The Dark

Train horn sounded. She laid there in the dark. Could hear it chugging on the tracks. Blowing its horn. Making all kinds of racket. Pulled blanklets up over her head. No one slept beside her. Used to have a man. They were supposed to grow old together. Till death do us part and all that stuff. He didn’t remember his vows.

Often at night she’d stare into the black. Never any light. Kept it dark. Outside a street light shined. Glowed like a candle in church. Curtains blocked it out. It was so dark she couldn’t see her hand in front of her face. The young woman didn’t want to see anything. She wanted silence too. But, even ear plugs didn’t work. She’d lived by those tracks for nearly twenty years and she still couldn’t get used to the midnight noise. Couldn’t block it out. Same way she was unable to stop thinking of him. Memories came to her in the night.

She knew he was unfaithful. Slept with anything not nailed down. He had women all over town; throughout the country. Found out about one woman in Las Vegas. Said he was always going there with the boys to gamble and smoke cigars. Drink Hennessey from a snifter. That’s where she thought all the money was going. That’s what she thought.

Found photos of women on his phone in various states of dress. Some wore nothing at all. There were emojis by the pictures; a pair of red lips, $100, a tiny blonde with a wink. He had no answer for this. Just filed for divorce. Said he no longer loved her. Let her have everything; house, car, kids, he just wanted out. She’d heard he moved down to Dallas. Said he sold insurance down there. Bought a convertible and left town. He had a woman down there too.

And she laid there in the dark thinking she wasn’t good enough for a man. Maybe her hips had gotten too wide. Perhaps her breasts sagged a bit. Could’ve grown jaded; cynical. You just do things on your own, the woman told her young daughter. Can’t rely on anyone, she said. People will let you down. Especially men, the kid would listen. They’ll promise you the moon, but, never deliver, she was broken.

She laid there in the dark. Listening to the trains go by. Never wanted to see morning. Didn’t want to see the sun reflect off her Ford in the driveway. All that money and he left her a Ford. A Taurus none the less. Gave it to her daughter. Let her drive around town. She just wanted to stay in the dark.

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