ON BROKEN WINGS

There’s a feeling you get when a relationship is about to end. It sort of sneaks up on you like ivy climbing up a tree trunk. You see it starting but it’s nothing terribly worrisome; then it slowly starts working its way up the trunk until it overtakes the tree. It’s got a strangle-hold on that poor tree, suffocating it. It doesn’t matter if it’s a mighty oak or a frail mimosa; the ivy will win out every time.

That’s the feeling I now had for Jeremy and I don’t know why. I just knew it was time to break things off. That was clear; what wasn’t clear was how I was going to tell him.

It’s not as though we started off like a couple of teenagers on a hormone rush. Ours was a gradual connection much like our disconnection. We had chemistry. We could make each other laugh. We liked the same music, the same food, the same movies. We could talk at length or enjoy a quiet, lazy Sunday afternoon. We had incredible sex and a lot of it.

Jeremy gave me a braided love knot bracelet; I accepted it because it was pretty and didn’t feel as permanent as a ring.

We talked about moving in together but it never happened. Now I’m glad we didn’t; that would have made things so much harder. It was good to come and go as we pleased; now I found we were doing that less and less. I don’t believe it was deliberate; we just started drifting apart. Everything gradually slowed down and cooled off. I realized at some point I had finally exhaled and I was no longer suffocating.

We spent a cool Spring afternoon sitting on a bench at the beach. Watching the waves rolling in and falling back, I knew the time had come. Quietly I told Jeremy what I was feeling and he slowly nodded in agreement. I think he was glad the pressure was off him. I started to remove my bracelet but Jeremy refused to take it back. 

I slowly walked away and took the long route home through the park. It had begun to drizzle. I stared down at the pavement as I walked. Just then I came upon a dead bird at my feet. I stood there staring at the poor little finch; he must have fallen out of his nest. I took a few tissues from my pocket, wrapped them around the bird and carefully picked him up; he was still warm, his tiny body limp.

I carried the lifeless bird home and retrieved a small spade from my gardening tools on the back porch. It began raining a little heavier as I dug a deep hole beneath the tidy row of boxwoods; there I buried the bird. Before filling his grave with dirt, I took off Jeremy’s bracelet and placed it across the broken wings.

My face was wet; I couldn’t tell if it was the rain or my tears.

NAR © 2022

14 thoughts on “ON BROKEN WINGS”

  1. Oh sweet, what a soul-searching story! Poignant and well-crafted. At the end, I wondered, why did she have to bury the bracelet too, if at all she did? Was it symbolic of the dead relationship? Oh, this is sad but a true replica of what happens in most relationships. People enjoy, get used and feel overwhelmed until there’s no more “news” to tingle the mind and the flesh, haha. I’m glad Jeremy accepted the termination without hitches. Seems he was fed up too. Hah. Oh Nancy, you’re such a seasoned writer and I love meeting you. Glad to connect with you and share in your gems of wisdom, dear. 💖

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    1. Yes, burying the bracelet was important; it was more than symbolic. It was the realization and acceptance that the relationship was over, never to be resurrected. The sweetest final goodbyes are the peaceful, quiet ones. I’m so glad you enjoy my writing.

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    1. Thanks so much, Cindy. Some of those lines literally did sneak up on me and when that happens, you grab them like the golden ring on a carousel. I know you can relate! So glad you liked this one; it was truly from the heart. 💕

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  2. Hi Nancy, so sorry to hear of this, this was quite sad to read. Hope and pray that everything works out for you. A verse came to mind… For we know that in all things God works for good, for those who love God and are called according to His purposes. Sometimes we cannot see what good at the time of the trial, but God can bring what’s dead back to life and fill us with His love and peace again. Love and God bless 😊

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    1. Thank you, Deano, for your very encouraging and insightful comments and the lovely scripture. You should know this story is fiction, as are most of my stories, so this piece is not about me. BUT that does not diminish in any way your thoughtful and caring response. It still applies in our lives and we should never forget that God will bear us up on strong eagle’s wings and protect us always. I pray that you are feeling better. I know things have been rough for you. My thoughts are with you as yours are with me. Amen, brother! Upward and onward! 🕊 🙏🏼

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      1. You are welcome Nancy, so glad to hear it is fiction. In that case a very well told story. I’m much better and healthy thank you, praise God for his healing. God bless 😊

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