Square Peg, Round Hole

An attempt at quick-short fiction. Trying to not be so long winded. Still haven’t made up my mind on how I feel about it. Thought I would share.

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What stuck the most was his indifference. I remember his detached eyes over my mother holding me while confused tears streaked my cheeks, I remember that more than the strange man idly standing  in the kitchen looking out of the window with a clenched jaw. I have never forgotten when my father looked me in the eyes and said he didn’t want to be my dad anymore.

The memory has lasted throughout my life, I think about it with the detached interest one might observe monkeys’ mating dance. The reason why isn’t anything noble as trying to be a better example to those around me, to somehow compensate for missing hugs. I don’t have those kind of hangups or issues.

I gave up a long time ago trying decide if he really didn’t want to be my father or if it hurt him so much that he needed to put the abyss between us, to some how protect us from something much worse. I accepted what happened, I haven’t wasted my life trying to figure out why a square peg doesn’t fit into a round hole.

I was playing video games, passing my weekend away slaying Nazis, zombies, and Nazi Zombies. Something a gamer does when he has no relationship or obligations to speak of, outside of saving the world from demonic and soulless ones and zeros.

Somewhere down from my dead-end street I heard a crash followed by that eerie silence that is accompanied by uncertainty. The crash wasn’t close enough to make me think somebody had parked a car in the side of my house, but it was loud enough to make me look outside.

I didn’t see anything.

I thought it wasn’t anything, lots of children ride bikes around the neighborhood, smacking the trash lids with sticks or rebar. Somewhat of an annoying hobby for the younger generation, more deplorable with ever early weekend wake-up. After a few moments I decide that I should investigate, if only as an excuse to get more tacos for my caffeinated digital adventuring.

When I rounded the bend in the road, I saw a car crunched into a telephone pole, wavy black tire marks on the asphalt. A police officer was already on the scene; at first glance trying to assess the situation, standing on the other side staring at something.

I noticed a woman face down on the steering wheel. Her hair was damp and the bit of skin I saw was red. It blew my mind why the officer wasn’t attending to the woman. She clearly needed medical attention.

As I passed the car, on the passenger side I saw the officer’s fascination. I was annoyed because the boy was kneeling with his back half turned towards me, he had no signs of injury.

When I crept by, looking on like an idiot, I saw what the young man was doing. I saw the little broken body with a pink hair clip in his arms, her limbs swung lifeless.

The look that was rippled across the young man’s face was palpable. The loss and pain in his eyes said more about him than anything else ever could. In that moment I knew that man for who he was.

Days later I found out that the young man was visiting a friend from college. I revered him.

Days later I found out the woman was drunk, I thought she got what she deserved.  A human being with the entirety of her life was ripped from before she had a chance. The world lost a doctor or a teacher, it became a little darker. I hated that woman.

Days later I found out that the woman was trying to leave her abusive husband. That he had followed her from the last time she left him. She was trying to get away, save her girl from a horrible life of bruises and excuses. I felt guilty.

I can’t forget that look, the heart-break on that young man’s face while he stared at a broken little girl and he tried to understand why square pegs don’t fit into round holes. While he tried to make sense of things left outside of human knowing.

As the emotion of my father telling me he didn’t want to be my dad anymore flooded from some unknown dark corner in my mind, I couldn’t help but feel what was going through that young man as the tears in his soul were the same tears in mine. I couldn’t help but think that this broken girl was loved more by a stranger than I was loved by my father.

Days later I still hated myself for thinking that.

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One thought on “Square Peg, Round Hole

  1. Frank, this might be stronger if you put it into the 3rd person POV.
    Bukowski’s a good writer to read if you’re wanting to tighten your style.
    Also, entering short story comps is a great way to hone writing style. It teaches you to watch word counts, and how, often, less is more.
    All the best for the Christmas season and the coming New Year,
    Danielle

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