Gazing out of the window, my eyes landed on two dark orbs clouded by stale tears and lack of sleep. The person they belong to had become so engulfed in the world outside the window, that she had forgotten the world she shared with her husband. The one I misjudged from the very beginning. I believed that the relationship was growing closer, when in reality it was gradually falling apart. There had been tons of moments in my life where I knew that the right thing would eventually come up and slap me in the face. This situation was different. Emotional, for the lack of a more fitting word. Never had I been completely alone like this; left to only be able to stare outside the window of the apartment and bask in the wintery cityscape that lied before these empty eyes, the ones I saw in the window. The worst urge overwhelmed me. The sudden urge to spit out of the window to see who it hits below. The window pane could not be open, for it had become permanently locked after I tossed his bottle of alcohol outside and shattered the windshield on a parked car below. Resting my forehead against the chilled window, I waited for every frozen minute to melt away. The pint of alcohol in my hand of whatever he had left in the cabinet did not assist in making time faster. It made time slower; it made it more painful. This did not ease my aching body of anything; it just made the thoughts louder and more difficult to accumulate. It made the screams of my inner emotions much louder. Most of all, it made me miss him even more than I did earlier that week. I think it finally kicked in. The fact that he was never coming back finally kicked in. The love of my life had been taken from this Earth by God.
Another sip. Another memory of us seated outside in the grass after his band’s last show, taking photographs of everything around us; the slope of grass, the cars, the street, strangers, and finally, he had two photos left to take before his film was fully used up. He snapped a photo of me when I was not looking. Then, he wrapped his arm around me and told me to scream cheese. I had no time to prepare, but I did think fast enough to sport a toothy grin for him, and I hoped it turned out well enough to show the world. It did. I now sit here on this couch drinking the last bit of alcohol in the house with the old photo album resting in my lap. The pictures from the short memory plastered on each of these pages, especially the sixth—the last—photo of the small section. We both sported checkered, button down shirts, sweaty faces, and the I-am-in-Love grins. Running my finger over the nearly two year old photograph, a tear formed in my eye. Not again. I cannot keep doing this to myself. The photo album received a harsh slam with my fist before I forced it shut. Why did this have to happen to us? He did not deserve such a thing. Gabriel was always an amazing person. Of course, he drank every now and then, but what average person does not?
And yet, another million tears shed for him. I slung the nearly empty bottle across the living room and could not care less about what it shattered against. All I wanted was him to burst through the door like he used to and tell me that all of this was a bad practical joke that surpassed its limits. This may not happen ever again, for he has been gone for nearly a week now. Seven days without his embrace. Several days with the absence of his presence in the bed next to me after a lengthy conversation about the most random thoughts and beliefs we had. The last seven days gave me a taste of what everyday will be like until the end of my days, or at least until he is found.
Everything grew blurry as my limbs grew numb, sending me a signal that the alcohol had commenced kicking in—yet all of the pain that I wanted it to numb only grew stronger. The images of seeing him in a body bag rushed through my mind as I shook my head to rid them away.
The ringing in my head grew as I gradually yet reluctantly lifted raised up from my sleeping position from the night before. Had I fallen asleep? Glancing around the room, I noticed the time and frowned to myself now knowing the answer to my question; yes, it was passed noon and I had a show to go to in less than an hour. In a rush, I stood up from the couch to stretch out my aches then quickly headed towards the shower. The image of the body bag come racing back through my mind as I climbed into the shower. I let out an angered shriek that may have woke up the neighbors that were lucky enough to still be laying in bed at that time.
Soon I emerged from the steamy cubicle and wrapped a faded blue towel around myself. I dared not to even look into mirror, so I bypassed it as I grabbed the large brush off of the sink counter. As I exited the bathroom and tossed the brush into my bedroom, someone knocked at my door. Without a second thought of being in only a towel, I approached the door and cracked it open to find a member of one of the bands playing later on tonight. “Adam? What are you doing here?”
“Lindsey, you were supposed to be at the venue thirty minutes ago.” The expression on his face screamed desperation.
“I know, I had a rough night,” I responded lightly. “You can come in and relax while I get ready, okay?” Stepping back, I let him in and closed the door. “I’m sorry; I’m only in a towel.”
Adam shook his head, “It’s fine. Go get ready and I can drive you to the venue.” He seated himself on the couch and looked at me. “I’m not complaining.”
I shook my head and went to my room muttering to myself. It is not the time for him to make wise cracks like that. My husband went missing not too long ago and every guy is acting like I’m the new bachelorette. I rummaged through my closet to find something decent, and settled for dark jeans and a purple v-neck. After slinging them on, I walked into the living room and saw Adam bent over in the kitchen floor, “What are you doing?”
“Cleaning up this glass; what happened last night?” he asked bluntly as he trashed the shards and glanced back at me waiting for an answer.
