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Contemporary Drama Sad

“Thomas!” A crack of skin and bones broke the silent chatter of the picnic. Alison felt her heart beat out of her chest as she saw her husband stand over her cousin who had been standing several seconds before her vision hit the pair. It was not the situation she wanted in a family gathering. Her cousin, Cass, was lying on the ground with a robust grunt coming out as he rose after Thomas like a striking snake looking at his prey. Alison felt the urge to grab her husband until another family member inserted himself between the two, effectively splitting them apart.

“You’re a freaking psycho, do you know that?!” Cass lunged at Thomas. Alison had made her way over to her husband, grabbing his arm and forcing him to exercise restraint in her cousin’s brash and spitting words. She was unaware of where the disdain and hatred came from, but it was sudden and brief. It was the time it takes for a deadly fire to start, or a gun to be shot. It was terrifying. She looked over as her sister held her infant boy to her chest, who had been spooked by the events he had just seen. He was old enough to recognize that something terrifying had just happened but too young to understand the rationale or implications of it. He let out a cry at Cass’s words as Jean gave their cousin a frustrated look.

Thomas felt the frustration rise in him. His in-laws' comments about his wife’s decisions brought out the monster in him. A sleeping wolf that was only awoken in light of a threat or a disgrace to his loved ones. A side of him he had longed to leave in his deployment but had awoken at the sound of a vile comment about his wife. “You son of a-”

“Thomas stop it!”The feminine cry stopped him. It was more a plea and a demand than anything. Alison’s eyes were wider as she said this before turning to her sister and nephew in an attempt to comfort the now crying boy. The woman did not believe her husband was capable of doing something like this in a civilian setting. She had known early on he was a trained killer, but was afraid he may have had post-traumatic stress disorder, maybe that had been the cause of all this? If so, she feared for his sanity and their long-term safety. 

Thomas retreated and sat back. He felt as though he’d caused enough trouble for his family today. It burdened him and he had burdened his wife. The one who he should love and avoid causing rifts in her family, now his family. Cass’s words had been repulsive but may have not warranted his violence. He would apologize to Cass, but he owed his wife and her family members an apology.

[...]

“Why did you do that? You can’t act like that around your family.” Alison wipes Thomas’s face down with alcohol. There was minor damage from his scrap but enough to warrant her medical attention and a small chat in the bathroom.

“I’m sorry and if you see it as a bad sign for us, I’ll leave or go to therapy.” He looked frightened and panicked. He felt ashamed and hurt by his actions. It made him feel empty inside. Her family liked him and he probably ruined that. He shouldn’t have acted out that way. He should have more self-control.

“What started this?” Alison cups his face, looking into his eyes. Her voice is calm as she continues to clean the scrape with more ease. Cass had refused to tell her what he said, Thomas looked like a scared kid about to be scolded.

“He said you were wrong for choosing our wedding over the fellowship.”

“Wait, what?” Alison’s heart stopped. Her cousin venerated academia and medicine despite his lack of background in it. To Cass, education was an achievement of sainthood, it was all there was. While Alison understood his value, she did not see it the same way. Her job as a physician was important, but she chose Thomas, she chose her family, she wanted one of her own. What is she of any use if the only person she serves is herself?

“He said I was holding you back.” The gruff man lets his voice crack, trying to stay quiet.

“Thomas, no, that’s not true.”

[...]

“Your family’s nuts, do you know that?” Cass sat behind the wheel of his car. He felt nothing, he couldn’t tell if this was bad or good. He was right after all? Why should Alison give up her career for Thomas? She was so willing to drop years of school because she loved him. It was so pathetic to him to see her turn her back on a well-established career for him. 

“Yeah, they are. Alison should keep her job. I always assumed she’d be different than that.” Thomas changed her. To Cass, he watched her grow from a young vibrant girl who seemed so special, to wanting to trade that for commonality. He sometimes wondered if he had projected his own ambitions and failures onto her since he watched her grow.

“She’s stupid to marry someone who comes back from a war like that.” Cass’s wife retorts with a huff. Her chubby arms cross across her chest as she looks out the window.

[...]

Cass sits on the couch watching the fire. The TV drones in the background, his laptop with an unfinished script sits on his coffee table next to a lukewarm coffee. Cass wonders if he’ll ever finish his story, and what the point of it really is? 

He flips open his phone to Facebook. It had sat with him long enough to make him want to speak to her. Thomas was the breaking point, before then it was his father, Alison and Jean’s mother, Jean’s husband had been much kinder to Cass about his flippant comments than Thomas was. He realized this wasn’t a first-time occurrence. As he scrolls through the feed, he sees comments, posts of things that crawl under his skin. Even the thought of a badge of honor for someone like Thomas made him sick and how his cousin would go for a person like him. 

Morons. Cass thinks as he sees posts from family members. After an hour of picking obscure fights with people in comment sections, he looks at his own page. It is compiled of articles about media, doge coins, and various quotes from Dune. A slight pride of himself rushes to his mind, a reflection of who he believes he is giving him great pleasure. A feeling of heightened awareness above his family members. He sees a notification for being tagged in a picture. As he clicks it, he looks at the names below. It depicts the group of family members from the earlier picnic standing side by side with each other before the scuff that broke out. He scrolls the names only to see Alison’s name a black color against the blue, he goes to message her when he realizes he can’t at the site of an empty faceless picture.

October 09, 2021 00:08

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