"Ouch, darn, I'd better clean this mess up. Someone must have
tried to break in here." Grundging out the words to himself, as he entered the old abandoned house on THAT day.....it was his divorce date. Two years passed now. She wanted him to sell the place, so she could pay for her lifestyle, which was modest but comfortable. Corey managed to work as a mechanic, long arduous hours, but it paid well enough. Myrna worked at the department store, managing the kids clothing section, a job she loathed but....whatever, she was good enough, she loved kids.
"Nope, I am not selling, I may move in there soon anyway. Jesus, Myrna, your always pressuring me." He'd told her.
"I am NOT!!!! I need the money, your living in your friggin mother's basement, you don't want the place. It's run down anyway."
"I have meant to fix it up you know." Corey's voice lowered. 'Let's not fight now, again, always fights', He'd felt his stomach tighten - in anguished pains again. He'd moved back home after they decided on the divorce, a marriage as broken as the war soldiers had been. He closed his eyes, fighting a migraine, that came with the never ending memories.
"It's half my house too." Myrna reminded him, the divorce papers in front of her, while she had been doing her bookkeeping. The last five years of their pitiful marriage had incured the usual, this bill for that, the unpaid car repairs, their 'Let's try and make this work' holiday to Cuba. It......well, nothing worked out.
"I am going to take a drive out there this weekend, I will give you my answer next week." He hit the red button on his phone and that was the end of their converse.
Here he was, the glass crushed in a hundred pieces, on the plank floors that had to be re done. He went to the broom closet, took out the dustpan and the broom. He pulled out the plastic garbage container, placing it next to the pile of shattered glass. Corey saw his own heart, laying there. Dead little broken pieces of nothing. The window pane left a gaping hole where the sharp edges of the remaining glass looked out onto the lawn.
Five years earlier
"Sarge, we got ten men in the trench, two badly hurt, we gotta get them out NOW"....his corporal screamed, through the air raids roaring above them, sirens blowing off, M-16 powered rifles firing yards away. Several feet away he could hear two of his men moaning, and saw the blood, portruding from the wounds of the war. His hate for this violence edged so far into his soul he wanted to leave, all of it. The soldiers had been camped for ten days, maybe more. Hungry, living off crappy army handout food kits. Their uniforms soiled. Souls no longer breathed.
"I've got this, take a breath, here, drink this." He poured the rum into the mouth of his comrade.
"This is gonna hurt like the devil and back." He told the boy, barely 25, a face of stubble and tiredness only a war could offer. He wore it well. Corey pulled the bullet out, using some old plyers someone gave him, then bandaged the boy's arm as well as he could. The young soldier screamed out in pain. Blood seeped through, and the kid passed out. He died later that night.
This was supposed to be a practice drill exercise. No one predicted the attack, the air raids, the violence that continued on. The war was a lie.
"My marriage was a lie too." Corey said to the pile of glass, as he tossed it into the plastic container. Outside the open broken window, a hawk flew down, caught a small rodent between its legs, flew into a tree to have its meal. God, he was tired. He was envious of that hawk, at least it caught something. The hawk would live again for another kill, and it enjoyed doing that. Corey laughed, so ridiculous to metaphor a hawk's kill to himself, comparing his life like a stupid bird, but there it was, and he was looking at a mirror.
"Cudo for you, a prize." He said out into the open air. After he cleaned up the mess, he went to the basement to get a plank of wood to block up the broken window. A house full of bugs would not sell well. There it was, the idea that he would sell their home. He knew there wasnt much he could do here now, that was certain. When he and Myrna were here, at first, their love was apparent, except........it didnt last. The constant nightmares, the scars of war in his sleepless nights, the battles he fought when those dreams came to haunt him in the darkness. Myrna was helpless, he didnt blame her. He couldnt even live with himself. He never forgot the screams of pain and fear from that boy. The bloody mess on his arm where the bullet went in. Those things nobody could forget. You think your going to serve your country, well, that all came with a price. More than one.
Their house, the house that was supposed to be a love nest, after his service he came home and married her. Myrna was so happy.
Where did all that go now? Corey banged the nails into the wooden plank, harder than he realized. Now the ugly boarded window was done, the glass swept up.
"Yes, I would like to put a house for sale up on the markets. What do I need to do?" He'd called a real estate company. He googled one in the area. He began to pack some things up after that. Grabbing some boxes, putting a few items in it. There wasn't that many things left here. Probably a vagrant or some kids broke in hoping to find treasures. He'd taken most of his belongings after the divorce was final. He would have enough to maybe start a small business, he always wanted his own food truck. A new beginning. The war always brought him nightmares, his failed marriage, well, didnt everyone divorce these days? He found a few photo's, in a bottom drawer in the bedroom. Two were of him in his uniform, just before he left to go to Kuwait, and one after they got married. His girl. He'd courted her, dated her, doted her with love and affection she couldnt say no when he proposed.
Corey sighed. He lay down on the sofa, having brought some beers, he then smoked some weed, and slept. Dreams were always the same. Somewhere, in a dark place, trying to crawl out, nowhere could he find the light he wanted, desperately seeking some peace within. Wind blew ferociously through the dark night. The weather constantly changed here in the Catskills, but they had loved living here. It was the peaceful tranquility he had hoped to see. But then, when sleep came, that peace was nowhere, he woke up lost, sweat soaking his brows and face drenched. He got up, had a pee, washed vicariously splashing water everywhere, grabbing a towel that probably wasnt even clean. He lit the roach left in the ashtray, drank some coke from the fridge. He'd had some cans in the car and put them there, along with a six pack of beers, not really anticipating to stay.
Food. He didnt know what to do now, he hadnt brought any, his stomach was growling. Town was 30 minutes, so he went into his pickup and drove, looking for Mary's diner, the place where, like 'w ho didn't go there for a greasy breakfast?' - kind.
"I will have the special, white toast, eggs sunnyside up, bacon." He told the waitress, as she poured coffee into his mug. He checked his phone.
"YES, CONTACTED A REAL ESTATE AGENT HERE. WILL LET YOU KNOW" He texted Myrna. She'd belted in a few herself, the continuance of pressure on him. He ate his meal, not even tasting it. But he felt better after.
"Where you from, not around here?" The middle aged waitress asked, she was not a bad looking woman either, nice figure, pretty hair, a soft face.
"Nope, not in a few years anyway." He mumbled as he put down a $5 dollar bill for a tip.
"Hey thanks. Well, come back anytime." She said winking, placing the bill in her apron pocket.' Sure, will do lady.' Corey wasn't the flirty type. His heart was not into it right now. A war, a divorce, a greasy breakfast? He'd kept mostly to himself these days generally. A low chuckle coughed out of him as he got up to leave. No way, hardly romantic. His breath smelled foggy anyway, the lingering stench of beer and weed penetrated his mouth.
Corey got back into his truck, shuffling feet, and drove towards home. The lengths of highway facing him, the beauty of the mountains smiling, like they were there in happy mode, while he drove. Sunshine glared down on the windshield, his Ray Bans proving that it was worth the price he paid for them, shielding the rays -that offered a hot steamy day ahead.