Global Haiku, July 2021
I see a woman doing laundry, reminded that all the clothes she is washing are just hers. Just by her realizing this, I can tell she is very lonely. She doesn’t want to be lonely anymore but the little things, like doing laundry, continue to remind her that she is. Why is she lonely? She had a failed marriage early on in her life with a man that broke her down instead of building her up, and she has become convinced that she has little value to offer. She is getting older now and has gained some weight. She is convinced that she will not be attractive to any man. Society has perpetuated this with its unattainably high standards for women. She has fallen deep into depression and lost her self-esteem. Her lack of self-esteem has created an addiction to food and alcohol. She no longer puts on makeup or cares about the clothes she wears. She is broken and lonely, and today she is doing the laundry.
"I feel like you'll die first", she jokes.
"What makes you say that?" he responds.
"You're older than me AND I eat all my vegetables. You eat like crap, Dan, you're definitely gonna die first".
Marcy rests her head on his chest and laughs to herself. They had both agreed to forever without saying so.
A month later, they prepare for classes. As each day of passes, they dread the reality that is going to school on opposite sides of the country.
"How is it August?"
Marcy's face is shoved on Dan's lap so her question is muffled. Dan pets her head, signaling it is time to go. She had been dreading this day for months on end and the moment has finally come to drop off Dan at the airport. Without a word they both grab the suitcases and bags near the door, pack the car, and sit inside.
"Fuck." Marcy turns to Dan who is now tearing up. She had only seen him cry once before.
"Hey! It's going to be okay! We will be fine!"
She is frantically trying to pick up the pieces but as she rambles, tears fill her eyes. She knows its too late to stop.
"I love you."
"I love you too."
© 2021, Randy Brooks Millikin University
All rights returned to authors upon publication.