They say a scream is a scream is a scream. Hurt is hurt. Pain is pain. That both subside with every unfulfilled second. They say many things. But what do they know? What do they really know?
The mind is a curious container, delicate even. If the mind were glass, one might shatter it with a scream, which I suppose you did.
Wordless moments, memories birth from open mouths. Memories! Too loud. Too raw. Reflections of moments past until wiped clean by sound. Until…
My everything you were and ever shall remain. My heart cannot beat without you. These romanticised lines of obvious affection. This sentimental twaddle. I wish to silence this scream called us. I wish to close these lips and sleep.
After tonight, maybe I will. Once I tear the secret you’ve kept from your overworked larynx.
I still have the key I copied. I have many such copies. You can never be too careful where safety’s concerned.
The latch lifts with a click like a match struck on once love. We did love, I think.
I’m in. Nothing’s changed. The same lavender stink to cover the cat litter. It assails my olfactory senses and I almost gag. Almost. Ginger, said cat, stops purring the moment I enter. He always hated me. I lurch forward but the cat’s quicker. He leaves without a handful of hair, whilst I’m left with a sergeant’s stripes across my skin. If only I’d closed the door! So, I do.
I let the light rest. I know the way. Darkness is good, it hides a multitude of sins. The mirror in the hallway remains empty. The photo on the telephone desk goes unseen. And I wonder, is it still there?
A sudden urge to sit on the sofa, turn on the tv and watch football, open the fridge and steal a beer. It’s fleeting but there.
I shake my head so hard my eyes rattle.
The first step creaks so I seek the second. Silence. I want to shout COME ON! I don’t, but I want to.
Stopping halfway, I take a seat. One last memory I think. A sigh. An aimless three-sixty. The darkness deprives as the lavender stink prods. I’m back on my feet and climbing before I realise I’ve sat.
Everest climbed, I have a desire to pee. The bathroom door stands open, so I do.
I take a certain devilish pleasure in peeing on the toilet seat, in the sink, bath. Small victories and all that. She’ll never see it but her mother might.
Once relieved, I’m back on the case. First door, second, third… I stop.
There’s a lump in this once-home made a prison. There’s a someone, a certain someone I know. Not for long.
The rage rises.
Her former rebukes, my dismissal, return like a needle shoved into my eyes. And I strike. And I strike. And I strike.
Everything she made me leave behind, the untold secret and more besides, stick like a lump in my throat. But I’ve got her. At last, I’ve got her.
“What have you done!”
The landing light flicks on behind me.
I see my crimson creation and turn away retching out my innards.
She comes at me like Ginger on a bad day. She screams and screams and screams. But this is my dream and she can’t hurt me.
Only when she stops do I hear her. Only when she stops and crumples in a heap whispering the same words over and over again, do I understand what I’ve done.
“Our daughter. She was our daughter.”
And the cold steel I’ve spent seven years polishing finds a nice warm home in my chest. I smile.
My ex-wife screams again. This time, it’s not for us.