One-Shot: Heart and Trust

It has been a while since I posted anything to my blog. I am in the middle of restructuring my story and boy, it is a hard work. But I see why it is very important. FYIC story structure is very weak in the middle and I am working on strengthening it. Will end up rewriting it in 3rd person POV too.

Anyway, I wrote this story right after gaining inspiration from a book titled “Pacific Crucible: War at Sea in the Pacific, 1941-1942” by Ian W. Toll. The story of the Japanese admiral Yamamoto struck a chord within me. I think men become more vulnerable to cheating once they grow powerful because more women start to see past his appearances and more choices became available to him. It is really hard to stay faithful when “better” choice is available. Cheaters, both men and women, could get what they want, but is it really what they want?

Once upon a time there was a woman.

She was not pretty, but a man married her because she looked strong and could take hardships.

They have three children together. Both worked to support the children’s livings. It was tiring to both, but the family was happy.

The woman worked as waitress. Her job was demanding. She came home tired, but always made sure to spend time teaching her children. She also cooked for her husband because he was a military man who rarely came home. Every time they were together again, dinner would be a feast, because there would be no breakfast or lunch. They quenched their loneliness with letters.

Time passed, the man rose in ranks. Eventually he came to a point where he could provide the whole family. The woman quitted her job and only came from time to time whenever the restaurant owner needed extra hands.

All was well until the man met a female host in a bar. They got along immediately like long lost friends. Things never went intimate that night, but gradually, the man’s heart started leaning towards her. He started to come home later, using work as an excuse, in order to visit the female host. He talked more to the female host because she was a great listener to his problems, never offering advises or point out that he was in the wrong like his wife. Moreover, it was not one-sided. The female host also started to adore him, giving him discounts of her service so he could spend more time with her. The woman was kept in the dark, until she saw her husband kissing the female host in the lips in a darkened street.

The woman confronted them.

“Today’s dinner is your favorite. Come home before it goes cold.”

Then she left them before they could say anything to her.

The woman waited. The man came back long after dinner went cold. Neither touched the food while they spoke.

The man wanted a divorce. The woman expected this. Her insecurities came back when she waited. It was obvious that her husband would choose a beautiful woman who looked like she needed to be protected. She knew she was a mother, not a companion her husband wished.

As the husband left, he decided to leave the home for her and their children. The woman laughed bitterly.

“Leave the home to me? We bought this together.”

The husband had nothing to say to that. When he left, the woman finally wept.

Today was the anniversary of their wedding.

With the female host—now his new wife—on his side, the husband’s career shot up. He became the most respected admiral in the nation. He led many battles to victory and secure allies more than diplomats could. Enemy countries fear and respect him at the same time. He was a common face in the newspaper now, along with his beautiful wife. Nobody ever mentioned his first wife—who retook the job as a waiter to support her children. The husband had sent her money, but she always sent it back until he stopped trying.

Ten years passed.

One of the husband’s enemies slandered him. In one night the husband became the enemy of the nation. Both him and his wife was forced to abandon their home to run and hide. Eventually they ran out of places and there was only one place the husband could think of:

His old home.

He and his wife went, prepared to get on their knees to beg, but to their surprise, the woman invited them in before they could say anything. She let them bath, provided them warm food and dry clothes, without any hint of malice in her actions. When they were settled, they asked why she was so kind to them.

The woman thought long before answering,

“I realize I am happier without you. I sleep peacefully now because I don’t need to fear for your life. I can also see you are happier together with her than me.”

“Still, don’t you hate us?”

“At first, yes. But now, you are just a stranger who need help.”

“We will repay you.”

The woman laughed. “You two have taken more than you can give to me—and you cannot return it.

“But I do have three requests. Leave before the children wake up, never come back again, and if you ever regain your power, do not take the children to war.”

That night, the husband felt peace for the first time since forever. He finally realized what he had missed these ten years. He and his new wife never had children together. He caught a glimpse when he passed the children’s shared bedroom and saw four silhouettes. His wife had been pregnant when he left her.

He had to admit with remorse: tonight was the first time in a while that he felt peace. Life without his ex-wife was exciting and more interesting, but he never got any rest. Even with his new wife, he couldn’t help but talk about work because she was such a good listener and talker that he couldn’t help but talk his complains to her. His ex-wife, she listened then made him forget about it once she talked about their children over dinner.

The man took one last look at his children and vowed to fulfill his ex-wife’s requests.

Out of those three, only one left unfulfilled. The husband and his wife were killed three days after their stay on the woman’s house.

The war was over before the children could get drafted. The woman and her children spent the rest of their life in peace.