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Junk


As I sat down to write for this week's "Two Shoes Tuesday" and "Wednesday Wit and Wisdom", I remembered that I'd written a good story about junk for the original "Sunday Scribblings" several years ago. This is a repost of that story from October 2009...

Todd found Elisabeth sitting on the floor of the spare bedroom they used for storage. Next to her was an old battered suitcase he'd seen her looking thru at least a dozen times before. Contents of the suitcase scattered around her on the floor, Todd could tell that Elisabeth was somewhere far away, lost in her memories.

She didn't notice him standing in the doorway watching her as she picked up items one by one - an old postcard, an empty perfume bottle, a faded man's handkerchief, a tarnished locket, a battered pocket-size New Testament, a ragged piece of fabric that looked like might have been a baby blanket at one time, a small teddy bear with a missing eye, and at least a dozen other things that looked more like trash than treasures to him.

Elisabeth touched them gently, caressing them and holding them close to her heart as if they held some magical power. It seemed like every time they'd had an argument, and there had been a lot of them lately, Todd would find her here going thru this stuff. He'd asked her about it once, when they were moving and trying to pare down the stack of belongings going with them. But she'd cut him off short with a glare, "Drop it... it goes."

Elisabeth wasn't one to open up about her past, but Todd was growing impatient with this suitcase ritual. "Good grief" he exclaimed, startling her as she became aware of his presence. "It's just a bunch of crap, a pile of junk. Why don't you get over it and get rid of it?"

She looked up at him with more coldness in her eyes than he'd ever seen before. It scared him and he backed off. "Fine, just sit here with your suitcase full of garbage and stare off into space" he snapped, "I'm going out", and with that he stomped down the hallway, grabbed his keys from the hook, and slammed the door.

A tear rolled down Elisabeth's face, and then another and another. If only he could understand that this beat-up old suitcase held all that remained of what once was her life - before the fire that took her Mom and her baby brother, before her Dad became a raging alcoholic and hung himself one night... and now Elisabeth feared that she was losing Todd too.
 
~*~*~*~*~*~*~
This story was written for Two Shoes Tuesday here at my blog
where the prompts this week are Jumble and Junk
 
at Senior Adventures
Tomorrowlady

14 comments:

  1. No wonder Elizabeth would never get rid of the suitcase. -- I hope Todd will understand her. I hope the day will come when Elizabeth can talk about the suitcase with her husband.

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    1. You're right Rome, it's easy to understand why these small things are so precious to Elizabeth, but Todd has no way of knowing that until she finds a way to share it with him. It makes me think about how often we judge other people's actions at face value, often without knowing what's really going on.

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  2. Let's hope she can tell him what there is about it before it's too late.

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    1. I. hope so too, Mimi. Open communication is just vital for a relationship to survive. He can't understand what he doesn't know, but then I wonder if he's ever asked her gently to explain or really look at the items with her. Maybe she finds it hard to trust him or to share something that she can't bear to have degraded. It's a sad situation for sure.

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  3. Curiously I also wrote a piece to that very same blog all those years ago. Wish I had used that one now! How hard it is to discard such trivial things when they hold such precious memories which to others seem just like junk. I am not sure that I commented on yours or you on mine back then but this makes up for that!

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    1. I clearly remember you sharing posts at the original Sunday Scribbling, Old Egg. There used to be such a large group of bloggers participating at one time, then it kind of fizzled out. It was my first blog hop and I have quite a few posts in my archives from that time. If you still have the post you wrote, please link it up too, I'd love to see it again!

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  4. Josie, I am glad you saved this story, It is heart-wrenching. Small pieces of "junk" were all the memories she had of her life before it was violently changed. She will open up to Todd, only if she is ready.

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    1. At the time I wrote this story, Val I was finally at the point of feeling secure in my relationship with Papa Bear, and was thinking back to a time when I was in a marriage where the things that were dear to me held little value to my partner. I had long since given up trying to explain or share with him, since I knew it would just mean derision. I'm wondering if that's Elizabeth's fear too.. that if she tries to tell him he won't understand, and he won't really care.

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  5. Oh, my, Josie what a moving story, and so very sad indeed. The depth of people's emotions is something many of us will ever reach with some people we may know and love. Scars can be very deep and the longer they have been hidden, the more fear in bringing them out. Thanks so much for joining in with this story.

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    1. "Scars can be very deep and the longer they have been hidden, the more fear in bringing them out." Wise words for us to ponder, Linda Kay. People can conceal such deep hurts and the evidence will surface in unclear ways such as this behavior, that puzzle those who care and truly want to understand. It takes a great deal of time and trust to crack open that door!

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  6. Touching story, Josie.
    We often find satisfaction in such things that appear junk to others as they do not understand the emotional attachment we have...almost like medicine...

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    1. That is so very true, Anita. Such things bring us comfort and others should take care to tread upon our feelings and the unknown stories behind them. I suspect that most of us have one or two such pieces of what others would see as "junk" tucked away that we are attached to.

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  7. I think part of a relationship is opening up to one another and sharing our deepest secrets. She needs to trust him with her's.

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  8. There are secrets that are not meant to be shared but then there are secrets that aren't meant to be kept a secret. Elizabeth would be wise to learn the difference. Still, a story most of us can relate to in some way.

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Your comments are always appreciated... they make me smile! :-)