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Flash Fiction

Plovember 19: Irregular Woman

She watched the people around her and wondered why they were so miserable.

Being together was supposed to be better than being alone, those people often quipped,

yet their daily squabbles,

complaints to co-workers,

and snarky interactions with one another

suggested something completely different.

They curled a lip when she didn’t join in —

‘You guys don’t argue?’ they always asked.

‘Nope,’ she always answered.

And it was true:

Sixteen years and not one fight:

when he was alive, they would sneak behind her back, ask him,

and were even more irritated because he gave the same answer:

Sixteen years and not one fight.

They didn’t think their thing was unusual,

even though they were unusual.

A creative man,

an irregular woman,

puzzle pieces that seemed only to match eeach other in an uncommon relationship.

She continues on The Path,

still irregular,

but trusting that

such relationships are not so uncommon.

Before Christopher Left for the other side of the Rainbow Bridge, people would wrinkle their noses at us because we never had a fight. Nothing, we would both often say, is worth fighting over — we can talk it out. Did we ever become cross with one another? Of course! I drove him mad with all my computer tinkering. He’d get quite cross because I would stay online for hours, or I’d stay up nearly all night reimaging a machine. I’d get cross at him when he’d leave the house and not say anything — I’d look for him to ask a question and he would be gone. I have a thing about leaving and not saying goodbye since one never knows when it might be the last time. Yes, cross! But fight? Yell? Argue? Not talk? Say nasty things? Talk smack about each other to our friends or family? Never. Not in 16 years. Everyone we met thought we were aliens or crazy. ‘Everyone fights,’ they’d say.

‘Not us,’ we’d reply.

It was what many identified as an uncommon relationship. And us as irregular people — differently irregular, but …

Now, it’s just me. Still irregular.

But not without hope.

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4 Comments

  1. Angelica Kidd November 19, 2016 10:42 am

    Beautiful!

    • AR Neal November 19, 2016 3:42 pm

      Thank you, Angelica!

  2. Lyn November 20, 2016 5:54 pm

    Oh I hear you Andree, I hear you. My Mum and Dad were like that–never a cross word. They married late (she 40 he 60) and had me two years later. My Dad died when I was fourteen and in all that time, I never heard them argue or raise their voices.
    So I guess they were both “irregular” too. Neighbours looked down their noses at them because were “poor” (by their standards) and my Dad worked our poultry farm and my Mum worked part-time in a factory.

    • AR Neal November 21, 2016 8:06 am

      Yes — there is that weird economic thing as well! We never had a lot but did okay, particularly when Christopher could work. I am still okay but struggle and have to make difficult decisions about what to do and how. Yet, and still, I keep pressing on 🙂

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