this, for the both of us. You were better alone,” she choked out, a tear rolling down her left cheek.

“Rose... Why?” you say in a tone just above a whisper, sinking down onto the couch.

“Because I just can’t. I was thinking, we just got engaged, but I don’t think I can spend the rest of my life in one place like that. It’s not that I don’t love you, it’s that I can’t let myself be tied down like that.”

You’re crushed. Aren’t you good enough? Doesn’t she know what she’s doing to you? Your chest aches, you can barely breathe, and you want to disappear.

She paces the floor, not bothering to wipe away the tears.

“I need to go... I’ve got my stuff packed. I’ll... be gone before too long,” she

sighs with a heart-wrenching finality, and walks out of the room. It’s over. It’s over, and you didn’t fight for it, you didn’t raise your tone, you didn’t try to stop her. You didn’t even cry.

She’s always been independent. It was a wonder that she agreed to go out with you in the first place, or that she jumped in the air and screamed, “Yes! Yes! Yes!” and generally made a big happy scene when you proposed to her.

You’re completely, utterly debilitated. You can’t even make yourself stand up. You just stare out the window at her car. The car that’d ferried you back and forth from nights on the town, and evenings in fancy restaurants, and afternoons in the park and mornings at the coffee shop up the street.

Your shoulders shake as you sob silently into your hands. You tell yourself not to panic, to calm down, but you can’t.

You have no idea how long you’ve been sitting there, but your lap is covered in a smattering of stray tears, so it must have been a while. You hear the heels of her work shoes clacking on the hardwood floor, and you look up. She looks like she’s been crying too, but she’s evidently trying to stay calm. Her suitcase is in her hand. She unlocks the door, and turns to look at you one more time. You slowly nod, taking in her face for what you know will be the last time. She turns away, and at the last second you can see her pained expression.

The next thing you know, Rose is gone. It’s as simple as that.

But how could she? How could she just leave you like that? It’s confusing you.

Women. They never seem to say what they mean, and when they do, it’s because they’re ordering food.

But really? What could she possibly mean by ‘I don’t think I can spend the rest of my life in one place like that,’?

You have no idea what’s going on, not even inside your own head.

You walk to your bedroom, just to have someplace to go, and find the engagement ring on your nightstand.


Seven Weeks Later


It’s been a while. For the first few weeks it was terrible. You’d come home from work and reflexively call out, “Honey, I’m home!” You’d call your friends in tears in the middle of the night, after spending evenings eating soup and waffles, and watching whatever stupid shows were on TV.

It’s Saturday, though, and you don’t have work, and you just got your paycheck, and you want to go out and have some fun for once. So you get up late and you put on an outfit that isn’t an old t-shirt and sweats, and you shave for the first time this week and you leave.

You haven’t got a car anymore, so you walk down to the park. It’s a decent summer morning, but you wish that those birds would shut up. You’ve never liked birdsong. Anyway, it isn’t too hot, and it’s not humid (An anomaly for Minnesota summers).

The park is rather pleasant on Saturday mornings, little kids are running around and their families are drinking coffee on the benches. Your smile fades when you see the young couples wandering around hand in hand, and turns to outright rage when one of those young couples happens to include Rose.

Your mind stops working. You could have seen red, if that ever actually happened. For the second time in the past two months you find the little voice in your head screaming, “HOW COULD SHE DO THIS TO ME!” And she’s with your friend Aaron. Aaron! He’s not your best friend, but you feel you still have a lot of right to be angry. This is just the perfect storm of awful things! It’s like a bad movie, or a song. A tear stings behind your eye and you blink it back. Nothing to see here, just something in your eye...

You try to keep yourself from running over there, from letting loose on her, and him, for that matter. But you can’t. It’s too much. You don’t even really realize what you’re doing, but you hear your own shoes clapping against the cobblestone path and a grunt escape your lips as you wind up and deck him in the face. Rose shrieks, and Aaron sputters out a stream of cursing and “Hey, man, what was that for?”’s. You’re panting, and your fists unclench as you drift back into reality, where you don’t just run around punching people in the nose.

