23 May 2014

Published May 21, 2014 by rochellewisoff

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Genre: Literary Fiction

Word Count: 100

AFTER THE WORSE

            “Cheryl, I want a divorce,” he said.

            “I just need more time.”

            “I can’t do this anymore.”   

             After David left I found a grief website where I met Keith who’d also lost a baby to SIDS.

            “My wife blamed me, Julie.”

            “She was in pain, Keith. She didn’t mean it.”

            “How do you know?”

            “Trust me.”

            We never shared photos, but our conversations grew more intimate. In time we agreed to meet in a nearby park.

            As the fog lifts I see my true love for the first time. His tear-filled brown eyes engulf me.

            “David?”

            “I love you, Cheryl.” 

143 comments on “23 May 2014

    • Dear Ted,

      This photo should inspire some interesting stories.

      Years ago some friends of ours suffered the loss of an infant. Theirs wasn’t a happy ending. I join you in that blessing counting, my friend.

      shalom,

      Rochelle

  • A very true reflection of the way relationships sometimes go when people choose to heal in different ways. I’m glad it had a happy ending. Well done Rochelle. (I was reminded of the Pina Colada song) :)

    • Today is a really bad lupus day for me. I’m trying to rest, seeing how I also have a migraine. It seems nothing was really helping, then I remembered the Friday fictioneers. I know reading might make the migraine worse but, oh well I feel like some light reading. I’m so glad I read your story, it brought tears to my eyes. Truly beautiful, keep it up.
      Be blessed, D
      I thought about that pin a colada song too but was too embarrassed at first to say so!

    • Dear Susan,

      I’d like to believe that maybe some stories like this do have happy endings. .I’ve known the opposite to be overwhelmingly true. We’ve had at least three of our couple-friends divorce after the loss of a child.

      Thank you.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

  • Dear Rochelle,

    A lovely story that, in addition to having a nod to lifting fog, is, though not at first blush, very similar to mine. Nice to see you here.

    Aloha,

    Doug

  • i like that there’s deep sadness but at the same time great joy in this piece. glad that they were both able to heal and that the love survived despite the horrible tragedy. not easy to start over but i guess with the right person, it’s possible. beautiful story, Rochelle.

    • Dear K.Z.

      I agree. With the right person it’s possible. I’ve known some whose love didn’t survive the tragedy of child loss.

      Thank you for your sweet comments.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

  • So clever. Very interesting how you put it in the first peson – and I agree very much, though many in FF put in 3rd person – hope that gives food for thought to them, because the immediacy of 1st person is so powerful…or maybe your story and writing just is!

    • Dear Managua,

      I’ve never been a huge fan of first person but have come to realize that sometimes it’s the only voice to use in a story. It does bring it to the up close and personal realm.

      Your compliments warm and encourage me this morning.

      Thank you.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

    • Dear Jan,

      Alas for the ones I know personally who’ve experienced such loss, the fog never lifted. I guess I wanted to right that wrong if only in fiction.

      Thank you,

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

    • Dear Zainab,

      One would think and hope that grief would pull a couple together. Unfortunately I’ve seen this with three different friends of ours. Each marriage ending in divorce. :( I also pray never to be put to this test.

      Thank you.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

  • This is my favorite piece that you’ve written so far! It actually put tears in my eyes. I was so saddened then so overjoyed at the ending! I had to read it 3 times. Beautifully, beautifully done :-)

  • A really beautiful tale in the wake of a tragedy. I knew where this was going, as it would be the kind of thing I would have done. You wrote it a darn sight better than I could have done though. The feeling you put in this gave me a lump in my throat and my eyes to twitch.

    A really good story Rochelle.

    • Dear Alicia,

      That’s certainly true. We’ve had three of our coupled friends lose babies when our children were small. It had a profound effect on us. Particularly when those marriages all ended in divorce.

      Thank you.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

  • Lovely story. Always good when the fog lifts and people reconcile after a tragedy. Was reading this news story about a married couple who individually decided to meet other people through a dating website. They turned out meeting each other (compatibility right?). That would have caused the fog to settle down again – pretty darned thick fog.

    • Dear Subroto,

      Truth is often stranger than fiction as the cliche goes. Thanks for sharing that story. Alas all too many marriages don’t survive such tragedy.

