Til Death - Part 2

By: Bella Jewel



“Order up!”

I drag my feet, my worn shoes scraping across the bland wooden floor. I glance at the customers that pass me, their eyes no more than empty sockets in my broken mind. They mean nothing to me. I don’t see anything, feel anything, hear anything. My soul is a bottomless pit. My body moves only because it has to.

Time heals nothing.

I’m as bitter as the day I was when I walked out on the man I thought I loved.

He never chased me.

He never called.

He never divorced me.

He just let me go.

That almost makes me angrier than the fact that I fell in love with a man who was nothing more than a cold-hearted monster, out to keep his business. I don’t care who you are, I don’t care what your past is—you make a choice to completely destroy a human being for your own satisfaction, your soul will go to the depths of the earth and deeper, and you, my friend, will burn.

“I’m coming,” I call out mindlessly.

I lift the tray from the counter and collect glasses as I head to the kitchen to fetch more orders. You’d think I could get a better job, but when you move to a town where nobody knows you and you’re forced to start again, your qualifications mean shit. Especially when your old boss has nothing but bad things to say about you; Robert that is. To say he holds a grudge would be an understatement.

Besides, I had to leave, which meant I had to start again. The past no longer matters.

To take care of Mom, I have to work long hours. We live in a tiny apartment I can barely afford. She stays at home most days without care. She hates it. She’s depressed. She knows she can’t help and that bothers her. She deserves more than this. She deserves someone to look after her, and I can’t give her that.

She’s grateful; I know she is.

But it doesn’t change facts.

“Pick up your feet, Katia,” my boss barks, shoving a plate with a huge burger across the counter to me. “Move.”

I lift it, turning and taking it to the customer’s table. The woman waiting for it scowls up at me. “I’ve been waiting half an hour!” she snaps.

“I’m terribly sorry.”

If my voice sounded like I meant that, she’d probably have accepted it, but my guess is she heard that I truly didn’t give a fuck and so she continued, “Excuse me?”

Great; she needs me to repeat myself. I turn and glance at my boss, who is glaring at me. If it weren’t for the fact that I needed this job, I’d tell this bitch right where to go. Instead, I force a smile and say in my best cheerful voice, “I’m so sorry, can I get you a drink on the house?”

She nods. “I’d expect so.”

“And what can I get you, ma’am?”

“Diet soda.”

“Coming right up.”

I turn, stare up at the ceiling for calm, then I fetch her a soda. Then I finish up the rest of my long, draining day. By the time I reach the outside of my apartment, my feet are aching to the point where I can barely stand. That’s what happens when you work twelve-hour shifts in shitty, cheap shoes. Closing my eyes and wiping the day from my face, I plant on a cheerful smile and open the door.

What greets me is the reason I breathe.

Black hair, just like his. Big, brown eyes. His, too. A thick mop of dark hair curled on her beautiful head. Devastating. Beautiful. The light of my life. She’s sitting on the floor playing with the only toy she owns, a tiny doll that she spends most of her time sucking. The neighbors, Betty and Andy, take her while I’m working and bring her back to Mom just before I can return.

“Hello princess.” I smile, the only true smile I give.

She looks up at me, and even to this day she takes my breath away. She’s exactly like him. There’s a beauty about our daughter that he’ll never know. She was born beautiful and she remains beautiful. She’s nearing twelve months old, meaning it’s been a little less than two years since I walked away from him.

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