Two Little Raincoats

Two Little Raincoats

A Story by A.j. Dru
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Rough draft of a short story I'm working on. Please feel free to critique and correct. I just want to get some feedback on it. Thanks for reading.

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Two Little Raincoats

 

By A.J Dru

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I wake up to my heart vibrating, maybe breaking. I roll over in bed and feel around until I find my wife’s phone. She must have fallen asleep with it in her hand, probably texting. She likely put it on silent so that it wouldn’t wake me up. I look at the clock. It’s a blurry 3:19am. Who the hell would be texting her at this time? I look at the screen and the text is from some guy named Mike. I don’t know any Mike that would or should be texting at this time of night. I shouldn’t, just like last time, but I’ve got that feeling again, that feeling in my bones. It’s the same feeling that I had last time and the time before that. I open the text and read, and it’s exactly what I thought it was.

 

* * *

 

            The first time it was drugs. Then the lying and cheating started. Well, I guess it all started with the lying, now that I think of it. She had lied to me about some missing money. I found the dope in her purse the next day. I wasn’t snooping or anything. It was just sitting there, out in the open for God and everybody to see. I confronted her about it and she threw a big fit and sped off in her car to go to her friend’s house. I thought long and hard about it and decided that I didn’t mind her doing it as long as it wasn’t being kept a secret from me. I mean, hell, I couldn’t judge. I had been guilty of it myself at one time.

 I used to love the high, the freedom. Maybe it was the illusion of freedom, but it felt the same, I think. Either way, it was something like a “phase” that I grew out of.  I quit the s**t when she got pregnant and I had to go find a good job. Good jobs, like the one I have now down at the factory, don’t take in dope-heads. They give random checks and such, so I quit to keep from losing the job. It’s easier to find dope than work, and when you get a good job like the one I have now, you hold on to it. It’s really a no-brainer, if you ask me.

 

* * *

 

            I get up out of bed, take a shower, get dressed, and put on some coffee. She’s still asleep. Must have been up all night texting that Mike guy. The contents of the text that I read seem surreal, seem like a bad dream, but I know the truth. That’s all I’ve ever asked for--the truth. I start the car to let it warm up and have a smoke. By the time I step back inside, she’s up and pouring a cup of coffee.

            “Morning,” I say.

            “Oh, good morning, dear. How did you sleep?” she chimes.

            “Best sleep I ever had.”

            “Good. You want some coffee?”

            “Nah, I’ll get some at work.”

            “Alright.”

            I notice that she’s clutching her phone in her hand. She addicted to that damn thing. It’s funny how those cell phones are such double-edged swords. The whole world at your fingertips, but virtually impossible to hide what you say and who you say it to.

            “Can I get you anything?” she asks. “Want me to pack you a lunch?”

            “Nah, I’ll just pick something up. Thanks though.”

            She never tries this hard. She’s worried that I saw the text. She should be. Standing there in the kitchen, looking at her and thinking of the message, I feel myself tensing up.

            “Well, I got to go,” I say turning toward the door.”

            “Okay, be careful,” she says following me to the door.

            “Will do.”

            And I’m off to work, but the message stays with me all the way there.

 

* * *

 

            Last time it was some guy named Lance. I thought it might be going on, but I wasn’t certain. I had the feeling though. I didn’t find out for sure until months later. She was going out a lot and coming home drunk or high. She thought I couldn’t tell, but I could. I just didn’t say anything.

            One day she started getting nasty phone calls from some woman. I found out later that it was Lance’s wife. Turned out that Lance was a drug dealer and he often accepted sexual pleasure for payment. I’m sure she wasn’t whoring for drugs. She was doing it for her own pleasure. The drugs were a bonus--a cherry on top. 

            I met Lance at a party one night at her friend’s house. I was pretty drunk when she introduced us to one another. He looked familiar, but I couldn’t figure out where I knew him from. Still, I tried to be friendly and talk to him. He seemed totally distracted by my wife, though. Looking back, I should have realized it then. I should have seen the way he was looking at her and at me. As though I was with his woman but there wasn’t anything to do about it at the time. Thinking of it now--of his face, the look in his eyes--I feel like an idiot for not picking up on it. Hindsight is always twenty-twenty.