“What is your problem? God, John, you’re like some kind of maniac!” shouts Rose, and you recoil. Oh, no, you think. What did I just do? She grabs your shoulder and yanks you around to face her. She’s enraged, and a strand of hair from her ponytail (was she planning on doing something important? She’s certainly doing something important right now.) has come loose and is swishing over her forehead. She almost looks attractive. You’ve always told her that she’s adorable when she’s angry.

“Rose...” you begin softly. You don’t want to freak her out, you want to apologize, to make it better. But you can’t bring yourself to do it. “Rose, what is your problem?” you bark, and she opens her mouth to reply, but you stop her. “Where do you get off, ditching me like that? We were engaged, for chrissake! And then what do you do? You run off with my friend! Where is the logic in this? What were you thinking?” you rant.

“John, it’s not your problem anymore. It’s useless for you to think about it. I did what I did for my own good, and yours, and Aaron’s,” she explains, calmer than you would have been. “I don’t regret a thing I did, so don’t try to persuade me. You weren’t the one for me. I don’t know who is, but I think I have a lot of learning to do about myself, and about love, until I settle down.”

“Hey, I know somebody else’s problem when I see it, honey, and this isn’t. This is as much my problem as it is Aaron’s. By the way,” you say sharply, turning towards Aaron, “speaking of problems, what’s yours? You’re answering my phone calls at one in the morning one minute and hooking up with my ex the second!”

“Well, maybe Rose was right! Maybe you weren’t the one for her. Maybe she needed some time alone.”

“Time alone? From what I can see, she was spending her ‘time alone’ with you!”

“Guys, stop! We’re making a scene,” Rose begs, and the both of you ignore her request, too caught up.

“Rose, I love you. I love you and I don’t know what I’ll do without you. I don’t even know what I’ve been doing these past few weeks.”

“If you loved me, you’d understand that I need to be out of our relationship. If you loved me, you’d let me go, because that would make me happy, and isn’t that what you want?

“What are you talking about, I’m not the one for you? We were going to get married! How could you possibly not have loved me?” I shouted.

“I.. we don’t fit together! We don’t have the same ideals! You want to settle down and get married early, and have some kids and tend your lawn and be stuck in middle management all your life; and I want to just be exotic and wild! I want to have fun with my life, John!” she whined.

Aaron was kind of just standing there, looking like a third wheel, and by now he is. You shift your focus to the rest of the park, and you see about fifty people just standing about thirty feet back, watching. You blush hard, what must they all be thinking?

“But didn’t you love me? You could have been happy with me, too! I remember you said that you were happiest with me...” you sigh, a tear rolling down your cheek. She’s crying too, you notice, but probably out of frustration.

“I don’t know what I was thinking when I said that. When... when I started dating you, it wasn’t supposed to be as involved as it was... but I was too afraid to hurt you.”

“Rose, that’s messed up. You know I wouldn’t have been angry if you’d told me this earlier... But now, now that I’ve trusted you with everything? No,” you inform her dejectedly, turning away.

“Just go. Get away from me. Now,” she snapped.

It’s over, you say to yourself. No use trying to win her back now.

But you can’t help looking over your shoulder as you turn and walk away.

© 2013 Natalie Sherwood


Author's Note

Natalie Sherwood
Tell me exactly what you think of it, in all honesty. (Not like anyone's going to care enough to read this...)
In case you want to listen to the song, here it is.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-CQLTq7Ayow

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Reviews

Honestly, I don't think I like Rose very much! But this was a great story, definitely worth reading! I really like it, you've got talent!! :)

Posted 7 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Natalie Sherwood

7 Years Ago

Thank you very much! (I'm not too fond of Rose myself.)
Gemma :)

7 Years Ago

You're very welcome!

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Added on June 30, 2013
Last Updated on June 30, 2013
Tags: song-inspired, replaceable

Author

Natalie Sherwood
Natalie Sherwood

Normal, IL



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