      I’m pleased that you liked my story.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

  • Oh! Such a sad way for two people to meet. Still, they found true love and that’s more than most ever find. I’m happy for them, despite their loss. Great story, Rochelle. You really know how to pull those heart-strings. :)

  • Love it! After reading Sandra’s comment I had to google the Pina Colada song. I’ve known it and sung part of it forever but never really knew all the lyrics. I love that song all over again. I will probably be singing it all day! Thanks!

  • This made my heart leap, Rochelle. I too immediately thought of the Pina Colada song. I don’t know why this prompt brought out the mushy side of me. Must be all of that time I spent out in the country yesterday. Nature does that to me. Exceptional, as always!

    • Dear Honie,

      The song really was an influence. I rather liked the idea of a couple for whatever reason looking for love elsewhere and finding they had the right person all along. I’m pleased to see that it appealed to your mushy side.

      Thank you.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

    • If you’re not into yoga, if you have half a brain. I couldn’t resist either, Helena. Yes, I was influenced by the song and a few other life incidents.
      I’m guessing this was a positive?

      shalom,

      Rochelle

  • Love the way you brought that around at the end and what a lovely surprise for them to realize what was actually going on and to move on from it together. Therapy might have been easier, but wouldn’t have made nearly as wonderful a story. :-)

    janet

    • Dear Janet,

      I’m not sure therapy would’ve been easier. Yes, it was tough on them to separate. But sometimes an anonymous friend is easier to communicate with. Face to face is difficult at best. At any rate your comment brought me a smile. :D

      shalom,

      Rochelle

      • Anonymity can definitely be easier, one reason for the popularity of the internet and virtual communication I think. I’m happy to have brought a smile to your face. Keep it there as long as possible.

  • Rochelle,
    I loved the idea of your story. I always have mixed emotions about the Pina Colada song because they are both still cheating, even if it turns out it’s with each other. By contrast, your version is about restoration and recovery.
    I’ll be honest and say I think the writing isn’t as tight as some of your other stories. I think this is partly a result of the dialogue form, especially word-limit-cramped dialogue. “My husband”, for example, feels like exposition, and unnecessary in light of the word “divorce”. Your description and language are usually so rich (like the fog lifting line, which is definitely you) and that’s missing from much of this piece.
    Does that make any sense?
    Jen

    • Dear Jen,

      You make perfect sense. I always appreciate your honesty. I tend to agree with you on “my husband” however, in this instance, I felt the dialogue. unadorned though it may be, necessary to the overall story.

      As for the piña colada song, I always enjoyed the irony of it and that was a jumping off point. I’ve also had three close friends lose babies, one to SIDS, one to meningitis, and one, at stillbirth. In each case, the marriage ended.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

    • Dear Lindaura,

      It’s hard to say if their love will last. I prefer to think it will as they’ve communicated with each other on a deep level. Alas for the ones who influenced my story, their marriages didn’t survive. But I also know there are success stories out there.

      Glad you have you back.

      shalom,

      Rochelle

  • Sorry, but I am very new to this. Do I post the pictures with the copyright information on my site, then create the link on your site for the Friday Fictioneers ?

    Thanks,

    Cole

    • Dear Cole,

      You may post the pictures if you want to but it’s not mandatory. The only one that I recommend you do post, of course, is the prompt itself. Post your story and then create the link clicking the blue froggy creature. If I can be of further assistance let me know.

      Welcome aboard and Shalom,

      Rochelle

    • Dear Archon,

      Three of our friends lost small children in one way or another, one to SIDS. Non of the marriages survived. :( I thought at least one story deserved a happy ending. Thank you for commenting.

      shalom,

      Rochelle

    • Dear Indira,

      Your comments always buoy me and make me smile.

      I’ve seen three friends go though the loss of children. Each marriage ended. I’ve always felt great sadness for them. I guess I wanted to see at least one happy ending.

      Thank you.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

    • Dear Kim,

      Online friends can be more intimate than in the flesh it seems. There’s something nonthreatening about a face you can’t see and typing your feelings I think. Although a couple of online friendships for me have blossomed into much more. For this I’m most grateful.

      Thank you. .

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

  • A heart-rending topic with an optimistic ending. It’s tragic how the pain that connects two people can only be alleviated if they turn a new leaf in their lives. Sad but true. Well done!

    • Dear Maria,

      I honestly can’t imagine that particular type of grief. I’ve lost parents and friends over the years, but my children grew up relatively healthy. ;) For this I’m extremely grateful.

