The Leaving

Steven sat on the wooden bench at the waterside, the wooden slats digging into the backs of his knees in that comfortingly familiar way that they had since he was small enough to swing his feet. The absurdity of the situation struck him as he shook the small paper bag of birdseed, the sound centering him nearly as much as the physical heft of the bag.

a77ef2b3a334187a43a914a51d7816a1The pigeons gathered around his feet, pecking at the handful of seeds he’d already scattered on the concrete in front of himself. The soft sounds of their feet and beaks was music to his ears. On the other side of the park, a woman laughed, and reality came crashing back around Steven’s ankles. Sierra was gone.

She was gone, and she wasn’t coming back.

He closed his eyes, trying somehow to block out the last three and a half years that they’d lived together in their apartment. His apartment. He hadn’t decided yet if he was going to move or not. Moving was far too much of a commitment for him to make right now. Even thinking about moving. He turned his minds to lighter things, and shook the paper bag again, drawing two more pigeons to his retinue.

She was gone.

He didn’t even see it coming, that was the kicker. And she didn’t have the guts to come right out and tell him, either. They both got up that morning, just like every day. Got dressed, drank coffee, laughed about not having breakfast. Just like every other day. She left for work, he left for work, and when he came home for lunch, he read the note on the sofa table by the front door.

She was gone.

She didn’t answer her phone when he called seventeen times. She didn’t respond to his texts. It wasn’t any kind of sick joke, as he half hoped. It was real and final and happening right now.

She was gone.

The bag slipped from Steven’s fingers and burst on the ground before him, and the pigeons rushed in to fight each other for the treasure trove of seeds.

Steven dropped his head to his hands and his shoulders heaved up and down as his body was wracked by great, choking sobs.

On the other side of the park, the woman laughed again, unaware of the tragedy in Steven’s life, unaware of Steven’s life.

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4 Comments on “The Leaving”

  1. Good, good writing. You took me there.


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