It was in that moment I realized what a mess my life had become. I was completely out of shape, I was behind on my projects for work, and even my best friend wouldn’t speak to me. How could things have gotten so bad?
Glancing at the clock I noticed it was a quarter past eight. Lisa would be serving breakfast. Maybe I could think this through as I ate. I grabbed my notebook and headed downstairs.
The dining room was located behind the reception area and consisted of 5 small tables each large enough for 4 people, plus a longer one that would seat 8. The dusty rose motif on the wallpaper could have been original to the house. The space was softly lit by bronze wall sconces spaced evenly between photos in which roses figured prominently. How such heavy-handed themes could come across as sophisticated instead of garish was truly a mystery.
In one corner a couple spoke intimately, their knees touching under the white tablecloth, their hands joined, their heads inches apart. Otherwise the room was empty.
A buffet was spread across a sideboard at the back of the room. The assortment of pastries, fruit, cereal and eggs seemed excessive for the small gathering. Filling a plate with a hard boiled egg, fresh blueberry muffin and a banana I chose a seat as far from the other guests as possible.
Opening my notebook, I closed my eyes trying to focus on how I was going to approach this situation. I felt overwhelmed.
Just as I picked up my pen to start writing Lisa appeared with a carafe of coffee and a simple white mug. “Would you like some coffee?”
“Please.” I forced a smile, frustrated with the interruption but grateful for the caffeine. As she poured the steaming liquid the rich aroma lifted my spirits.
“I’ll leave this here in case you want more. Just let me know if you need anything else.” And with that she was gone.
Picking up my pen I was determined to put something down before I was interrupted again. I started by writing the list I’d made in my head of all the problems that had been cropping up.
Out of shape was first on the list. I couldn’t deny that one. All of my clothes were tight, the waist of my jeans so strained I could barely button them. Just running across the street the night before had winded me. Eyeing the muffin I sighed. Maybe this one could wait. I had plenty of other areas that needed my attention.
Work projects behind schedule came second. I bit the end of the pen as I thought about this one. Until I stopped moving around there wasn’t a whole lot I could do to fix that one, but maybe I could work a little later in the day. Any progress would be better than none. I hadn’t made work a priority in weeks. I was going to have to change that or I’d lose my contract.
Lily was number three. Obviously she wasn’t going to talk to me on the phone. I needed a different strategy to repair that friendship. I still couldn’t comprehend why she was being so unreasonable. Doodling in the margins I thought back to all the hard times we’d been through together. I refused to give up. I was sure something would come to me.
Finally I wrote the last word: Clay. He was the root of all this chaos. Everything was fine before I met him. It was this relationship that was the genesis of all these problems. Did he do this intentionally? If so, why? Was it possible everything that had happened since I’d left was unrelated to him? That didn’t seem likely but I was at a loss why he would follow me, never mind the music and the flowers. It just didn’t make sense. What was I missing?
I had more questions than answers but I wrote them all down as they came to me, hoping that at some point understanding would dawn.
Suddenly the room was filled with raucous laughter as a family with four teenage boys entered. The boys shoved each other playfully, each trying to get ahead of the other in line for the buffet. The parents, busy talking to each other, did nothing to quiet them, apparently unaware how they were disturbing the other guests.
I slammed my notebook closed. Standing I grabbed my book, pen and the banana. Just as I was turning away I decided to take the muffin as well. My hands full, I headed back to my room to get away from the noise.
This post is in response to the daily writing prompts Genesis and is part of something longer I’m working on.
This post is a part of the story about the ex and comes after What Could I Do If She Wouldn’t Listen to Me?