Keepsakes #amreading #iartg #rzp

I wrote this story prior to 2002 as part of a thing (I won’t go into it because I’m not entirely sure what it was supposed to do at the time). I’ve progressed a lot since this time in my writing, but this one is still pretty good. Please, enjoy.

Come back tomorrow for the next installment (if you came here through Twitter you can also search for #rzp). And don’t forget to check out my book list.

George sat and stared at that stupid potted plant. He plucked his thumb out of his mouth and fresh beads of red immediately sprouted up. The pain was unbelievable when he’d tried to pull that thing from the windowsill.

He stood and approached it, tentatively, wondering how it had rooted to that one spot. Carol would have enjoyed seeing this. Running off the way she had, she hadn’t meant to do anything but hurt him. She was always so selfish.

George had gotten his revenge, though. Carol had left everything behind. Her clothes, jewelry, her cat, Gus- everything. He’d taken his time, destroying it all. George relished the pain of Gus’ claws raking his arms for the last time right before he’d gone into the dishwasher. The platinum pendant went on top of the pyre of her clothes he’d set fire to in an abandoned parking lot.

“Friggin’ Robby Keller,” he muttered to himself as he examined the potted plant. “What he have I don’t?” There were tiny razor thin barbs edging all the way around the saucer underneath the pot. George sucked on his thumb again, carefully circling his other hand around the top of the pot. Those barbs had hurt so much he’d stumbled over his own feet trying to get away from them.

“‘He listens to me’,” George mocked. “‘He cares about me as a person.'” He tugged on the pot but it didn’t budge.

“What the hell?” he said. He gave it two more tugs, wrapping his wounded hand around the other and put his knee onto the cabinet face for leverage.

The plant had been his special project. He’d been ready to chuck it as far as he could when he decided to do something different. Instead, he poured everything in it he could find. Bleach, mouthwash, spoiled milk and beer when he was home alone drunk- anything, so long as it wasn’t water.

The damn thing hadn’t died, though. It didn’t grow, either. It was always looking like it was ready to bud, but that was exactly how it looked the day Carol had brought it home.

“What is it?” he asked her, annoyed.

“I don’t know, but it’s exotic!” she said, looking excited. Carol was always into ‘exotic’. That’s why George had to waste so much money on jewelry. She was so inconsiderate she’d even waited until he’d slipped the engagement ring on her finger before telling him no. Before telling him she was leaving him for Robby Keller. He could take care of her the way she deserved to be taken care of, she’d said. He knew how to treat a woman, she’d said. He was a real man, she’d said. Her bags were already packed- when George had seen them he had assumed she was going to visit her mother again.

The things she’d said to him then. George knew he wasn’t the brightest man or the best looking, but he didn’t deserve how she’d made him feel. He didn’t even want to think the words she’d said, they burned him so.

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