Friday, June 7, 2013

"Too Late to Change " by Gatsby

This week's pieces of the week feature our senior tutors, some of whom represent our very first HWC tutors. We wish them the best of luck in all that they do, and especially in their writing!

The dark, heavy night air consumes John,
No lights illuminate his path, yet he continues to walk, lost in thought.
How could she be dead? How could she be gone?
He now understands that love is worth more when it’s not bought.

Squinting, strained eyes open. John rolls out of bed.
Snuggled up in the silk sheets, a woman lies in peaceful slumber,
Gentle snores and the chirping of birds. Thoughts churn throughout John’s head,
Trudging into the bathroom he notices something on his hand. A number.
 Cold water splashes against his face. He grabs a bar of soap and begins to scrub,
Ink blurs. Numbers deform. Memories are revisited. “Honey?”
A momentary scramble. John turns off the faucet and twists the shower knob,
“Good morning Heather! I love watching you sleep. Your nose twitches like that of a bunny”
“How was your night John? I fell asleep before you came home.” No answer.
Heather hops out of bed and prances towards the bathroom.
“Jooooohnny!  What’d you do last night?” His response included no mention of the dancer.
“Late night meeting with the guys. Poker and business talk. Hulled up in a corporate room.”
His heartbeat does not quicken. His tongue does not falter.
This is not an unusual course of events. Heather is undoubtedly fooled.
Satisfied with his work, the shower shuts off. Drip. Drip. Drip. Goes the water.
Heather twists the knob . She doesn’t notice the glitter on the floor, where the water has pooled.

John handles their money, since he is the breadwinner,
He thinks he’s got it all figured out. What she doesn’t know doesn’t hurt her.
He blames his expenditures on poor luck in poker. The pathological sinner.
The love that he buys must be hidden. It’d do nothing to her mind but torture.

Expect the unexpected. This is what John didn’t do.
A cold spoon. Frozen peas. Friction from a hairbrush. Nothing did the trick.
A love mark had been left. And It wasn’t from his boo,
Dark, contrasting, and evident. The evidence couldn’t be erased from his neck.
Wind howled against the house. Lightning, Flash! Thunder. Boom!
The noise startles Heather. Now awake, she puts on a pink shirt, decorated with frills..
She throws together a delicious breakfast for her and her husband to consume.
John’s day begins with the scent of hot cakes in his nostrils,
The storm continues to gain strength, pelting the house with rain,
John walks to the kitchen. He hugs heather from behind, and pours himself some coffee,
“This is some good coffee babe. Some caffeine in the morning always keeps me sane.”
“I got it at Starbu--…What’s that John? That’s not from me.”
“Heather, you gave me this shirt last year for Christmas. How could you forget?”
“Don’t play dumb. That hickey. That hideous mark on your skin.”
To cut the tension in the room one would need a machete, I bet.
“Oh the mark on my neck? My friend burned me with a cigar last night. It’s no sign of a sin.”
“You are going to be honest with me right now, John. Don’t lose my trust.”
A plethora of potential lies bounce throughout John’s skull.
“I.. um… I’m sorry Heather. I bought her love. It was a mistake. A small case of lust”
Heather froze in a state of disbelief. Was there marriage a sham? Were their vows null?
John tried to approach her. “I’m so sorry baby.. It won’t happen again.”
Heather didn’t hear him. Her eyes grew cold and lifeless.
“I know I shouldn’t have done it Heather. I lost control. I thought I had free reign.”
“HOW COULD YOU?!” She bursts into tears. She buries her head in his chest.
The charade was over. Life continued on. But nowhere near the same.
John continued with his ways, but began to feel unfulfilled,
Purchased love no longer satisfied him. Not without the love of his dame.
He tried to mop up the mess. But the beans remained spilled.
Heather had lost her capacity for affection. She couldn’t love him the same.
She had died that morning. Her soul died, at least.
This was something John couldn’t grasp. He thought he still had a chance.
He showered her with gifts and promises. Trying to overshadow the beast.
He took her to dinners and to movies. He took a class to learn how to dance.
John truly did try. He knew he needed her love.
But all of his efforts were in vain. His attempts were all ignored.
His tender touch had been replaced by an unfamiliar surgical glove.
Of course, John didn’t understand. He thought she must simply be bored.
He took her on extravagant vacations to Paris and Venice,
He thought it might spice things up and wake her from her trance-like state,
They flew from the US to Europe. And back. And again. Like a game of tennis.
There and back. There and back. His efforts had come far too late.

One night in Paris the air stood deathly still,
John slept in the Hilton, unaware of what was happening on the balcony.
Heather balanced on the railing. But she was chasing no thrill.
Contemplating her own fate. She heard a familiar voice. “Honey?”
Some unknown force had caused John to stir in the night.
He was alone in bed. He noticed the door to the balcony was cracked open.
She probably was just up late thinking. She certainly has the right.
But he had no idea. His final words to her had been spoken.
He heard a thud. A few seconds later- someone screamed.
“Did you hear that Heather? Is everything okay?”
John was answered by an eerie silence. Something was definitely wrong, it seemed.
He finally got up and walked out to the balcony. Heather was not there, to his dismay.
Something wasn’t right. He leaned against the railing. Just like Heather moments before.
He peered down. He saw a crowd. And then he saw it.
A lifeless body. He knew it then. His wife- Heather, was no more.
He still didn’t grasp that she was gone the instant she discovered his nasty habit.

The dark, heavy night air consumes John,
No lights illuminate his path, yet he continues to walk, lost in thought.
He had proceeded through his life with reckless abandon.
He continues to walk. Abandoned. Yet upon himself this was brought.
The moon seemed to mock him as he peered down into the lake,
It provided just enough light for him to see his own reflection,
His own image was something that he could no longer take,
But the moon persistently continued to illuminate his complexion,
John has no choice but to live with his past actions,
He gave up true love for meaningless nights of affair,
He chose the wrong way to deal with extramarital attraction,
He didn’t appreciate his wife, his love, his Heather.
Although Heather died the morning she discovered John’s sins,
John was tormented by false hope, only now, the learning begins.
He used to think he had it all. John had his cake and he ate it too.
It took death to teach him that love can never be shared by more than two.

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