Author’s note: This week’s story is inspired by a prompt from the great people at WriteAnything. Thanks for reading and as always, comments are welcome.
I’m driving to the toy store thinking. Thinking about Carol. Thinking I’m going to leave her because all we ever do is fight. She accuses me of not listening and she’s right, I don’t. I’m just so sick of the constant nagging and whining. If you believed half of what she says you’d hate me but I think I’m an OK guy. Nothing special, but I have friends and they at least think I’m OK. Anyway, I think I’m going to leave her after my little cousin’s birthday.
I’m looking at the shelves and wishing my Aunt hadn’t picked board games as a theme for the party because I really want to get my cousin a remote controlled car. I pick up Monopoly and put it back down. I mean it’s a classic, but does anyone really like that game. I grab Risk and put it back too. It’s a great game, but it takes forever to play. One game and you hardly ever pull it off the shelf again. Life. Now that’s a good game. Spin the wheel and see where you land. Some times you get lucky. Out of all the games here, this is probably the most real.
I toss the package into the back of the wagon and head off to the party. I probably should have brought some wrapping paper but fortunately for me, Carol’s thought of everything. I’m sure I’ll hear all about how right she was to save the gift bags after I was just going to throw them away and how she knew she better put one in the car because obviously, I would forget to ask for free gift wrapping. I guess she does have a point there. I go to put the Game of Life in the gift bag and notice a small piece of paper with her handwriting. It says “sorry”.
Now I don’t know, maybe it is me. Maybe she does still love me. Maybe we can make this work. I head inside and join the party. I smile at Carol as she takes the gift bag from me and she smiles back. I had forgotten how beautiful she is when she smiles. I watch as her face morphs from smile into the fixed corners and crumpled brow that I’ve come to loathe. She slams the bag hard into my chest.
“What?” I ask.
“You always screw things up. Claire is getting him Life,” she says and fixes me with a stare.
“Well, how the hell should I know?”
“I left you a note in the bag. You were supposed to get him Sorry.”