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“I Don’t Love Him Anymore!”

For Just A Minute Challenge

By Lana V LynxPublished 16 days ago Updated 16 days ago 4 min read
“I Don’t Love Him Anymore!”
Photo by Dawid Łabno on Unsplash

It was much worse than she’d imagined. As she was pulling up the narrow gravel road, she saw five fire trucks and an ambulance, tightly packed in the woods clearing around what used to be their house.

There was nothing left of their mobile home, just a bunch of cement blocks it was sitting on and a pile of debris. She knew everything they had was highly perishable but couldn’t even imagine to what extent. There was nothing left that could be salvaged.

The firefighters were busy trying to stop the fire quickly spreading around. They needed to contain it, to prevent it from turning into a wildfire. It wasn’t easy as the lone house was literally in the middle of the woods, fifteen miles away from the nearest town. She didn’t envy the firefighters’ job.

She searched for her husband with her eyes before getting out of the car. He was sitting on an old tree stump they used as a picnic chair in front of the burned-down house. Their lab named Duke was running around him, trying to lick off the tears streaming down her husband’s face. Mike was just sitting there, wrapped in a rescue blanket, his hair disheveled, staring right at her and not seeing her. His gaze was completely empty, as in people stricken by grief so hard they freeze and lose the sense of time, place, or reality.

“Why is he crying?” she thought, registering her own annoyance. “He’s alive, our dog is alive, I’m here. What’s there to cry for?”

And then she looked at his hands. They were dirty, covered in fire soot and ash, now wiped all over his face. He was holding the remnants of his precious collection of Netsuke-like small figurines from Tibet and China. She could tell it was only a small part of his treasure, and he obviously couldn’t save the Buddhist scrolls and wall hangings he had been hauling around the world for over 20 years.

Suddenly, he looked so helpless and pitiful to her, her heart sank to her tummy. She gasped for air.

She must have been sitting in the car for only half a minute, but her entire life with him flashed before her eyes.

She started to cry too because she suddenly realized that she hated this life but had no guts to admit it even to herself. To be more precise, she loved hiking, mountain climbing, and outdoors in general. That’s how she actually met Mike, on a hike in the Appalachian, going in the opposite directions. Three days later in the make-shift camp, they were planning how to finish the hike together. He was brilliant, a globe-trotting member of the Mensa society, and she fell in love with his mind and wisdom right away.

He loved nature and solitude and didn’t care about practicalities of life or success in the traditional sense: his current job was splitting breasts at the Tyson chicken factory. Today, he was so tired from his night shift that he didn’t even feel how his electric blanket short-circuited, setting itself on fire. Mike would have probably died of monoxide poisoning in his sleep, had their faithful Duke not pulled him out by his leg.

She left in the middle of her class and jumped into the car right after he called her frantically from a stranger’s phone: someone noticed the smoke and fire from the main road and thankfully decided to check what was going on. Right now, she was just trying to listen to her feelings. How did she end up here?

She hated this lifestyle but she loved her husband more and only agreed to it because Mike had promised to alternate between the city and the woods every 2-3 years. He giddily had found this spot in the woods and set up their mobile home himself, proudly featuring his Chinese and Tibetan art pieces on the walls. After two years of this life, she took out a loan and enrolled herself in a grad school. They had only one car, so he started working night shifts for her to be able to drive to school during the day.

“I don’t love him anymore!” She was so struck by this realization, she quickly put the car in reverse and drove away.

Can you really fall out of love with your husband of 12 years in just one minute? You tell me.

While driving to the nearest town, she saw more firefighting trucks going in their direction. When she heard a helicopter whirring above her head, she suddenly thought, “What the fuck am I doing?” She then turned around and went back to her lightly burnt husband.

“I’m here, honey, everything will be alright!” she said, wrapping her arms around him and the dog. “We’ll be fine, as long as we are together.” He smiled faintly and showed her what he had in his hands, “It’s all gone!”

She nodded understandingly, “I know, honey, but it’s gonna be OK. You are alive and I love you so much!”

They were divorced in five years anyway.


About the Creator

Lana V Lynx

Avid reader and occasional writer of satire and short fiction. For my own sanity and security, I write under a pen name. My books: Moscow Calling - 2017 and President & Psychiatrist

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Comments (3)

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  • Dharrsheena Raja Segarran16 days ago

    Lol, I wonder why she stayed another 5 years. Good to know she divorced him. Also, in this sentence, "She left in the middle if her class and", I think you meant of*. Loved your story!

  • Andrea Corwin 16 days ago

    Oh my! That is just how it is! Not sure, then sure, then oh no I must support them (him/her) so go back; then it crumbles in the end. So she did know in 1 min, she just continued in denial until….. 👏👏👏👏👏

  • Good story filled with emotion, irony, and heartbreak. You covered it well Lana!

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