A 500 word short story by Scott A. Gese
Charlie Hackle and his wife of seven years were not getting along.
It had been a tumultuous marriage from the beginning and Charlie had had enough. One morning he told his wife, Rebecca, he was going to the store. After several hours passed, Rebecca started to get concerned. She convinced herself that he had probably stopped off someplace for a drink. It was becoming a regular habit with him.
By evening, she was concerned enough to call his cell. There was no answer. Now she was worried enough to make a few phone calls to friends and family. No one had seen him all day. She called the local hospital but no one named Charlie Hackle had been admitted.
Charlie didn't come home that night and in the morning Rebecca called the police on the off chance he may have been arrested for something. They had no record of him being arrested. She then filed a missing person report.
A week went by, then two. Rebecca was beside herself. Was he hurt and laying in a ditch somewhere? Was he dead or had he just up and left her? The worst of it was she didn't know for sure.
Charlie Hackle had had enough. He couldn't take the screaming, fighting, nagging and door slamming any longer. He told his wife he was heading to the store. He stopped off at a bar in town and nursed a couple of cold beers trying to decide what to do. He didn't want to go back home.
He decided to get a room for the night. He didn't call his wife and he turned off his cell, knowing she would try to call it. He didn't want to get into it with her over the phone.
In the morning, Charlie went to his bank and withdrew half the savings from his account. He got in his car and started to drive, not knowing where he was going. He only knew he was getting away, and the farther the better.
With each new day he felt more at ease and with each new day he felt more remorse. He knew he should contact Rebecca and at least let her know he was alright. He just couldn't do it.
A full week had gone by. Charlie was torn between disappearing for good and returning to try and salvage his wreck of a marriage. Against what he thought to be his better judgment, he turned the car around and headed back toward home. He needed to try and work things out.
Two weeks had gone by when Charlie pulled into the driveway. He went to the front door, took a deep breath and cautiously stepped in. When Rebecca saw him she had two choices. Either accept the fact that they had issues and try to work them out or tear into him for what he had done. She decided to tear into him.
This time, Charlie felt much better about driving away from Rebecca.
© Copyright 2019 by Scott A. Gese All Rights Reserved.