Moving Out

Moving Out

Perhaps I should have prepared the girls more. Certainly they had experienced our disagreements, and through the years, our increasing family digressions, though we’d attempted to spare them of our devolving spiral toward divorce. I’m fairly certain they’d picked up certain cues. Bean commented about the chilly silences during dinner, attempted to embellish her school stories to fill the space. Ellie commented about the nights I’d slept on the sofa’s pullout bed, not buying that my insomnia was keeping Mommy awake.

Then New Year’s Day came, the day I was actually moving out. Martha had arranged for them to be with her, at her mothers. But, as if they’d anticipated the worst, Bean woke up that morning with a 103 degree fever. High enough for major concern. Martha’s pattern was to under-react to our children’s dilemma’s (Oh, she’ll be fine!) and medicate herself instead. But now this complication added a layer- could I actually leave with one of my own flesh and blood so ill? What was I doing anyway? All that went into defining who I am, what I’m about, the legacy, if you will, of my life seemed to be draining from my grasp. Each trip to the car became more difficult, harder to breathe.

“Don’t go, Daddy,” Ellie said. She’d followed me into the garage. I picked her up, her small frame collapsing against my beating heart.

“I’m not going anywhere sweetheart,” I said. I smelled her innocence, her pajamas designed with Winnie the Pooh and his buddies created lots of color against my drab gray jacket.

She picked at my buttons. “Then why are you loading all of those boxes in your car?”

I didn’t know where to start. So, I lied. I suppose to protect her, but the truth was that I didn’t have the balls to tell her what really happened. I’d fallen out of love with her mother. Long ago, possibly even before she was conceived.

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About Robert Vaughan

Originally from NY, published author, editor, and workshop leader, his poems and fiction are widely found in over 500 print and online magazines, such as Necessary Fiction, BlazeVOX, Connotation Press, BlazeVOX, Thrice, Literary Orphans and Smokelong Quarterly. He is Managing Editor at (b)OINK magazine and leads round- tables for Redoak Writing. He is a six times Pushcart Prize Nominee and his fiction and poetry have won awards, including a Micro-Fiction runner-up (2012) and twice a finalist in the Gertrude Stein Fiction Award (2013-14). His collections are: Microtones (Cervena Barva Press); Diptychs + Triptychs + Lipsticks + Dipshits (Deadly Chaps); Addicts & Basements (Civil Coping Mechanisms); RIFT, co-authored with Kathy Fish (Unknown Press), and FUNHOUSE (Unknown Press).
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10 Responses to Moving Out

  1. david says:

    more please

  2. Andrea says:

    Sad and real…meh

  3. Shari says:

    Sweet, tender emotion rings from this story and begs for more. Will you continue? Please do.

  4. Dez says:

    Thanks again, Robert, for posting this insight into a sad dilemma for any family. So many end in divorce and I do wonder why, specifically, this man needs to leave. Why he’d stopped loving Ellie’s mother so long ago, but then stayed there. Pondering this all now. Your stories do have a lasting affect. Happy New Year!

  5. Great writing Robert. I don’t think I’ve ever read anything of yours. I look forward to reading more…

  6. Micki Cattell says:

    I’m sorry for any families pain but, great writing looking forward to the next installment.

  7. Angela says:

    Just wonderful, my deawr…beautifully descriptive – emotional and physical details clear. What stood out for me on this one: “devolving spiral” and “she picked at my buttons.”

    I feel so proud of you, and honored to have access to your work as well as your journey. WRITE ON!

    MWAH!

  8. Betsy says:

    Love the description of the PJ’s and the button pulling. I could feel his pain and her innocence. Great job!

  9. david says:

    I believe I want more..

    now I’m very Twyla Tharp meet Jilly Boel… VRRRRROOOOOOOOMMMMM moving out

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