            The text message that night read: "How r u an Lance doing?"

            I shouldn’t have looked at it, but curiosity got the best of me. I couldn’t resist the urge to dig deeper. Texts earlier, my wife had described his looks, his body, his endowment. Filthy fodder for all of her gossipy girlfriends. I felt sick. I couldn’t contain myself that time.

            “What the hell is this?” I roared, throwing the phone at her.

            “What?” she asked, suddenly alarmed.

            “You know what!”

            “You looked at my texts?” she shouted back as she snatched up the phone.

            “Goddamn right I did! Good thing, too. Or I would have never caught on. You are one deceptive witch, you know it?”

            “How could you go through my messages?”

            I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. She was actually trying to turn it around on me, trying to make me the bad guy.

            “You cheated on me!”

            She started crying then. She knew that she was caught and there was nothing to say. I told her I would be wanting a divorce and I stormed out. It took me all day to convince myself to give her another chance, at least for the kids’ sake. And I went back an forgave her. I was stupid, scared to be alone, and didn't know what to do at that point. Hindsight is always twenty-twenty.

 

* * *

 

It’s Saturday and I don’t want to be here. I don’t want to be anywhere. I walk into the office at the factory and I hate my life. I can’t get it out of my head, and I just want to crawl away and die in some forgotten corner. I punch in and go to work, hoping it will take my mind off things. It doesn’t. At lunch, I go to my boss’s office. I’m surprised that he’s actually there on a Saturday. He’s sitting behind his desk, emailing away. I knock as I enter.

“Hey, man,” he says.

“Hi, boss.”

“What’s up?”

“Well, I’ve been working a lot of overtime here lately.”

“Yeah,” he nods.

“I was wondering if I could take some vacation time.”

“Sure, sure. How much you need?”

“How much have I got?”

He sighs and I know he doesn’t want to deal with this right now. He types away on his computer for a moment before looking back at me.

“You have two weeks for the year.”

“I’d like to just take all of it at once.”

“Oh,” he says. He’s a little surprised and let’s his mouth hang open while he mulls it over.

“If it’s okay with you, sir,” I say.

He purses his lips and crosses his arms as he leans back in his chair. He looks at me, then at the corner of the ceiling, thinking ahead of schedule and making sure I won’t be leaving him short-handed. Finally, he begins a slow nod.

“Yeah, I suppose that’d be fine,” he says.

“Thank you, sir”

I start to turn to leave, but he starts talking again.

“You know, you won’t be able to take off for the rest of the year after this, right?”

“Yeah,” I nod.

 

* * *

 

            I thought about leaving before. Thought long and hard about it. We had two kids and I hated the thought of abandoning them just to get away from her. I wasn’t sure where I’d go if I ever did decide to leave. A friend of mine moved to Seattle a few years ago. Last time I talked to him he said he’d help me out if I had to cut and run. He said he’d let me stay with him until I found a place and he could help me get a job, a good job like the one I had. If I did decide to go, that’s probably where I’d go. I really hated the thought of leaving the kids though. I heard that it rains a lot up there. We'd need good raincoats. We didn’t have any.

            I wouldn’t have thought about it if it wasn’t for the lying. Lying was the worst of all. If she hadn’t lied about the drugs and the cheating, I supposed it would have been easier to just walk away, to stop loving her. By lying about it, it was as if she cared, in a strange way, at least enough to try not to hurt me. Damn the lies.

 

* * *

 

            It’s raining when I pull up in the driveway after work. When I walk in the house, she’s standing there all dressed up and smelling like a perfume factory. She’s already high, her eyes bloodshot as hell and her face different from usual. She tries to make small talk to make herself feel more comfortable, hoping I won’t notice anything out of the ordinary. I can’t look her in the eyes when she’s like that, so I stare at the floor while she talks. I don’t hear much of anything that she says. I kick my shoes off and sit down on the couch with the kids. They’re watching a cartoon that they’ve seen a million times. Amazing how they can sit through something over and over without getting bored or tired of it. I envy them.

