Here is a recap of Looking Back, Part 1
Now, Looking Back, Part 2
As Serena sat at her table and cried, she realized she had been through this before. This man had been her husband for 20 years and they had divorced. Then, she had remarried him after 16 years without him and this had caused her to jeopardize everything she had and would have. Once she had looked up marriage statistics and found that with individuals who marry the same partner twice, only two percent have successful marriages. Serena suddenly feels like a statistic after she remembers reading that. She had spent 20 years learning how incompatible they were.
Serena and her husband have now been married five years, second time around. The first year was nice. The man kept the promises he had made to her before they married. Beginning in the second year, all those promises fell to the wayside and the marriage had gotten increasing bad. Now they weren’t even sleeping together and the house was quiet. They didn’t talk. They didn’t communicate at all, which was one of the promises.
She finds herself thinking back five years ago when she talked to the man again after being apart from him for 16 years. He was down on his luck. He was working a fairly blue color job but only part time. He told her that he didn’t want to work full-time ever again. He didn’t make any money to save any money, but that wasn’t the biggest problem he had. He was a heavy drinker and a gambler. He had gambled away most of his retirement portfolio, second-mortgaged the house several times to get cash, and a variety of other issues. He started coming to Serena’s house and she could not turn him away. He was trying to quit drinking and gambling.
Oh, she feels so angry when she thinks of all this! Promising her that he would quit his bad behavior, playing on her sympathies, is what got her into this mess. She remarried him to help him and, to be truthful, because she was lonely and didn’t trust anyone. It was the worst mistake she had ever made. He promised her things would be different than in their first marriage. Things aren’t different at all. In fact, they are worse.
Serena is a gifted painter. She has found her muse again and wants to capture her thoughts and feelings on canvas. The constant uproar in her household and in her head and heart is killing her creativity. She goes to her studio to paint and even though the knows exactly what she wants to do, it isn’t happening at the end of her brush. Anything she painted would be angry. As angry at herself for making such a stupid mistake as angry at him.
He doesn’t want her to paint again. He doesn’t want her to do anything but tend to him. He’s jealous. Jealous of even her painting. Certainly jealous of her friends and family. How can someone be jealous of even inanimate objects like a canvas that stands before her? Maybe she should just let those angry feelings pour our onto that canvas, but she hates for her cherished painting to be dark and angry.
Serena calls the man her soon-to-be ex-husband because that is what he should be. In reality, no divorce action has yet been filed. He was so vicious when they divorced the first time. It frightens her that the same thing will happen this time. The first divorce almost destroyed her. She isn’t as strong now. What will a second divorce do to her? How can she have let herself get to this place? Where does she go from here?
She knows she has to go somewhere from here. Somewhere different. She has to take some action to save herself. But what? That’s what she has to figure out. She doesn’t feel she has much time left. #amwriting #blogging #writing #shortfiction #fiction #dailyprompt