Winter | The Inkwell Prompt #17

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Hey guys! Here's my submission for this week's @theinkwell prompt. You can find all the details here! I've gotta say, this one was a challenge. I knew where I wanted this story to go, but I don't feel like I really got there. Regardless, I'm happy for the practice and experience!

Winter

Delilah felt so alone as she stood on the silent, snow-covered street. She wondered if, maybe, this had all been a huge mistake.

“Will you go with me?” Danny asked. All the emotion in his eyes had ripped at Delilah’s heart. He was the first person to truly make her feel loved and she wasn’t ready to give up on that.

“Of course!” she exclaimed, her smile spread wide across her face and happiness shining in her bright green eyes. Danny’s face lit up as he hugged her tight.

“Thank you,” he whispered into her ear. “I promise you won’t regret this.”

The memory brought a tear to Delilah’s eye. It was such a happy memory, but after all that had happened in the last few months, it was hard for her to still feel the joy of it. It now felt bittersweet.

“Are you ready to go?” Delilah asked only a couple of weeks later.

“Yes, ma’am,” Danny responded. His smile was excited but tinged with some sadness. They had spent the last week saying goodbye to all their friends and family.

They both climbed into the truck. All their belongings were packed in the back. Delilah was impressed that they had gotten it all to fit. One twelve-foot truck held everything they owned.

Delilah set the GPS with their new address.

“Thirteen hours,” she said. “I can’t believe we’re actually doing this.”

“Neither can I, but it’s too late to back out now. Are you excited?”

“I am. I’m definitely ready to get this drive over with, that’s for sure.”

“Tell me about it,” Danny agreed, his eyes not leaving the road as they started their long journey.

They fell into a comfortable silence as the GPS listed off their first instructions. Delilah couldn’t help but smile as Danny’s free hand found hers. He squeezed it gently, a gesture that made her feel completely reassured. They were going to make it. She was sure.

They had settled into their new home quickly. Their new life began so effortlessly. Unfortunately, it did not stay that way. Danny’s job was not what it was promised to be. He became unhappy and Delilah felt he was taking his unhappiness out on her.

“What’s wrong?” Delilah asked Danny. He had just returned from work.

“Nothing,” he responded, his tone flat.

“O-okay,” she stuttered out. She stared at Danny’s face with sad eyes. He avoided returning her gaze at all costs.

Without another word, he turned and left the room. Delilah didn’t move. Instead, she stood in the same place, debating what she should do. It broke her heart to see Danny that way, especially considering everything they gave up.

Delilah started cooking dinner. She figured it would be a nice gesture. Maybe it would cheer Danny up if she made his favorite meal for him.

She was nearly finished when Danny came back into the kitchen.

“Hi,” she said, turning to smile at him. Her smile dropped as soon as she saw his face, though. She had never seen him look so angry. “What’s wrong?”

“Why do you keep asking?” he all but yelled. “You ever stop and think that maybe it’s all of your ridiculous questions that are bothering me?”

“I—“ she didn’t bother to form a sentence. There was nothing for her to stay. She turned her back to Danny and continued cooking. She sniffles, trying to hold back tears.

“Oh, great. Now, you’re crying.” His voice was venomous.

Before she could think twice, Delilah made a decision. She set down the spoon she had been holding and turned off the burner on the stove. She walked right past Danny without looking at him. She grabbed her jacket and quickly put on her boots. Danny couldn’t even muster a word before Delilah was out the door.

She quickly walked the first block away from their home. She wanted at least a little distance before she would let herself slow down and process what had happened.

The roads were snowy, but it wasn’t unbearably cold. She had always loved the winter. It brought her a certain feeling of peace and comfort.

Delilah sighed as she shuffled through her thoughts. She never thought she would see this side of Danny. He had always been so sweet.

Silent tears rolled down Delilah’s cheeks. She refused to hold back her emotions. If she didn’t feel them, she would end up just like Danny. She began to wonder how long he had been unhappy.

All the negative thoughts began to make her feel homesick. She had nowhere to go here. She didn’t even have any friends yet that she could go stay with even for a couple hours. She felt alone.

“Delilah!”

She turned towards the sound of heavy, rapid footsteps. Danny was running towards her. His face looked devastated.

“Are you okay?” He asked as he reached her. Before she had a chance to answer, he had wrapped his arms around her tightly. “I’m so sorry. I don’t know what came over me. I’ve been so stressed about this job and that’s not your fault. I’m so ashamed it took you walking out the door for me to realize what I was doing.”

Delilah didn’t say anything. She wanted to let him get it all out before she responded.

“I’m so sorry,” he said, his voice cracking. “Please forgive me. I’m so stupid.”

“You’re not stupid,” she said into his chest. “But what you did was not acceptable.”

“I know,” he muttered. “I promise I won’t do anything like that ever again.”

“Don’t make promises you can’t keep.”

“I’ll work on it. I should have just talked to you when you asked. Instead, I bottled it all up. I can’t imagine how alone I made you feel. It was selfish of me.”

Delilah nodded. “I am here for you, ya know? That’s like the whole point.” She laughed softly.

“You’re right. I’m sorry.” He squeezed her tightly. “Does that mean you’ll forgive me?”

“For now,” Delilah conceded.

“I’ll take it,” he replied, kissing the top of her head.

As they walked back to their home, Delilah was deep in thought. On one hand, she was happy that he had realized his error so quickly. On the other, she was concerned that it had happened at all. She understood he was under a lot of pressure, but some things were never acceptable.

By the time they had reached their front door, Delilah was feeling better. She was sure they could fix this. Deep down, Danny was a good man.

“Thank you,” she said to Danny, looking up into his eyes.

His brow furrowed. “For what?”

“For apologizing,” she said. “It says a lot. No one is perfect, and you were brave enough to admit you were wrong.” She grinned up at him. She felt at peace, again. Maybe it wasn’t a mistake after all.

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