half day

i see them walking to their car

holding hands and smiling

they seem like the perfect couple, so very in love, a dream to behold

i hear them at night

screaming at each other

another piece of glass shattering on the wall above me

the passion turns to hate when the eyes are off of them

some days when i am home alone

watching the clouds and enjoying the coffee and quiet

he heads off to work at seven

the parade of men start rolling in around nine

today he left for work

i heard someone climb the stairs, two at a time

the soft knock

and then frantic sounds and moaning

today was different

he came home early

i heard the truck pull up

the door shut and a cough

must be a sick day

soon he will relish the illness compared to the pain as he opens that door upstairs

yelling

something heavy hitting the ground

running down the stairs and something smashing the ground outside my door

i close the blinds as the half dressed man scurries from view

all is still

that makes me more nervous than if i heard yelling

none of my business unless i hear the sounds of hitting

i sit coiled

the first sound of smacking and i will be up those stairs in a second

but nothing

and then the sobbing leaks through the floor

male sobbing

i hear her heavy shoes as she walks down the stairs

multiple trips

the fantasy is ruined

no more swinging arms and kisses as he opens the car door

no more nights of fighting and days of secret affairs

now i hear him go to work at seven

like clockwork

and when he gets home alone the sounds of music playing

and occasional crying

i wonder if he ever wishes he toughed it out

stayed at work

finished the day and came home to the mirage that was his life

does he regret taking a half day

knowing what he knows now

i cannot say it is better

him knowing

i don’t make eye contact when i bump into him

he knows i knew

but i am just a stranger

and he was just the fool

feels odd seeing someone else wear that title

3 thoughts on “half day

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