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Tiaras and Trucks

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Spilled Wine

The Red Dress Club is writing about jealousy this week, and I chose to continue Greta's (fictional) story.  As always, concrit is appreciated.  Also, let me know if you are getting tired of Greta!  I definitely plan on following through with her story, but I can do it outside of the weekly prompts if it's becoming cumbersome.

Her phone rang, vibrating to life on the sterile granite countertop. Greta picked up the phone automatically, glancing around the kitchen with a grimace. There were no dinner dishes littering the counter or sink or dishwasher. James was working late. Again. Cheerios and Cabernet could be consumed without using the stove or microwave or any of the expensive, newlywed-gifted cookware languishing away in cupboards, collecting dust instead of memories.

Seeing her brother’s name on the phone’s display screen buckled her knees, and the phone clattered back to the counter before she could press the button to answer the call. Even with over three weeks to prepare herself for this, Greta had managed to block her sister-in-law’s due date from her mind.

Sinking to the floor, her chin fell onto her knees, her hands pressed into her temples to force the unwanted images from springing into consciousness.

The positive pregnancy test. James’ elated hug that lifted her from her feet and left her spinning with joy on the other side of the apartment. Her first doctor’s appointment, where she quickly calculated she would deliver their baby about six months after Paul and Louise’s little girl, her first niece, would come into the world. Giggling with James over whether their baby would be a girl or a boy and deciding not to find out until the doctor announced the news in a bustling delivery room.

The cramps. The blood. The almost scalding water that ran cold before James could pull her off the shower floor into a plush cream-colored towel. Later, that towel had to be thrown down their trash chute along with her expectations about becoming a mother and maybe even about staying a wife.

Emptiness. Physical, then emotional, then physical and emotional as James stayed later and later at work, despite scattered mentions of dropped clients and a lightened workload.

An anonymous baby’s cry flying across a restaurant, smacking her in the heart.

Louise’s baby shower, when Greta told herself that Paul must not have told Louise about her miscarriage. If Louise would have known, she wouldn’t, couldn’t have coyly chatted about passing along carefully crocheted blankets and impossibly tiny booties to “our baby girl’s future cousin!”

Torn between wanting to be happy for Louise and wanting to bargain with God to somehow get her baby back. Torn between being genuinely happy for Paul and the gnawing, ugly feeling of wanting Louise’s pregnancy to gestate for an extra hundred years.

Her phone again jumped to life on the grey countertop. She didn’t need to look to know it was Paul calling, again, to tell her his daughter had been born.

Steadying herself, she stood and deliberately pushed the phone away from her. The hard plastic case slid across the smooth surface, spinning into her wine glass, toppling it over. Greta gasped as the sound of glass against stone rang through the room, the half full glass inexplicably unbroken.

Wine ran over the edge of the counter, spilling onto the spotless birch floor, spreading like blood towards her worn white slippers. She backed away from the spill too late, a crimson blossom spreading near her left toes.

A guttural moan echoed in the kitchen as she escaped to the living room, leaving the wine to congeal in an abstract pattern on the wood.

It was more than a year before Greta could drink red wine.

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24 Comments:

  • At May 5, 2011 at 9:27 PM , Anonymous shellthings said...

    Wow, that definitely describes jealousy!

     
  • At May 6, 2011 at 9:27 AM , Anonymous Amy said...

    Wow! Reading about Greta is always something I will want to do!

     
  • At May 6, 2011 at 9:48 AM , Anonymous Random Girl said...

    That is the kind of jealously that makes you feel bad for feeling jealous and even worse because it is aimed at people who really have done nothing wrong but have better luck than you, something neither side could control. Great description given, really paints the physical picture.

     
  • At May 6, 2011 at 11:16 AM , Anonymous Nichole said...

    I love when I come over here and see that you're working with Greta.
    Having miscarried myself, she resonates with me...her sadness, her jealousy, her desperation.

    Nicely done, Angela!

     
  • At May 6, 2011 at 2:31 PM , Anonymous Carrie said...

    So sad...such a heartbreaking issue when you have fertility issues and those around you are experiencing the joy you desire.

    Poor Greta. She could use some professional help to get over her heartbreak. And James could use a swift kick in the head. His wife needs his support, not his distance.

     
  • At May 6, 2011 at 3:04 PM , Anonymous Jackie said...

    What a well written story and you hit the feelings of jealously perfectly. I have to say that in her case being jealous is something that would be hard to control.

     
  • At May 6, 2011 at 6:50 PM , Anonymous le chef said...

    So sad. I loved the line "
    An anonymous baby’s cry flying across a restaurant, smacking her in the heart."
    Very vivid, and emotional.
    This line I stumbled over - maybe cadence. "Greta picked up the phone automatically, glancing around the kitchen with a grimace." Possibly rearranging it would help - "Casting a quick, grimacing glance around the kitchen, Greta distractedly reached for the phone."Just a thought. :) But very touching none the less.

     
  • At May 7, 2011 at 1:20 AM , Anonymous MyLittleMiracles said...

    This is so beautiful and so well written. I've been there many more times than I care to admit. But I loved the wine, it's symbolism.

     
  • At May 7, 2011 at 1:37 AM , Anonymous Cheryl said...

    I'm not tired of her or this storyline at all! This was very beautifully done. I could really see the wine on her slippers.

     
  • At May 7, 2011 at 8:22 AM , Anonymous Galit Breen said...

    Oh honey! This was beautiful! Heart-wrenchingly sad, but beautifully written! I so feel for her and would love to keep learning more!

    I adored the symbolism of the wine and the way you developed the characters with little snippets- the baby shower, working late, even the granite countertops.

    Really well done!

     
  • At May 7, 2011 at 11:35 AM , Anonymous Brianna said...

    This was beautiful. You really have a knack for expressing emotion and getting to the heart of things. Thank you for sharing Greta's story with us each week.

     
  • At May 7, 2011 at 5:25 PM , Anonymous Renee said...

    I like Greta. And I hope to read more about her.

    This is well done. The phone, the wine.
    That she eats cheerios for dinner by herself. How telling of the place she's in.

     
  • At May 8, 2011 at 9:05 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Greta will be around :)
    I will confess that I like cereal for dinner. When it's just me. The lack of clean-up is appealing :)

     
  • At May 8, 2011 at 9:06 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Thank you so very much!

     
  • At May 8, 2011 at 9:07 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Thanks so much Galit! I like little snippets of information, but sometimes I worry they don't come through. I always appreciate your words!

     
  • At May 8, 2011 at 9:09 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Thanks Cheryl; I wasn't planning on the slippers, but they just kind of walked themselves into my head, and I couldn't ignore that mental picture.

     
  • At May 8, 2011 at 9:11 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    I'm sorry to hear about your losses :(

     
  • At May 8, 2011 at 9:11 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Thank you for the comment; I will rework that in editing!

     
  • At May 8, 2011 at 9:12 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Controlling jealousy can be so difficult, especially when nothing can be done to "fix" the situation :(

     
  • At May 8, 2011 at 9:13 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Well, he's not going to be her husband for much longer, so that ends up being a plus for her in the long run :)

     
  • At May 8, 2011 at 9:15 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Thanks Nichole!
    I think (hope?) that many of us that have had losses can empathize with her. She needs a support system, and she does have one; they're just not meeting her needs quite yet.

     
  • At May 8, 2011 at 9:15 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Thank you! I think that's the worst kind of jealousy - when you don't want to feel it, but it just keeps pushing back at you.

     
  • At May 8, 2011 at 9:15 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Thanks Amy!

     
  • At May 8, 2011 at 9:15 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Thanks Shell :)

     

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