#122 Resentments Come in Many Colors

by c. kelly powell

He tells me he swept the floor today, yet there is trash all over it. I assume he means the kitchen floor, since that’s the floor he’s standing on when he proudly exclaims, “I swept the floor today”. What I know is that he did not sweep our kitchen floor. Perhaps he meant he swept someone else’s floor? Perhaps he swept her floor. I wonder what kind of response he wants. Does he want a pat on the back? A scratch behind the ears? Does he want me to thank him for doing one minor thing to help prepare for our daughter’s birthday party, when I’ve done everything else that needed to be done?

He begins placing rainbow napkins beside the unicorn paper cups and plates on the table. As I watch him in the mirror that hangs on the dining room wall, I notice him smiling to himself. The bouquet of balloons is reflecting in the mirror along side him. The children will squabble over which color they get to take with them as they leave the party. Maggie will selflessly give her friends whichever balloon they want even though it is her birthday. She’ll feel proud of herself. “Did you remember to pick up the candles while you were out?” I ask. He looks up into the mirror at me. His blank stare is my answer.

He gasps as the cake knife I was holding zips past his head, shattering the mirror in front of him.

5 comments:

Flutterby said...

It's an interesting correlation between the narrator describing the daughter giving the balloons away as if she is mirroring how much the narrator gives and gives.

It might be good to stress a slight bit more the speculation about the other woman so it doesn't seem an overreaction when she throws the knife. But I think you capture the frustration really well.

Madeleine Sara said...

Oh I loved this. Unexpected ending, yet so expected. The MC gives so much without asking for any reward, yet expecting recognition/appreciation and support, while her husband does so little and yet wants some immediate recognition/appreciation for it. The MC's simmering frustration gives a fitting release at the end with no speculation required.

Sarah Laurenson said...

Good resentment story. Love the mirroring in what the daughter will do.

Aerin said...

I think this is fantastic as is - the narrator wound as tightly as a spring so that the lightest touch sets it off. Well done.

Crystal Powell said...

Thanks so much for the positive comments! I've enjoyed participating in this flash very much!