by SW MO Hermit

Tags: Ma/Fa,

Desc: Flash Story: An old mans ramblings in the twilight.

twilight (twīˈlītˌ)
1 the soft glowing light from the sky when the sun is below the horizon, caused by the refraction and scattering of the sun’s rays from the atmosphere.
• the period of the evening when twilight takes place, between daylight and darkness: a pleasant walk in the woods at twilight.
2 [ in sing. ] a period or state of obscurity, ambiguity, or gradual decline: he was in the twilight of his career | [ as modifier ] : a twilight world of secrecy.

With a sigh George slammed the old dictionary closed. ‘Yep, ‘ he thought after reading the definition of Twilight, that’s me. I’m too damned young for this shit but that’s me for sure. He raised his head from the book still lying in his lap and looked out over the small clearing to the trees on the other side. How the hell had it all came to this? When he was young he thought he had the world by the tail. He was indestructible, he had a good education--not great, but good, a degree from a pretty good local college, he had a good job that paid much more than the local average and he had a compatible wife. He didn’t have the deep, painful romantic love you read about and the women seem to dream about but he thought it was good. Huh, guess I missed that one.

George placed the dictionary on the small table beside his chair and picked up the stapled papers once again. He was still rereading them when his wife came out of the small house they had lived in since his early retirement five months previously. She looked over at him and sat impatiently in the chair on the other side of the table and said, “Damn it George, just sign the damn thing. We can do this the easy way or the hard way. You have more than enough to get by on until you die. You have this damn cabin out here in the middle of nowhere and I didn’t touch your pension. Just sign it.”

George looked over at Carol and sighed once again. He reached for the pen in his pocket and scrawled his name on both sets of the paper beside her already present signature. He handed her one of the signed forms and looked up at her with despair.

“Why are you doing this Carol? I thought we were happy. I retired early like you wanted and we travel some. Why are you doing this?”

“Damn it George, we have gone over this time and time again. I’m still young. I have money to enjoy life, to do things I’ve always wanted to do and go places I’ve always wanted to go. I don’t want to sit out here in the woods on the side of this hill and stare at the stream you are so in love with and hope we see a deer or turkey or some damn fish jump after a fucking bug. I don’t want to go to town every two weeks whether we need to or not. I want to spend my twilight years living it up!”

“Ok, I understand that but doesn’t what I want matter? I thought we were in this for better or worse and all that. Hell, we kept the house in town so we could spend some time there. We eat out and go to shows when we’re in town.”

“Yeah, I suppose you could look at it that way but this is the worst, believe me and you won. I can’t, I won’t live like this. You have your little spot in the country now, the seclusion and peacefulness you always dreamed of but it was your dream, not mine. I want and always wanted the lights and music, good food and plays and restaurants. I sure don’t see any of those out there in those trees you love so much and I damn sure won’t see them if I have to stay here and take care of you if the Cancer comes back again. Face it George, you’re in the twilight of your life and I’m at the dawn of the fun time of my life. I want the life in the city, the shows and the restaurants all the time, not just when you decide to placate me and spend a night or two in town. This is the end for us and probably for you George.”

Carol folded the paper and carefully placed it in her purse before she stood. She looked down at George for a moment then turned and walked to her car. Without another backward glance she sat in the vehicle, started it, and drove off down the gravel track and back to the bright lights of civilization. Before the vehicle was out of sight of the small cabin she turned on her headlights to dispel the gloom of twilight under the tall, tall trees.

George watched her leave then his thoughts turned back to his situation. He supposed he knew now why she fought the sale of their house in Nashville. She got it in the divorce as well as half their investments and savings. At least she didn’t get part of his pension like she tried to do. Hell, her pension was actually slightly larger than his and when he threatened to force the divorce into court as a contested case and ask for half of everything, her pension included, if she didn’t back off she rolled over. The house in town was paid for and worth almost twice what his small cabin and acreage here in the woods was worth so she made out much better than he did in any event.

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Story tagged with:
Ma/Fa /