catch22 (catch22) wrote,

There was an ambience to the air as Marc left work Friday afternoon. Five minutes till five, the boss would frown on that if he were there today. Marc had to get something off his chest. The night before there were words left unsaid. The chapter needed to be ended before he could move on. He stopped by the Safeway on the way over to her house. As he walked through the sliding doors there were peach roses in the floral display case. She loved peach roses. He remembered asking her why peach. To which she replied they aren't all clich.

He opened the case up and picked out a bouquet of peach roses. They had lost their perfume though. "There was nothing more amazing then walking in the rose gardenssmelling the different hints of scent on the windespecially after the monsoon" she once said. These were slowly dying, but they still kept their glory as they wasted away under the fluorescent lights of the floral display. They'd have to do since nothing could make what he had to do any better.

He walked by the isles one by one: cereal, bread, candies, women's health as he headed towards the liquor isle that quietly whispered his name. Half way down was the jack he was after. This would make bottle number two. If she knew that they'd get into a fight, she'd end up crying, and he would walk down the street to the local sports bar, wait an hour, then go back to her and tell her he was trying to be better. That he was weaning himself off of it. She always bought it and took him back.

He went down the card isle next. Which card was apropos for this occasion? He wished they made "I don't deserve you, so I'm going to end this before things fall apart" cards. He loved two women. One that accepted him for the current man he was. The other that knew there was a better person inside of him that no one else saw. Yet she never forced him to change, but he'd always jump through hoops for her. He hated the words she'd say "Someday you'll realize what you're capable of." When did it get so hard? She seemed so free. So clean. Yet he knew about her past. How could she walk through miles of shit and in the end come out clean, when everyone else came out dull, dirty, and smelly? This is why he didn't deserve her; she deserved better. He selected a black and white Thank you picture card with a rose that was highlighted in yellow.

He looked at the roses he picked out. Their beauty was fading already. This is irony at it's best he thought. Things being picked in their prime, never able to reach their full potential. He walked back to the floral case and placed the roses back into the water bucket. He walked towards the checkout line, pulled out a twenty and paid the clerk. Then he drove to the park across from her house. It was an ordinary park. They use to feed the swans. In the evening she'd always insist on packing sandwiches and eating under the Ramada by the lake. She'd always take a bag of breadcrumbs for the swans. They'd flock around her when she was there. The sun would throw the lakes reflection on the swans giving them a silvery hue, which reminded him of the silver swans once owned by some Czar he saw in a Russian museum. It was funny; everything would gravitate towards her whereever she went. That was part of her allure.

He sat down on the Ramada and looked over the lake. There were no swans today. Somewhere in the neighborhood someone was playing Bach's Air in G. She always cried when she heard that song. There was a bittersweet beauty to it she'd say. He never could find it. As he pulled out his fountain pen, he tried to write in the card, but the music kept making his mind wander to times when they were happy. When the curtain fell on the last memory he looked at his watch, 8:30. Dammit! Where did the time go? He opened the card again and wrote the following words underneath the Scripted Thank You that was already there-"Sweetheart, you deserve better than me. I'll never be the man you think you see in me, and you deserve that man. Thank you for showing me the world from the mountaintop, but I'll never be able to fly as you do. Love always, Marc."

He walked over to her house and rang the bell. She wasn't home. He looked down on the welcome mat and saw that there was a card with his name on it. He picked it up and replaced it with the card he had just written. He walked back to his car and drove. He found himself out in front of the music hall where they first met. Somehow he knew that the card contained forgiveness for what he just did. She was weird like thatalways knowing the move he was going to make. He hesitated then ran his finger under the gum sealed envelope. Inside was a peach piece of parchment paper with the following words on it-"My dearest Marc, When I saw you sitting alone by the lake something stopped me from trying to race out there and help fight the monsters you were battling in your head. I waited for you to come but the waiting got hard. So here is the words I have for the ones I know that are coming. You deserve so much more then you think you do Marc. You are capable of so much more too. I pray that someday you'll find the happiness you're after. It saddens me that we can't find it together, but that's my fault. Unfortunately I can't live in the valley after playing on the mountainsides. Someday we'll meet again and share the stories of what we learned in life. Until that day, peace be with you."

As he put the card back into it's torn envelope he saw the bottle of Jack. The stench filled the car as he opened the bottle. He rolled down the window and poured it onto the pavement, tossed the bottle in the trashcan and then started his car. As he drove towards his house, he wondered which day will he see her again.
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