created by Kelly DeBie
It’s Fiction Friday with the Friday Fiction Femmes Fatales. We all write different stories based on the same prompt, given to us by Molly Field at Grass Oil. March’s theme is luck and renewal. This is episode twelfth in an ongoing series. If you missed the first eleven episodes, here are the links:
The sky outside the Keilsth house was dark and grey. Heavy clouds loomed overhead while cold, thick raindrops fell against the window and saturating the lawn and their gardens. The raindrops raced down her window pane as she looked outside gathering her thoughts. Her heart felt as heavy as the sky. At this moment though, there were no tears, just an empty feeling inside where her marriage once lived.
was gone, and he was never coming back. She had to get used to that idea whether she liked it or not. The pool where he had his accident sat empty, the surface riddled with rain. It was hard for her to believe what started out as a family day at home playing in the pool became another devastating loss to her family. At least he is with Ella and Anderson now. He can take care of them in the afterlife while I take care of Steven, Brad, and Robert here.
Richard’s parents took care of notifying people about his death. Amanda just couldn’t bear the task. It was hard enough to deal with all the funeral preparations. It was hard enough to mother to her three sons, to guide them in the grief process and to shield them from the secrets of their parents’ marriage. All she wanted to do was curl up in a ball and lie in her bed. But she knew her sons felt the same way, if not worse because they not only lost siblings, they lost a father too. One moment changed their lives forever.
Phone calls and visitors started to arrive with sympathy flowers, words of condolences, and meals for the family. Friends offered to drive the boys to school and their activities for Amanda. But, there was one friend she hadn’t seen or heard from yet, Amy
, her best friend
and the other woman. She assumed Amy heard about Richard’s accident because his phone had stopped receiving notifications from her. Amanda was never one to mince words or to put on a fake persona to please others, but she hadn’t had a chance to directly confront Amy yet. Inside, she felt conflicted knowing the man she loved and lived her life with betrayed her with her best friend. She only found out because he died! She grieved the loss of her husband and their future together, all the while remembering what she read in his emails to his mistress…that he was leaving her soon to start a new life. He never forgave Amanda for the accident that killed Ella and Anderson, and despite their attempts to save their marriage, he already had plans to divorce her and was sleeping with her best friend. Amanda had never felt so many emotions at one time before in her whole life. It was hard to think straight, but she knew she had to confront Amy. She had to deal with it because acting like the problem didn’t exist wouldn’t make it go away. It would slowly eat at her from the inside out.
She was never known to shy away from conflict. Sometimes that got her in trouble as people thought she was confrontational. But in Amanda’s
mind, people can’t solve problems unless they acknowledge the problems in the first place. Sweeping things under the rug doesn’t make them go away. Amanda believed in taking the high road, and how she would deal with her husband’s infidelity and death at the same time would be a true test of her character. So, she decided to call Amy and invite her over to talk.
When she opened the door and saw Amy standing there, clearly distraught, there were no words. Amy hugged Amanda and they both cried. Amanda invited her in, and they sat down at the kitchen table to talk over coffee. Inside, she was seething with anger and intensely curious what Amy would say to her. When Amanda pulled out Richard’s phone and set it on the table between them, Amy turned white. Amanda’s stomach dropped. She told Amy she saw the texts and emails but didn’t go into detail. She stopped talking to give Amy a chance to either redeem herself or to end their friendship forever. She would have one chance to tell the truth. If she lied or denied the affair, Amanda was going to flip out.
Amy knew the game was up. She knew Amanda read some of her messages to Richard. Surprisingly, she admitted everything and apologized profusely to Amanda for everything she’d done: the infidelity, the betrayal, the secrets, and the lies. She was so embarrassed, she put her head down on her folded arms on the table and sobbed uncontrollably. Amanda didn’t know how to feel. On one hand, she felt relieved Amy told her the truth and showed remorse. On the other hand, she wanted to punch her right in her pretty face and tell her to leave and never come back. Since Amy used her one chance to do the right thing, Amanda exercised some self-control. The fact was that neither woman was going to have Richard. There was really nothing to fight over.
She told Amy she appreciated her telling the truth and that she mostly felt sorry for her more than anything. She knew Amy’s life turned upside down when her husband died. Richard was an amazing man and had many attractive qualities. She couldn’t blame Amy for seeing an ideal husband and father in him. She told Amy she would try to forgive her, but that it was going to take time to process everything. Because Amy told her the truth, she would commit to working on the healing process. But because Amy crossed the line in the first place, Amanda thought it would not be a good idea for Amy to attend the funeral. There was no way she could focus on saying goodbye to her husband with his mistress present. Amy would just have to deal with it. It wasn’t Amanda’s issue. Amanda drew her boundary to protect herself.
Amy left in the pouring rain, and Amanda locked the door behind her. Thunder clapped and lightning streaked across the sky as she got back into bed. Maybe I can fall asleep and this will all be a bad dream.
Here is the prompt:
We are almost past St. Patrick’s Day, a “holiday” that many people think is about getting hammered amid ersatz spontaneous Irishness. People connect being Irish with being lucky. Those of us who’ve descended from The Mother Country know that “luck” is subjective. I prefer the word “chance.” That said, here is the prompt:
“chance |CHans| noun 1 a possibility of something happening: a chance of victory | there is little chance of his finding a job. … • (chances) the probability of something happening: he played down his chances of becomingchairman. • [ in sing. ] an opportunity to do or achieve something: I gave her a chance to answer. • a ticket in a raffle or lottery. • Baseball an opportunity to make a defensive play, which if missed counts as an error: 541 straight chances without an error.
2 the occurrence and development of events in the absence of any obvious design: he met his brother by chance | what a lucky chance that you are here. adjective [ attrib. ] fortuitous; accidental: a chance meeting. verb 1 [ no obj. ] do something by accident or without design: if they chanced to meet. • (chance upon/on) find or see by accident: he chanced upon an interesting advertisement. 2 [ with obj. ] informal do (something) despite its being dangerous or of uncertain outcome: she waited a few seconds and chanced another look.”
You decide how to use it, how to demonstrate it and how to reconcile it in your writing this week. 800-1500 words. Go.
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