“Listen, I’m not in the mood, okay?” I stated firmly grabbing my brush. “Drive your ass back to the venue, I’m taking a taxi.” The brush had yet to touch my hair when I received a grimace from him. “What!? Do I not have permission to miss my lost husband!?”
“Do you think that man is coming back?” Adam stated making his way towards the door.
“Fuck you, Adam!” I shouted throwing the phone in his direction.
“I was just saying,” Adam shrugged opening the door. “I’ll see you at the show.”
“No you won’t. You can tell everyone that I died or going to jail for murder,” I stated brushing my hair as he finally shut the door behind him. “I don’t need the show. I’ll go to that fucking art exhibit, maybe I’ll run into someone I like there besides assholes that want in my pants…” I took a deep breath before I felt the massive lump form in my throat, “Staying home isn’t going to bring anything back except for unwanted emotions.”
Soon, I commenced regretting acting so angry towards him, even though I had every right to tell him what I really thought. Adam has been one of my best guy friends and is known to flirt around with me in what I’ve always believed to be a joking manner. Still the guy had no right at all to talk to me as if I should start forgetting about someone that I had been married to for nearly two years.
Gawking in the mirror after blow drying my hair, I truly saw the person I had become: a bitter woman in her mid-twenties that takes out her rage on every male she is acquainted with. While I tinkered with make up for a few moments, I came to a shocking conclusion, “We have been working on this show for a while.” My eyes fell to the vanilla tinted sink, “I should apologize. He has helped me through this since Alan disappeared. He has helped me through more than this, as well.”
I exited the apartment trying to piece together what I could say to the guy I hurled a telephone at earlier. Once I locked my apartment door, I turned to see an image I did not expect to see. Adam seated in the floor, up against the wall with his face buried in his palms. From my perspective, he had been crying for a few minutes now, but it could have been in the dingy lighting in the apartment. This was not like him because Adam is a macho, manly guy and to see him sitting outside of my apartment door crying frightened me. “Adam? I’m sorry…”
“Lynn, you shouldn’t be sorry. I am a terrible person,” he stated in a low tone, which was soaked in emotion. Gently, he tugged at his bangs probably hoping they would cover his dark-hazel eyes as he gradually stood up so his lanky body could tower over my height, like it always has. “I… I can’t play the charade.”
Worriedly, I gazed at him and placed my hand on his forearm, “Adam, you’re not. I just wasn’t feeling too well. I’m better now, see? I’m going to the show, don’t worry. We’ve had little arguments like that before.”
He opened his arms and gently took a hand full of his straggly brown hair, “God, this has nothing to do with the show!” The way he emphasized the word nothing kind of worried me, but before I could say a word he continued. “It’s Alan! You don’t deserve that man! He… He’s not even in this damn country anymore!”
My brows furrowed in anger and confusion, “What are you talking about?”
“That rat is in another country with another woman,” he explained in aggravation as he combed his fingers through his hair. “I cannot hide that from you because you’re too amazing. You shouldn’t be lied to. He’s a freaking liar!”
“Okay, prove it.” I wanted to be amused with where this emerged from. Standing there, I waited as he dug his cell phone out of his pocket then started searching for something.
“Here, believe me now?” he asked shoving the cheap cellular phone into my face.
On the screen was a not-so-pixilated photo with Alan hugged up to a woman much more attractive than me. I carefully took the phone from Adam’s hand and clicked the information button—the photo was taken the week before. Rage built up inside me as I shut the phone and handed it back to its owner whom is the only person that I have always turned to for almost everything. “How long?”
“I don’t know. I saw him at the airport with her, took the picture, and said to myself that he was the liar I thought he was.” The expression on his face radiated sincerity. “I may be a pain sometimes, but I am not going to make up stories to cover his tracks. I told him he shouldn’t come back and that I would tell you and…” he raised his bangs to reveal a bruise protruding out of his hairline, “He punched me.”
That oozed honesty and for as long as I have known Adam, he has yet to be dishonest to me. He even told me when I looking for a vehicle that I should stick with a car because putting me behind the wheel of a large vehicle would be a mistake. “I believe you,” my voice trailed off for a moment as I discarded the wedding ring from my finger. “How about we get going? The guys are probably wondering where we are.” He agreed as the tears faded away once a weak smile formed on his face.
Upon entering the stairwell, I laced my fingers with his own and felt comfort in the warmth of his palm. My eyes glanced up at his face and saw that his weak smile grew slightly wider.
A woman in her mid-twenties notices that her husband has went missing, but her friend Adam reveals to her what really happened.
This story is truly inspired by “Liar (It Takes One to Know One)” and “Where My Mouth Is” by Taking Back Sunday. It is honestly, a coincidence that one of the main character’s name is Adam because the story was not inspired by those songs until a week after I had the name Adam in the story. Since this story did not have a true title until I posted on here; it’s a song lyric.