“I absorbed myself into him,” Leah grips her hair, keeping her gaze away from Jen and her judgment.

“We all do that, when it comes to relationships.” Jen tries to console her, tries and fails. Leah isn’t looking for platitudes, not here. It’s a lie anyway, not everyone does it. He didn’t do it.

The way Leah’s hair pulls at the scalp feels good.  It is a feeling she can control, a pain she can manage.

“I thought we had embedded ourselves so deeply into each other’s lives and now –” Leah cuts herself off. She is remembering his face across the aisle, both in matrimony and divorce – different aisles of the same courthouse.

There’s a knock.

Leah’s eyes frantically moved from Jen to the door. It opens to reveal a familiar bald head and apologetic smile. Him.

“I wanted to make sure everyone was okay,” he says in a meek voice Leah recognizes as his uncertainty.

Jen jumps up like a wolf protecting her cubs. “You don’t get to know that anymore, you don’t get to care, not after what you threw away.”

“It’s okay, Jen,” Leah’s voice is small but it manages to pull their attention. “I want to speak with him.”

Leah leaves and he sits down.

She reaches for his hand but stops the movement before they touch. She looks him in the eye instead, takes a deep breath, and begins detaching her life from his.

Written for Three Word Wednesday – the words were: Absorbed; Deeply; Frantic

Barefoot Life

I spend my youth barefoot.  Tanned toes and weathered heels.  Later in life my children will pick at the dead skin, but that’s decades away.  Presently, my toes are gripping the grass as I laugh at something forgettable a cute boy is saying over a keg.

I marry a different boy years later.  Barefoot, with rose petals like satin under both of our soles.  We play footsie during our vows.

But my poor old feet, I look at them now and remember: purple toenails and jewelry, burgeoned veins and loosened skin, tickling and foot rubs – a life well lived.