The other night I challenged my husband. I told him, “Find me a photo, and give me 5 words to write with.” And so, here we are, on a Monday. A short story awaits you…
This is the photo he chose:
Eliza leaned back in the rigid wood kitchen chair and drummed her fingers on the table, pondering Jett’s latest text message. She was so lost and her thoughts circled the mental tank of insanity. He’d left their notebook out and then sent her a message to look inside at the picture. The photo was of a man holding a heart in his hands but it was his eyes that pierced into her. Such a sad, haunted look. A look she knew all too well as of late.
“Oh, Jett.” Eliza said to the quaint, quiet kitchen. The kids hadn’t rose from their slumber yet and she relished the silence. Her coffee was bitter though, despite the copious amount of chocolate syrup she’d dosed it with. Nothing seemed to have much taste since her and Jett started on this tremulous journey of ups and downs.
When she was upset, it was hard for her to eat. Her appetite abandoned her a few days ago, and hadn’t returned since. She didn’t think Jett noticed, otherwise he would have said something to her. Or maybe he did notice, but he just didn’t care. “Nah, he isn’t like that.” she said as she looked over at the banana’s on the counter and sipped her coffee.
“Coffee has dairy in it. And sugar. Those are basic food groups.” She said to the bouquet of lilac’s adorning the center of the table.
Eliza sighed, and muffled an, “Oh shit,” into her palm. She really needed to get her head together. Her control issues were rearing their ugly head again, and she was so out of balance and tune with herself. A lapse into anorexia was definitely not what she needed at the moment, and she never wanted her children to see her in the ugly cycle and daily struggle with food or control.
She twirled her phone on the table, staring at the words he’d texted her. “Be careful with my heart.”
She’d never had to worry before. His emotional safety had never been in question. In her mind, it still wasn’t. She’d always protect and love him. He and the kids were her entire life. Her struggle lay within her own confines of who she was as an individual. Her place as a mother, wife, lover, and friend were firm and entrenched in her heart — but who was she outside of those attributes?
Selfishness had never graced her vocabulary before, but it seems the theme for her these last few months. When she embarked on her new career, a passion ignited within her and things spiraled out of control so fast. Eliza closed her eyes and laid her head down on the table, her forehead touching her phone. A contact of sorts, with the man she loved with all her heart.
“I’ll keep your heart safe, Jett. I promise.” She whispered
Goal set, Eliza opened her eyes and stood. She glanced around the kitchen then walked to the counter and snatched a banana, peeling the exterior layers and revealing an inner softness she could relate to.