Prompt: Put your music library on shuffle. Write a scene inspired by the first song that comes on.
Song: I Forgive You – Every Avenue
It’s a lie. Everything’s a lie.
She’s screaming again, spitting profanities and insults.
I ignore her, because it suddenly occurred to me that I don’t care.
She’s always been like this. Everything was always my fault, I was always the screw-up. I hurt her feelings, she was the victim, every time. Her smiles were cheap and fake and I’m over it. I’m so over it.
I thought I loved her. Now that the truth’s come out I realize I only loved who I thought she might be, and god, even that was a lie.
I throw my stuff into a bag. She shrieks at me from the doorway, like some hypocritical banshee telling me I’ll never last without her, as if the only times I felt like myself weren’t when she wasn’t there. It doesn’t take me very long to pack, all the shit in this house is hers. I hate all of it.
I push past her, into the living room, grab my jacket from the door. Her tactics change and she starts to cry. She tells me that she didn’t mean it, that I’m the one she loves and that I’m hurting her feelings.
I open the door and her voice turns harsh again. She tells me if I walk out that door, we’re over. What is she trying to do, scare me?
I slam the door behind me as I storm down the driveway. I slam my car door as I climb in, I slam the keys in the ignition. I pull out of the driveway without giving a second glance and drive out of the neighbourhood. I fumble for the volume dial as tears threaten to spill over and one of my songs comes on.
Not one of ours. We never had songs. She hated my music.
But this is one of my favourites.
I begin to sing along, and the words come more naturally than anything has in the last month and eventually my tears become laughter and my vision blurs to the point that I have to pull over on the side of the highway. I roll down the window and let the cool air wash over me. The lyrics soothe the rapid beating of my heart, and I let out a sigh that is long overdue.
I don’t have to tolerate her bullshit any more.
And now? God, I feel like I could do anything. Climb a mountain. Own a business. Burn a whole city to the ground and rebuild it for fun.
I suppose I should thank her.