The Broken Plate

I open my eyes to the blinding lights that stream in through my bedroom window. My head is heavy, my mouth has the distinct aftertaste of cigarettes and my throat is dry. My eyes are sore and itchy. My face feels sticky and dirty. I lift my head and see the dirty outline of my face on my pillow. Sitting up is a great battle but I finally manage to sit up and open my eyes to the sight that is my matrimonial bedroom. I lazily lift my feet off the bed and place them on the floor. Looking up, I look into my wardrobe mirror and I catch a glimpse of the horror that is my face; my hair is in a mess with ties and knots, most of the make up from one half of my face remained on the pillow, my eye pencil had traced a path down my face to signify the path my flowing tears had carved out. Most of last night is a blur, with bits and pieces coming in flashes.

I immediately notice a funny smell and I run my eyes around, following the trail of the smell so as to discover where it is coming from. I bend down and catch a glimpse of my dress from last night, well, the remainder of it. I lift it to my nose and immediately discover my mistake for the pungent stench from the cloth is horrendous. One of my heels is right next to where the dress was and I notice the heel is broken while the other is nowhere in sight.

And then reality strikes…

Did Jim really just up and leave?

Seven years of marriage and all of a sudden I am cold product. Seven grueling years of pulling him out of all the gutters and pits he had gotten himself into. Seven years of paying his debts, and need I say of how many times I have had to personally call his boss to apologize for his complacency. All the sacrifices I have made not only as a woman but as a person. Having put my career on hold to help him pursue his. How I had given up my smashing body just to have his children. 4 children in seven years is not the easiest thing to do. To be a wife, to be a friend to such a man had drawn the very last of my strength. But I held on, I mean, that is what you do for those you love. You give your all at the expense of yourself. My family disowned me, my friends abandoned me and I lost all traces of a social life just for him. “Me and you against the world baby”, that’s what he told me everyday, and I believed him. And all this while I thought we were a team

Then he comes back home last night, packs his bags and tells me he has had enough. Puts his key on the table and walks out the door. I follow him out into the rain, trying to talk to him but he does not even look at me. He gets into his car and drives off, leaving me kneeling on the ground. I stand up and run after his car, shouting his name, while tears and rain partially blind me. I run till my lungs give in. Most of what happened after that made no entry into my head. Maybe this strange but strong smell on my now soiled dress had something to do with it.

What? How? Why?

These are the thoughts that run through my mind as I feel the tears well up in my eyes again. I let them flow. I begin to feel numb and heavy as all I can think of is the emptiness inside. As the tears trickle down my face, they tell the story of the broken plate that is my heart.


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