      Thank you.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

    • Dear Anne,

      In my mind I think they were both clueless as to the other’s identity. I’d like to think that the time apart communicating their deepest thoughts will keep them together.

      Thank you for your kind comments.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

  • Life is strange at times-we dwell on a pain that is supposed to be shared-like here-the loss of a child-the child was their’s-but it became a personal battle with grief!Result was the loss of a relationship till circumstances showed another hidden facet-that true love never dies-it just changes faces :-)Brilliant way to bring this lesson to the fore-loved the modern twist-virtual relationships are not that far removed from realty all the time ;-) Loved the high emotional quotient in this gem of a story Rochellle :-)

    • Dear Atreyee,

      One of my favorite lines from a song/movie is from Fiddler on the Roof in the song L’Chaim which means to life. “Life has a way of confusing us, blessing and bruising us.” And so it does.
      Alas, I’ve seen three marriages close to me break up due to the loss of a child.
      Thank you for your sweet comments. They’re always appreciated. I’m very slow getting around this week. It’s our busiest season in the bakery. Lots of graduation cakes for this cake decorator.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      • I so agree :-) And re being slow,I am definitely not complaining for you always read and comment and secondly I am still a little less than half way through the ever increasing FF posts :P

        Ooh,you decorate cakes Rochelle?Wow!I wish we lived nearby-I would have loved to come and see you work-I bet you are excellent!

        Love
        Atreyee

    • Dear Dawn,

      As I’ve confessed in earlier comments, Escape was one of my influences for this story. ;) I’m a words person so I enjoyed the irony in the song that these two were looking for greener pastures and found them in each other. There were some other influences as well. They all came together to shape what my story became.

      Ah the 70’s. Polyester leisure suits, mullets and disco? What were we thinking?

      shalom,

      Rochelle

      • What were we thinking, indeed! I hadn’t read the comments this week, so missed that. Frankly, you’re far too popular, and reading the 90+ comments you get… in addition to the stories… I’ll leave that to you! You seem to have more energy than any of us! ;-) Have a wonderful weekend!

  • A sweet and moving story – and an interesting comment on how much easier it could be to talk to each other anonymously sometimes. I know a couple who email each other in times of stress, rather than face to face talking because the distance allows them to say what they want without the immediacy or the raw emotion, it wouldn’t work for me (I like to shout!) but it works for them.

    • Dear EL,

      Your couple sounds wise. I used to write notes to my husband in times of stress. (It usually turned out badly, but that’s another story.) Shouting never worked for me either.

      Thank you for your kind words on my story.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

  • So many things at play in these scenarios, an avalanche of grief, blame, unforgiveness (including of self), depression, etc. It’s a lot to work through. I didn’t expect that ending at all, it was great! :) Shalom! Beth

    • Dear Beth,

      I’m sure both David and Cheryl blamed themselves and each other when in reality neither of them could’ve prevented the tragedy. At any rate I’m pleased you liked my story.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

  • Rochelle,
    I like how she reacts objectively when she thinks he is someone else talking about their wife. It would be quite a wakeup to realize it was really her. I like this sort of ironic story since it has a happy ending.
    -David

    • Dear Alice,

      I think it helped that they found someone to talk to. I was happy to write that they found each other. ;) Wish it were really that way for some I know whose marriages didn’t survive the tragedies.

      Thank you.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

  • Dear Rochelle, This is a wonderful story – sadly poignant! We had a friend that lost a child to SIDS. They had 2 more children later, but she said there’s not a day that goes by that they don’t think of the lost baby. Even if neither parent is at fault about the death of their child, the marriage usually ends in divorce. Good story and well written! Nan :)

    • Dear Nan,

      It sounds like your friends weathered the tragedy and stayed together. I’m sure they’ll always think of that lost baby. We had some friends who lost a baby to SIDS as well. Their marriage didn’t last. Sad but true.

      Thank you for you sweet comments on my story.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

  • Dear Blanche,
    I’ve known several couples who divorced after the loss of a child. I like how these two went full circle. Maybe they will make it after all. – Wendell

    • Dear Wendell,

      It seems that many of us have known couples who divorced after losing a child. You’d think it would draw them together but it is more often not the case. I have high hopes for Cheryl and David, particularly since they’re fictitious. ;) Thanks for swinging by to read and comment.

