An Indifferent Wife – Friday Fictioneers, April 2015

Copyright Lauren Moscato

“I’ll drive you home, Ellen.”

“I’m widowed, not incapacitated.”

Not an unhappy marriage, but no idyll either. Different aspirations, different interests.

She’d often dreamed of leaving but each time she reached the brink she held back, fearful that only a void existed on the other side.

Now every night, unsupported by his bulk, she rolls over into his cold, vacated hollow.

She sits in his favourite chair, and fingers the threadbare patches where his meaty hands once fidgeted constantly.

I wonder, she thinks, whether I took all that there was to be taken.

And every day, she comes closer to the answer.

Going through something of a fallow patch at the moment, but the best way to reach the other side is to keep on keeping on, I think.  And what better exercise than Friday Fictioneers under the watchful eye of Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.  Thanks for all that you do for the group, Rochelle.

About Sandra

I cruise the French waterways with my husband four or five months a year, and write fiction and poetry. I love animals, F1 motor racing, French bread and my husband, though not necessarily in that order.
This entry was posted in Friday Fictioneers, Just Sayin' and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

102 Responses to An Indifferent Wife – Friday Fictioneers, April 2015

  1. Dear Sandra,

    I’m glad to see the muse was with you this week. Your story leaves us with questions, that perhaps, should be asked while our partners are still with us. Well done…but I never expect anything less.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Like

  2. dmmacilroy says:

    Dear Sandra,

    I missed you last week.

    As I read your story this week I said to myself, “God, Sandra’s good.” A flash of lightning startled me and then, a few seconds later I could have sworn the thunder said, “I know.”

    Love you.

    Aloha,

    Doug

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Well Sandra, you managed again this week to get right into someone’s head and share it with us. Great description, and so well done yet again. 🙂 — Suzanne

    Like

  4. Sandra says:

    Thank you Suzanne. I ought to be leaving other people’s heads alone but I can’t resist a little foray every now and then. 🙂

    Like

  5. wildbilbo says:

    Howdy – this bit: “…reached the brink she held back, fearful that only a void existed on the other side.” – beautiful use of words to get the point that she wont leave for fear of being alone (the void).

    Nailed it.
    KT

    Like

  6. micklively says:

    You’ve said so much with so little. Well done Sandra.

    Like

  7. emmylgant says:

    So good! The reader can go down so many different paths not taken.

    Like

  8. A touching tribute, indeed. I have nightmares of what it will be like when my dear one departs. With his epilepsy slowly getting worse, it could be sooner than either of us imagine. Thanks for such a poignant story. I almost want to go to my husband’s work, demand to see him, just to kiss him for no reason whatsoever…

    Like

  9. Very thought provoking. You’ve given us a lifetime to ponder in just 100 words.
    Great story 🙂

    Like

  10. elmowrites says:

    Good to have you back, Sandra. Your story leaves me with a lot of questions, but I think perhaps all of them intended and certainly none the worse for them. One thing I must pick up on though – I love the narrative voice for this – seeing it from the point of view of a loving friend trying to understand adds an extra depth that a first person or omniscient type narration would lose.

    Like

    • Sandra says:

      Hi Jen, good to be back. I tried to do this in first person (my favoured style) but I think the sentiments made me feel really uncomfortable so I had to insert a degree of detachment to do the theme justice. Thanks for commenting.

      Like

  11. What a way with words…beautiful, poignant, deep, you touched every hidden corner of my heart,

    Like

  12. ansumani says:

    Amazing take on the prompt! Loved it!

    Like

  13. Love your take on the photo prompt, I really felt for the widow. A wonderful piece of writing 🙂

    Like

  14. yarnspinnerr says:

    I enjoyed this psychiatric analysis. 🙂

    Like

  15. paulmclem says:

    Great idea i.e. a void. Being, honest I’m not totally sure what the ending means, but that’s not unusual for me…lol.

    Like

    • Sandra says:

      Thanks Paul. She’s just beginning to realise that she misses him, but being the kind of self centred person that she is, she couches it in terms of “did I get everything out of him as a person” rather than “have I not appreciated him.” Or something like that. 😉

      Like

  16. k rawson says:

    Stunning piece. Such a tangle of emotions.

    Like

  17. storydivamg says:

    Dear Sandra,
    It’s so easy to take the ones we love for granted. I think of a family member of mine whom I always thought merely tolerated her husband until the day he almost died. During his second open-heart surgery in 24 hours, I sat next to her as I realized how deeply she had grown to love him. Since that time, I don’t think she has taken a single moment for granted. Too bad that not everyone gets that kind of a second chance.

    All my best,
    Marie Gail

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sandra says:

      I agree, Marie Gail. Sometimes you don’t know what you have until it’s no longer with you and there’s no way you can turn back the clock. I’m glad your relative had the opportunity to put things right here. Have a lovely Easter.

      Like

  18. How sad.
    How thought provokingly sad.

    Like

  19. fearful that only a void existed on the other side. How many people stay in an unsavory situation for this very reason. Well done!!!

    Like

  20. MythRider says:

    I guess she didn’t know just how much she really loved him. I hope there’s more life for her to enjoy.

    Like

  21. I guess all grief is ultimately ego centric. But life is too short for regrets.

    Like

  22. Francesca Smith says:

    A beautifully written and thoughtful piece.

    Like

  23. Nan Falkner says:

    Dear Sandra, Great story and very well written (as usual)! Nan

    Like

  24. Indira says:

    Hi Sandra, very nice story. Sometimes we take each other for granted and miss when one is gone.

