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Writing Resources from Fifteen Minutes of Fiction

The following is a piece of writing submitted by LBrantley on July 5, 2010
"Ideas came to me as I wrote. I started the beginning sentence a few times and decided, that with the clock ticking, I'd better go with the one that was up there."

A Bad Start to the Day

Joey knew it was going to be a bad day when he came home to find that his wife of six years had left him. Today was their anniversary and he had rushed home from his business trip to make sure he had made it there for their special day. Six years - they had been married six years.

The first two years seemed great, but then things started to go downhill. Oftentimes Joey would wonder what he could do differently to make his wife happy. He would try to please her in every way, but nothing ever seemed to work. He just couldn't figure out what was wrong with him and why he couldn't please her. He felt like a failure.

Upon arriving home that morning, he noticed some things were different. It seemed all of his things in the living room were missing - his favorite clock that was on the mantle was gone, the photos of him and his brother fishing was missing, along with a few other personal items. Everything else seemed to be in place. He wondered what his wife did with them and why she had taken them down.

He went back to the bedroom to empty his suitcase and put his clothes away. He opened the closet door in the bedroom and noticed that all of his wife's things were gone - totally and completely gone. Her whole half of the closet was empty - but not as empty as his heart felt just then.

Joey rushed into the bathroom to see if her toiletries were still there. No toothbrush, no make-up - all gone. His heart sank. Where was she? Where had she gone? Why was she gone? All sorts of questions ran through his mind.

As he began putting things away from his suitcase, the phone rang. He set his shoes down on the closet floor, closed the door and went to the phone.

"Hello," he said, hoping it was his wife.

"Hello," said the female voice on the other end of the phone. It wasn't a voice he knew. It wasn't his wife. "You don't know me, but my name is Sheila. I just called to let you know that your wife is having an affair with my husband. I thought you would want to know."

Joey felt nothing but total shock. Words didn't come to him. Questions, nothing but questions entered his head - then anger rose in his face.

He explained to the voice on the phone named Sheila that he had just rushed home for a business trip to be with his wife on their sixth anniversary only to find her gone. Sheila explained that her husband had left over the weekend, as well, and didn't know where he had gone either. They assumed their spouses had gone off together somewhere.

After a brief conversation, the phone call ended and Joey decided to try to find the personal things of his that were missing in from the living room. He searched around the house until he finally found them in the spare bedroom closet. Wondering why they had been removed from the living room and placed in the closet, he finally concluded that The Other Man must have been entertained in his own home while he was away.

Joey took his things to the living room and placed them back in their usual spot. He looked around the room and realized that now he could arrange things the way he wanted. He realized that now all this space was his - this quiet and tranquil space - this peace, this quiet was his. And he realized that he wasn't the problem in his marriage. He realized that her choices were the problem.

Joey knew that this bad day was the beginning of a new start and that a few months from now, things would be better. It was only a matter of time.

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