Prompt: Describe an item you were incredibly attached to as a child. What became of it?
“John, wait. That’s not how I-”
“Save it, Lis. I’m going out with David.”
I bite my lip and close my eyes. Not exactly how I imagined this night going. I watch him leave before retiring to the bedroom, sitting on our bed and trying not to pout. I fail miserably, flopping onto my back and looking at the wall. Mr. Fluffles stares back at me.
“What?” I ask the teddy bear. “Do you think I’m the bad guy too?”
He doesn’t reply. staring at me with button eyes, his fur patchy and worn from the trials I put him through as a kid. I sigh, staring at the ceiling. Maybe I am the bad guy.
I grab Mr. Fluffles and head to the kitchen, pouring a glass of last night’s wine. The couch conforms to me as I sink into it, flicking on the TV. I space out, drinking wine and absently stroking Mr. Fluffles battered fur.
It feels like John and I have been fighting ever since I took this new job. I thought he’d be happy that I had more free time, but he seems… disappointed? Maybe I’m reading too much into it. Maybe there’s nothing wrong and I’m making up problems because for the first time in years I don’t have any.
I get another glass of wine and switch to Netflix, throwing on the latest release. My eyes drift from the show, attention wandering, staring at the dark screen of my phone. He hasn’t texted. I haven’t texted.
The phone feels heavier than it is, like all my emotions are resting inside the scratched screen. I click the home button, a picture of the two of us together blinking into existence on my screen. I stare at it for a minute, stare until the screen goes dark again. I sigh, unlocking the screen and pulling up our chat messages.
The characters are working out some conflict on the screen, the jarring camera angles throwing bright light in whimsical patterns throughout the living room. I read our chat history, going back as far as it will let me, reading from when we were happy. My throat is tight as I read, constricting under the threat of tears. The first tears fall silently, cooling quickly and stopping halfway down my cheeks. I wipe them away and scroll to the end of the chat.
My fingers are poised and ready to type, the cursor blinking impatiently as I try to figure out what the hell to say. I look at Mr. Fluffles. He looks back, calm and collected like only a teddy bear can be. I pull him into a hug and send John the only thing I can think to say: I’m sorry.
The minutes drag on like days while I wait for the ding, that mechanical sound that will tell me if he cares. It finally beeps, screen lighting up. New message from John: I’m sorry too.
I smile a little. It’s a start.
This story is continued on Day 23.