    Like

  25. draliman says:

    A very thought-provoking and evocative piece.

    Like

  26. A very poignant piece of writing, Sandra. So much room for regrets when it’s too late to do anything about them. 😦

    Like

  27. gahlearner says:

    Aren’t we all too often appreciating people (or things) only after they’re gone? Wonderful and thoughtful story.

    Like

  28. plaridel says:

    a touch of genius. well-written as usual.

    Like

  29. Mike says:

    I noticed that you are always one of the first few to reply each week. But what impresses me most is that you always have a powerful and moving story.

    Like

    • Sandra says:

      Thanks Mike. 🙂 If I don’t get the inspiration straight away, it generally won’t come at all. Last week I didn’t submit, but it wasn’t that I didn’t try – I had three stories but they were rubbish. 😦 So I stayed away, licking my wounds and hoping for better things this week.

      Like

  30. Jan Brown says:

    You’ve written a brilliant personalty study, jam-packed into 100 words! She was an indifferent wife, now a cold and selfish widow. And kind of snippy to her friend! Very sad. Perhaps she would have been more capable of joy had she left the marriage while still young.

    Like

  31. rogershipp says:

    Nicely done… Sounds of desperation and hopeless, yet not ready to admit it?

    Like

  32. She doesn’t sound indifferent to me. Unless your title was meant to be sarcastic.
    Randy

    Like

  33. Creatopath says:

    Beautifully written Sandra. So sad. I particularly liked this sentence: “She sits in his favourite chair, and fingers the threadbare patches where his meaty hands once fidgeted constantly”.

    Like

  34. Beautiful piece Sandra. Sometimes we find life too difficult — I had the impression from “meaty hands once fidgeted constantly” and that she would have left if she wasn’t scared of the void, that perhaps life with him was a struggle but we find just how much we miss him when he is gone and wish that perhaps we had been a little less indifferent. You have painted a person I know to perfection.

    Like

  35. Brilliant. That story says so much about the complexity of relationships.

    Like

  36. Dale says:

    Sounds like my mother when she was with my father. As a new widow, it made me ever grateful that I did not have an indifferent relationship with Mick.
    You are a brilliant writer!

    Like

  37. adamjasonp says:

    Well written. It makes me think, “what did she do?”

    Like

  38. rgayer55 says:

    There’s always that nagging fear that we might be jumping from the frying pan into the fire. My sister in-law was complaining about her nagging mother and my Dad responded, “My mother nagged a lot too. I’d sure love to hear her do it one more time.”

    Also, I must echo Doug’s comment. You are really good. I keep hoping some of it will rub off on me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sandra says:

      Yes, you can never anticipate the size and dimensions of your loss. And thank you for your latter comment. I wish some of your humour would permeate my own work more. 🙂

      Like

  39. Dee says:

    Glad you made it this week Sandra, not sure I am going to, but I’ll try.

    A great story to come back with I must say, you have a way of getting straight to the heart of feelings and laying them bare, well done.

    On another note, your story is in this month’s ‘Writing’ magazine, as you are home I guess you have seen it. A great piece of flash fiction, loved it.

    Dee

    Like

  40. mjlstories says:

    Very sad story. Felt sad for both of them. Indifference – such a loaded bitter word.

    Like

  41. Margaret says:

    Your wonderful story captures so well the mixture of emotions that often comprises relationships. I’m sure even the longest, most successful ones have moments where one or the other partner wonders, as your Ellen does. Ellen may be self-centred, as you explain above, but she comes through as having loved him, as best she could, and that’s all any of us can do.

    Like

    • Sandra says:

      Yes, sometimes the unlikeliest of peope get together, and it’s necessary to work to keep a relationship alive. Thanks for commenting so thoughtfully, Margaret.

      Like

  42. Sandra, your “fallow” is still inspiring. I think I’ve known a few indifferent wives… and husbands. You really capture the sense of hopelessness and loss here.

    Like

  43. amiewrites74 says:

    Very moving. It is amazing how much emotion can be packed into such a short piece.

    Like

  44. I think a lot of people feel the same. I missed you last week.

    Like

  45. I imagine there are many in marriages that have regrets. It makes you wonder why they would stay when we only have one life to live. Yet, in the end, when the other is gone they wonder still. Exceptional writie, Sandra. You have a wonderful way of weaving your words. 😊

    Like

  46. Liz Young says:

    What a powerful story, Sandra. It makes me wonder about my own life.

    Like

  47. milliethom says:

    This is so well written, Sandra. Insightful and thought-provoking – and the title gives us a further view of the woman’s behaviour and response to her husband’s death.

    Like

  48. I love the direction you took with this Sandra, so much to think about and lots of room for the reader to consider the possibilities in terms of her regrets and the answer to which she is moving closer

    Like

  49. subroto says:

    Nicely done, not indifferent to such a fine piece of writing.

    Like

  50. Great piece, so true of so many people. Getting closer to the answer but in most cases never getting there because only one road is taken and the other remains unknown. There is always a feeling of loss and sadness, no manner what. Super job!

    Like

  51. Ellespeth says:

    This is sad, Sandra.
    This paragraph “She sits in his favourite chair, and fingers the threadbare patches where his meaty hands once fidgeted constantly”…. so moving.
    Ellespeth

    Like

  52. i b arora says:

    great post, but why do wives wonder about their role only after they are widowed

    Like

  53. empeck says:

    Very thought provoking and sad. The end of a marriage is always sad, be it through death or divorce.

    Like

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