Friday, October 14, 2016

Free Fiction; 87 Hours

Eighty-seven hours.

That’s how long it had taken Maris to crochet the blanket. Eighty-seven hours. That did not include choosing the pattern, nor choosing the yarn. It did include the straight-out amount of time spent sitting and moving her hands, always having yarn looped through her fingers, as she spooled together the intricate pattern to create the full size blanket.

It had been a labor of love.

She’d enjoyed the time, to be sure. She’d spent most of it in front of the television, watching movies or shows. She’d finally gotten through her backlogged list of old musicals to watch, as well as a bunch of late night monster movies she’d come across randomly. She’d never heard of them before, but they’d been fun.

Some of the hours were conference call hours and webinar hours. Nobody could see her, so she had brought out the project bag and crocheted while others droned on. Keeping her hands busy had helped her stay awake.

But still, eighty-seven hours was a long time to put into a project. It was double a work week. It was a two week vacation, and then some.

Maris had gifted the blanket to Lyndon for their one year anniversary. She’d chosen a card with an adorable couple snuggling on a bed, a big red heart hovering over their smiling faces. She’d written on the inside: This is for us! To cuddle under for many years to come! Happy Anniversary!

She’d revealed to Lyndon how she’d worked on it when he wasn’t there, or had been asleep, so it would be a surprise. She’d worked on it when she went to visit her parents and her sisters, so he would be none the wiser about the special gift she was creating. She worked on it late at night and early in the morning, and during small snatches of free time.

She’d put her head on his chest and sighed. They’d threaded their fingers together. He’d kissed the top of her head, and told her he loved her. She said, this blanket will be great when we’re on the couch together and watching movies. She’d told him, in her dreamiest voice, that she believed in years to come, they could sleep under this blanket and remember when their love was new.


Apparently, their love was also for the dogs.

Lyndon had stuffed the blanket into Jasper’s crate. It was dirty, soaked from drool in at least three places, and had the beginnings of a frayed area. Jasper was gumming one edge of the blanket right now, slobbering all over it.

Jasper stopped what he was doing to perk up at Maris’ approach. He wagged his tail, sure he was about to be let out of his crate. Jasper was a two year old mutt from a rescue society. He was adorable and good natured, a wonderful dog. He was also eighty pounds, had slobbery jowls, and enormous, rough feet.

“Oh, Jasper.” Maris let him out of the crate and took him over to clip him to his trolley-run. He trotted outside to take care of himself.

Maris went back to the crate and retrieved the blanket. It already had a hole in one area. A portion of it was stiff with something once wet and then dried. She shook it out and dog hair rained down. She felt like crying.

Maris carefully folded the blanket and placed in on the kitchen counter. She found a piece of paper and a pen and wrote a note. “I know this blanket was a gift, and once given, a recipient can do what they want with the gift, but putting this blanket into Jasper’s crate shows me what you think – of this blanket, of my efforts in making it, and what you think of me, and my worth in this relationship.”

Maris went to the bathroom and searched until she found the oldest clean towel. It had frayed edges and a few thin spots, but was still a good towel, and very soft. She put it into Jasper’s crate, making sure he would have a soft thing to lie down upon. She refilled Jasper’s water dish and located a fresh rawhide chew-bone in the pantry which she put into the crate, too. Then she went to the door and retrieved Jasper. He gave her a very sad whine when she put him back into the crate and followed her every move with his eyes as she gathered her purse.

“Bye, Jasper,” Maris said. She closed the door behind her, locked it, and headed to her car. She had her own apartment. There was no reason to stay and witness what was about to happen. She had seen the carnage of her blanket; she didn’t need to stick around to try to explain why it bothered her. Either the note would be enough, or it wouldn’t.

As she started her car, she thought back on her relationship with Lyndon. He wasn’t a bad man, but he was often thoughtless. He’d done things like this before, although on a much smaller scale, and she’d always forgiven him or overlooked it. Eighty-seven hours was a lot of time to put into learning a lesson.

If he called, Maris wasn’t sure she’d forgive him, and maybe it was about time she stopped.

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