• Contributing Author


“Two words; I’m done,” said Jake!

“What do you mean by that,” ask Allison Stone?

A lone candle was burning on the nightstand, illuminating Jake’s side of the bed. Allison watched him stand and walk to the bathroom and then close the door behind him.

“Jake, why can’t you just answer my question for once,” Allison shouted.

Allison rose from the bed and reached for her robe. Suffering from an acute case of Myopia, everything looked like an abstract painting, as she made her way across the room to find her glasses on the top of the dresser.

“I would appreciate an answer, Jake, I deserve that much don’t I, what the hell did I do,” she asked?

Jake emerged from the bathroom and retrieved the rest of his clothes from the floor and dressed in silence, as Allison stood across the room, waiting for a reply.

“I just can’t do this anymore,” Jake said.

Gazing in the mirror on the dresser, he ran his fingers through his sandy brown hair and turned to face the winsome girl, a look of bewilderment on her sweet face, as the tears began to pool in her blue eyes behind her wire-rimmed glasses. She was a beauty, he thought, even though he knew from day one, that she would be history when the wanderlust took his mind to other places once again. It always happened this way; he would meet someone and when things got too familiar his strong need to traverse all over the planet would take hold of him. It was a bit different this time; wanderlust would be a thing of the past one day, too.

Not wanting to dwell on it, Jake kissed her on the cheek as he moved across the room and towards the door. Allison plopped back down on her bed watching him go and then he turned and said those dreaded words to her:

“It’s not you, babe, it’s me.”

“It’s not you, babe, it’s me.”

The courtly way in which he entered her life dissipated into indifference as she watched Jake walk to his car and drive away.

Rain began to pelt against the windshield of his jeep as he recalled the day, he left the family homestead. Having an Amish ancestry, Jake had known then that he would never have the freedom he desired if he stayed. He was eighteen when he left fifteen years ago to the day and the rest was history.

A Baja Marimba band CD was playing south of the border melodies as Jake tried to put thoughts of Allison behind him. There had been other women that he had left behind, but leaving Allison turned out to be the hardest thing he had ever done. It was serendipity the day they met. Jake had just turned 33 and though it was just another number, Jake decided to forget the eminent future and live only in the moment. She was working as a barmaid in the local country-western bar. When their eyes met from across the room, she was all Jake could see from that moment on. She had a convivial personality and her smile was contagious and made Jake weak at the knees. But now that was history, too. It wasn’t her fault and he would regret how his leaving hurt her and would until the day he died.

Once again, he was on the move, leaving behind his job and another wonderful woman. She was the best thing that ever happened to his life thus far and as soon as he hit the next town ahead, he would drink himself into oblivion, to dull the pain of having to leave her behind. It had been months now since he heard the bad news but began to doubt the veracity of it all. But he was growing tired and weak and his body began to show all the signs he had been expecting.

God willing, just maybe he would have the strength to survive just one more month, living the high life and enjoying the freedom he held so dear. This last hoorah was something he had to do alone, something that he could not share or burden others with. Up ahead he could see the lights of the next town and it kept him moving forward. Cancer was a word that no one wanted to hear in reference to themselves or their loved ones, but for Jake it marked the end of a journey that began when he got his diagnosis. Would the town up ahead be his final, destination?

NOTE: This story was created using words that were selected at random by our group members for the purpose of incorporating all of them into a short story. Can you tell which words were the chosen ones?

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