      Shalom,

      Blanche

  • That was great….so sweet. I thought of the “Pina Colada” song :-)
    We lost a baby to miscarriage early on in our marriage. It was very hard. So many times people will focus on the mom and forget the dad also lost a child and they are hurting too.

    • Dear Courtney,

      I confess. The Piña Colada song “Escape” influenced my story. I always loved the irony of it.

      Sorry for your loss. And it is true about dads. I’ve known three couples who split over the loss of a child.

      Thank you for dropping by and commenting.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

  • I was pleased to read Cheryl and David came together again. Working through grief is sometimes something people can only do alone – having someone else who cares/ to care for only gets in the way. You portrayed so well that initial pain and the later resolution.

    • Dear Sarah,

      I agree. I think people need space to grieve. I think it’s easier for women than men for the most part. Men have been sold a bill of goods that they have to be strong and macho. Tears area a sign of weakness, I used to tell my sons that it takes a strong man to cry. Also men, such as my husband, feel they have to fix things. Some things can’t be fixed and this makes them angry. (firsthand experience here. ;) )

      Thank you for your comments.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

    • Dear Erin,

      Once more I confess to being influenced by the song, “Escape.” I always loved the irony of it. The rub came in finding the reasons and changing the scenario a bit. When Rupert Holmes sang the song there really wasn’t an internet. ;) At any rate, I’m rambling. Glad you liked my story. I love your picture. Thanks for the loan and thanks for taking the time to read and comment.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

  • Don’t you love it when life and all of it come together? I really don’t want to meet my ex . Good story. Happy ending.. I’ve been reading some sad ones today. Lucy

  • Rochelle, such a haunting scenario for the couples involved. I can’t imagine how one ever recovers from such a horrific event such as SIDS. I imagine many couples part ways. I’m glad it has a sort of happy ending. Life goes on. Great story!

    • Dear Amy,

      We had some friends who lost a baby to SIDS. It’s heartbreaking. First the police asked her how many time she’d hit the baby. The marriage didn’t survive. :(

      Glad you liked my story. Thank you.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

  • the pain of loss comes through clearly in your writing, Rochelle. relationships are tough at times and add a loss, especially a child . . . i enjoyed reading your story.

  • I have done funerals for three infants, two to one couple, and a five year old. You pull back the curtain on the pain in a very caring and honest way. Well done

    Regards
    Jim

    • Dear Jim,

      Your comment makes me ache. I can only imagine how you as a pastor must’ve felt doing these funerals.
      Three of our coupled friends, when our children were all small, lost babies, one to meningitis, one to SIDS and another to stillbirth. The last was the hardest for me because this friend and I had both prayed to conceive. She was a type 1 diabetic and her pregnancy was proclaimed a miracle. The baby boy died inside of her and she was forced to deliver it. It took me a while to get over the guilt of my having a healthy son.

      At any rate all three marriages ended in divorce. I still hurt when I think about these.

      Thank you for your comments.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

  • Dear Rochelle

    The pain of losing a child I can only try and imagine. I know people whose marriages have fallen apart after the death of a child, they just cannot bear the constant reminder, it’s just too much.

    You show the pain and sadness here, well done. A difficult subject

    Take care

    Dee

  • Many couples stay married for the sake of their children, even if the love is no longer there…Some fall into the blame game instead of supporting each other. This is a lovely story – finding happiness in tragedy..

  • Not quite a happily-ever-after (as stillbirth and SIDS continue to resonate through a marriage or family), but a lovely, hopeful ending nonetheless, Rochelle. I am happy to “return” to doing some Friday Fictioneers challenges, but mine is way overlong this time, almost 400 words, so I don’t know if you want me to link it up this time (http://leighswordsmithery.wordpress.com/2014/05/26/short-story-memory-of-mountains/), and quite a bit darker. Any criticism or interpretations welcome. And if I don’t say it often or enough, thank you for doing Friday Fictioneers, Rochelle. It’s a terrific meetingplace/ideaspace/workplace for writers.

    • Dear Leigh,

      I think Cheryl and David have a healing journey ahead of them but at least they realize they love each other still.

      I’m pleased to see you back. I’m not sure what to tell you. 400 is long for FF so I hesitate to tell you to link. I’ll leave it to your discretion and won’t pull it if you do.

      Thank you,

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

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