Cognitive Reflection #17-Solitary

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Henry stepped outside and took a deep breath. The crisp mountain air invigorated him. A solitary duck swam across the lake right outside the balcony he stood on. Henry flipped the duck a quick salute. You got it right, my friend. Solitary is the way to be.

“Henry?” His girlfriend, sleep fighting wakefulness, stumbled out to the balcony, her blonde hair limp and tousled from the night’s activities. She rubbed his back. “What you doin’ out here?”

“Just enjoying the view, Katie-did.” He leaned down and pressed his lips against hers. Her mouth parted and the kiss deepened. He pulled her into him and ran his hands down her back, cupping her buttocks.

Their lips parted. His breath deepened and his face flushed. “Let’s go back in…”

Freddy Mercury sang “Somebody to Love” from his cell. “Damn,” he said under his breath.

He stalked over to the nightstand next to the bed. Katie frowned at the sudden change in her lover’s demeanor. “Who is it?”

Henry held up an imperious finger, silencing her. “Hi, honey. … What? Oh, I’m just getting ready for a meeting. … No, you didn’t wake me, but I do need to get ready. … Alright, I’ll call you later. Tell the kids I love them. Love you. Bye-bye.”

Henry glanced at Katie, her arms crossed and foot tapping the ground. A deep frown lined her 22-year-old face. “You’re married?”

He opened his arms and stepped toward her. “Now, baby…”

She slapped him.

He recoiled and held his cheek. “You…you…cheating bastard,” she screamed.

Something dark flashed in his eyes and his hand whipped out, striking her across the face and sending her sprawling to the floor. He sat on top of her and continued slapping her, harder and harder. “Do you like being slapped, bitch?” he roared.

She screamed for him to stop. “I’m sorry! I’m sorry!” rang over and over in the small villa apartment.

Henry’s hand cocked back, but he held off at her desperate apologies. “Damn right you’re sorry,” he murmured. He stood up and dressed, leaving a crying and bloody Katie on the floor. “Get your stuff and get out,” he said.

He stomped off to the door. “And don’t bother trying to call the cops or anything. Nobody’s going to believe a whore like you.” He slammed the door behind him.

Katie lay on the floor, fighting the pain of the assault. She wiped her face with her sleeve. It came away from her face with blood that gushed from her nose. She stood, her legs wobbly and body shaking, to collect her clothes.

She spied Henry’s phone that he left on the nightstand during his fury. The room tilted as she walked and she threw a steadying hand down on the bed. The dizziness subsided, but she decided to sit and scoot over to the phone.

She picked it up and hit redial. Two rings and then a woman with a cultured New England accent picked up. “Henry? Is that you?”

“No, ma’am. My name is Katie, and I want to tell you what your husband really does on his ‘business trips.'”

This is for Cognitive Reflection’s Picture Writing Challenge #17. The only “rule” is to use the picture provided for your story or poem. Head on over and check out what people have written. Also, feel free to enter your own writing. The more the merrier!

Happy reading and writing!

J. Milburn