Endgame - First one for a while, the'll get better.. :) Promise...

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Endgame - First one for a while, the'll get better.. :)  Promise... Empty Endgame - First one for a while, the'll get better.. :) Promise...

Post  Krebsy on Thu Feb 05, 2009 9:33 am

“Why don't we stop fooling ourselves?
The game is over,

No good times, no bad times,
There's no times at all,
Just the New York Times,
Sitting on the windowsill
Near the flowers.”

Ben flicked through the paperwork on the desk whilst the nearby resigned sounding voice of his wife Linda echoed through the empty wood panelled hallway of the Apartment. From outside the rain lightly spattered on the window which looked out onto a cold and uninviting New York morning. The scene punctuated with the sounds of traffic and the bright yellow of taxis like bright fish easing their way through the otherwise sombre looking river of vehicles on the rain soaked street.

“No mother”, echoed Linda’s voice, “The house yes. No, it’s not a problem. I know, it’ll be fine, I can deal with it. I’m set up there and he’s got this place anyway for work. I can’t deal with being in the city right now, and anyway, I’ll be closer to you and Dad. Yes, no, look, I just don’t know alright? It’ll be fine…”

Her voice echoed on, answering briefly or dismissing any of her Mother’s questions, trying to just get the conversation over and done with.

Ben returned his focus to the paperwork. A company here to sign over, another one to sell and one to keep. All his hard work sliced into bite sized chunks for the sharks, and the lawyers, to take a piece of. Three quick flourishes of the pen and the deed was done. A quick fold of the papers and away they went into their respective envelopes. Their lives now sealed and ready to be delivered.

“We might as well be apart.
It hardly matters,
We sleep separately.

And drop a smile passing in the hall
But there's no laughs left
'Cause we laughed them all.
And we laughed them all
In a very short time.”

Ben rubbed his eyes briefly with his fingertips then looked around and surveyed the seeming emptiness of the room, a few boxes of her possessions stacked by the door, the last few things ready to be carried away to the car, her car now, and out of his life for good.

He caught sight of the wooden picture frame, peeking out of the top of a box, a sunny day and her smiling face, the rest of the shot hidden behind the cardboard box edge. Two more faces he knew, all happy and full of life. His face and that of their son James, the perfect blend of the both of them. A face he couldn’t bear to look at, not without the memories and the sadness flooding back. Hard to think of it all really, that was the odd thing. Only a year ago near enough now when it was taken. Then like a shot so soon afterwards it all changed and he was gone…

Is tapping on my forehead,
Hanging from my mirror,
Rattling the teacups,
And I wonder,
How long can I delay?
We're just a habit
Like saccharin.”

She’d called it off of course, he hadn’t been brave enough or really in a fit state to make the decision. He had work and it was something he could get lost in which he did. Escapism from the pain and hurt of the whole sorry state of affairs. A way of avoiding dealing with the subject, with their loss, with her and their spiralling descent to a complete and total collapse. He’d come home later and later, she’d see friends, her parents, the TV and more and more of the guest room as the days went on. Less and less of him though. A quieter and quieter acknowledgement of each others presence as the days and weeks went on before one evening she wasn’t there, not any more.

He’d awoken to an empty apartment with no sign of her. Her bed still made, no shoes in the hall. A brief call to her phone instead of breakfast and she told him how it was going to be from then on. He couldn’t blame her really, after all, had he really been there for her? He’d thought of walking away over the previous few weeks. Her face reminded him too much of their son. They’d needed each other, but they both tried to handle things separately.

Her shoes echoed up the hallway and he looked up from the desk to see her standing in the doorway, sombrely dressed and tired around the eyes, brown hair tied back out of her face.

“And I'm habitually feelin' kinda blue.

“So…”, he simply stated, “this is it then. Here are the envelopes…”

He walked over holding them out to her in his fingertips, as if they were something foul or horrible to the touch.

Linda took them with a silent nod of thanks, carefully slid them into a pocket and leaned back against the wall with her eyes half-closed.

Ben grabbed his long black winter coat, slipped it on and headed towards the door, leaving her to clear the last of her things out.

He stopped in the doorway as she asked, “Will you be there on Friday? We’ve that memorial service and ..”

Quietly he cut her off, not looking back, “Sure, see you there.”

The door closed with an echo of finality behind him and reverberated around the hall. Then after turning up his collar against the weather, Ben headed downstairs and out into the rain.

“But each time I try on
The thought of leaving you,
I stop...
I stop and think it over.”

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