Looking Back

Serena was shaking all over. She had just had another encounter with her soon-to-be ex-husband and it wasn’t pleasant. Of course, it never was. She sat at her kitchen table, trying to calm herself. It wasn’t working very well. He had burst into her home, his intent to take her jewelry. Serena had inherited the jewelry from a family member. It was not his. But, in a divorce, everything was up for grabs. She managed to keep him from taking it.

She made herself a cup of tea and went back to the table, hoping the effects of the calming tea would help her. As she sipped her tea, her thoughts slipped back to her youth. They married when they were both 19 years old. She had thought she was so wise and he was just what she wanted. He was kind and she was not used to kind. She had a steady boyfriend in high school and a couple of other brief relationships but those men did not fit the description of “kind.” When he was kind to her, she fell hard for him, even though there were so many other factors she should have considered. She considered none. She was too young and too inexperienced. No one had ever taught her what to look for in a potential husband.

Much too late, Serena’s parents tried to talk her out of the marriage but all she could think of was that he was kind. Things were peaceful between them and Serena was not used to a peaceful environment. She had grown up in a chaotic home. Kind and peaceful drew her in like a moth to a flame.

Of course, Serena could not know that he would become less than kind as they grew older because of other characteristics he had. Nor could she know that their environment would become as chaotic as the one she grew up in because of those same characteristics. We tend to seek youth all of our lives. But when we are young, we don’t have enough wisdom to always make good decisions.

Perhaps Serena could have seen the future if she had listened to her parents. They tried to tell her that their backgrounds were too different, their education differences too wide, their attitudes toward work too diverse. But, Serena, being a young, romantic girl, thought of nothing but what she defined as love. So they married.

As Serena sits at her kitchen table, musing about the state of her relationship with this man, it is 41 years later. Her parents are, of course, gone now. If they were still here, she can hear them saying, “I told you so.” As soft tears run down her face, she wonders what to do next. #fiction #shortfiction #dailyprompt


  1. Rosemary, 41 years? What was she thinking? Did she spend some of that time in a coma? Was she lobotomised?
    It’s a sad story and too true for people from a certain generation. People got married then, as teenagers, believing it was for life. I’m sure many people will see parallels in your story to their own lives. I certainly do. But we both got out. The ideals of youth can hold an ironic cruelty, when remembered.


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