Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Rage (violent, uncontrolled hatred and anger) (02/05/15)
TITLE: He Lives In the Silence
By JK Stenger
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I clenched my fists and let out a frustrated scream.
This time my wife’s gone too far. She deserves what she got. That woman knows no gratitude. Don’t I provide her with money and a home? What more does she want? And all that baloney; about me seeing other women. Of course I see other women. What does she expect? At least they treat me like a man. After all, I’m the boss in the house. Even her Bible agrees with me on that. I’m sick of her Bible talk. And when I tell her to shut up, she starts crying.
Today it had been worse than usual. She had stood her ground and started arguing back. She twisted my words, making me out to be a liar.
Then I had felt the anger rising. It welled up from deep inside and took over, like it always did. I jabbed my finger in her face to warn her, but she just stood there, defiantly. She looked so … ugly.
I yanked her arm and squeezed it, yelling, “Woman, why don’t you listen!” Then I beat her in the face; several times.
In times like these, I’d act like a bull in front of a red cloth. But she asked for it.
Blood trickled from her nose onto her white blouse. Her lips had trembled, and her eyes became misty. Then she ran off and slammed the door.
It was stupid of me. I know. I should’ve controlled myself, but really, she drove me to it.
Slowly my anger diminished. I felt like a deflated soccer ball, but at least I had my emotions under control again.
Hope the neighbors didn’t hear anything.
As I shuffled to the back porch, it started drizzling. I shivered.
The car is gone. She must have taken it.
As I opened the back door, the silence of the house greeted me as if I were an unwelcome guest.
“God lives in the silence,” I muttered. It was my wife’s favorite saying. I shrugged off this unpleasant thought as I went inside.
I wonder who’s going to cook tonight.
“I have never stopped praying for you.” A gentle smile graces her face.
We meet again after ten years.
I had called her on the phone; I just had to see her. We sit on a lovely terrace, overlooking a field full of daffodils. She looks radiant and seems to possess an inner peace. Had she always been like that?
“Still talking religion huh?”
“God loves you in spite of the past, Sander.”
I shuffle my feet. “You know, I never remarried.”
“I know.” She fixes her gaze on me.
I tap my fingers on the table. Does she also know that the pub became my sanctuary and that rage was my only companion? Does she know how lonely I’ve been?
“I became an alcoholic.”
Once again, I feel like a deflated soccer ball. Oh, for a moment of peace!
No tears. I won’t cry.
“I…I am sorry. I messed up so bad.”
She takes my hand in hers. It feels so soft, so gentle. “Listen…Do you hear that robin? That bird’s song is so full of life and so happy. It’s like a promise.”
A robin? A promise from whom?
Then I hear it too. It’s beautiful. I take a deep breath.
“It’s so quiet here,” I manage to say.
She nods. “Did I ever tell you that God lives in the silence?”
I can hold back my tears no longer.
This is a work of fiction.
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