            “I’m going out,” she says.

            “Where to?” I say without taking my eyes off the screen.

            “Just going to hang out with some friends. Might catch a movie or something," she says while looking at her face in her compact.

            “Alright. Don’t stay out all night.”

            “I won’t. I should be back by ten.”

            “Be careful.”

            And she’s out the door.

I let the kids fall asleep on the couch and go upstairs to bed. It’s after two before I hear the front door open. She knocks something over on her way down the hall. The bedroom light flicks on and I lie there pretending to be asleep.

“Babe,” she says.

I don’t say anything and after a little while the light goes back off and she slides into bed next to me, her perfume faint under the smell of what can only be Mike’s cologne. I resist the urge to fly into a rage. The thoughts that cross my mind are not the kind of thoughts you want anyone to know about. They’d lock me up if they knew what’s going on in my head at this moment. Still, I’m so quiet and still, I could be dead. It doesn’t take long for her to pass out. Minutes, really. She’s out like a rock when her phone starts to vibrate. I get up and find it on the dresser. Another text from Mike, detailing all the sleazy things he wants to do next time they hook up. He asks about her husband--about me--and whether or not she wants to leave him--me. I push “reply” and send a text back.

It reads: "I LOVE YOU"

 

* * *

 

Sure, I had my flaws. Don’t we all? I drank too much some times. There were times when I’d say something cruel and mean in my drunken stupor and she’d hate me for it for a few days. I’d let those old feeling creep up every now and then, usually when I had a few too many drinks, and I just couldn’t stand trying to keep it inside. I felt really bad about it every time that it happened. I’d apologize over and over again, beg for her forgiveness, and she’d finally let me touch her again. I had a lot of regrets, like most people. But I never hurt her the way she hurt me.

I’d never been heartbroken before, at least not like that. That’s how I knew it was the real thing--True Love. I was shattered inside. My heart physically hurt, my mind was a storm of emotions, and my body just couldn’t keep up with the things that were going on between the two. Nervous breakdowns were a daily thing back then. The doctor prescribed me drugs that didn’t work and the police took my guns away when I threatened to kill myself. Foolish to think of it now, but I was in the deep end and didn’t know how to swim.

I finally got over it, but it took a long while. Still, it didn’t go altogether. There was always that unseen scar, that constant reminder of a life I’d lived and loved within. Then that part of me died and left me as I am now. It was a conscious decision and determination to never feel the sting of that particular pain again, no matter what. That gave meaning for this new life of mine. I had made up my mind a long time ago.

 

* * *

 

            The rain’s pouring and it’s still the dark part of the morning, a little before sunrise. I look in the rearview mirror and imagine what’s going on back there, in my most recent life. Somewhere in my suitcase, my letter of resignation that I printed off before I left work yesterday is tucked away. I’ll mail it when I get to Seattle. Somewhere in the bed, her phone is vibrating with a message that reads: "I LOVE YOU TOO!" And somewhere on I-55, I crane my neck up a little farther to see the kids in the back seat.

All I can think about is how cute they’ll look in their new raincoats.

© 2015 A.j. Dru


Author's Note

A.j. Dru
All comments welcome. Please correct grammar and spelling mistakes you find. It will not hurt my feelings. Thanks for reading.

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Reviews

An excellent read... I know those dark thoughts... I know the pressing need to get away. This is very good. I enjoyed it very much

Posted 6 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

A.j. Dru

6 Years Ago

Thanks for reading. I think we all feel that dark side when someone we love deceives us. I'm happy t.. read more
Great write- I couldn't stop reading- and I'm waiting for the sequel. ;) Thank you for sharing your work.

Posted 6 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

A.j. Dru

6 Years Ago

Thanks for reading. I'm glad you liked it. More to come soon...
jdr / Jennifer

6 Years Ago

it's pretty intense- Looking forward to reading more...

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Added on January 18, 2013
Last Updated on May 29, 2015
Tags: short story, drama, drugs, lies, adultery, heartbreak, abandonment, escape

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A.j. Dru
A.j. Dru

Syracuse, UT



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