Posts Tagged ‘ those moments ’

Estrangement

When he entered, crossing from the doorway toward the empty seat at the table just outside the open entryway to the kitchen, she could not be sure he was real.

She was confused for a moment by his clothing, which–besides looking nothing like what he had been wearing when he had disappeared three years earlier–seemed to be hewn entirely from rough, burlap-like cloth.

“Where have you been?” she asked in a gasp.

When he sat–like some creature from a Gabriel Garcia Marquez story–he sloughed off a drizzle of vermin to twitch and struggle in the fibers of the carpet.

His voice, when it emerged, was dry and course. “It’s a fair question.”

She stepped toward him, still holding the soapy skillet that she had been washing when he had come in.

“What should I call it?” he asked, not looking at her but at the diffuse glow of the remaining daylight behind the crinkled venetian blinds. “A quest?” He shook his head. “I was tested, though. Given an opportunity,” he said with a nod.

Shaking her own head, she came closer to him, mouth agape.

“I was put in one of those situations when I had the chance to prove myself. A moment when all my beliefs and principles were tested, when I could demonstrate I was able to put others before myself, to rise above selfish, petty desires and serve the greater good. A moment,” he repeated. “To be more, to be better. A chance to do the right thing.”

“But,” she stammered. “It’s been so long…what…what happened?”

He ran his hand through his matted, gunky hair.

“I failed,” he said.

 

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