Neighbors

19731899_10209655775657971_5749092506553919200_nHanna smiles, standing with one arm tucked under the other. She sips from her large coffee mug, smacking her lips at the slight bitter taste. The sun climbs up in the sky, beaming down on their small town. The people on the street outside all stay bundled in large jackets, bracing themselves against the cold wind.

A young mom pulls her front door shut behind her, herding two small children to the car. Hanna raises her hand, waiving at the woman through the window. She’s greeted by a wide smile and an enthusiastic wave.

Hanna watches the car drive away, her throat suddenly feeling tight. The house looks relaxed, as if it were yawning after it’s crazy family leaves for the day. Hanna looks down the street to see an older boy riding his bike to school, fighting the morning wind. Hanna sighs and takes another long sip from her coffee mug.

A cat rubs against Hanna’s leg and she bends down to pet the animal’s soft fur. “Good morning, Georgie,” she greets. “Did you sleep last night?”

The cat meows in response, pushing it’s head against Hanna’s hand. Sighing, she answers “Yeah, me either.” She stands and leaves the window, heading to the kitchen to refill her coffee mug. Morning grogginess hits her and she stumbles as she walks, blinking slowly. Her phone, sitting on the window sill, starts singing and Hanna walks up to it, staring at the name flashing on the screen.

She frowns, balancing the phone in her hand as she considers declining it. She glances out of her window in time to watch her neighbors share a chaste kiss. She huffs, watching them with her eyebrows low. She takes another sip before accepting the call and pushing the phone against her ear.

“Screw you, Jason,” she says.

“Hanna!”

She hangs up the phone, turns it off completely, and drops it on the couch.

Another neighbor waves at Hanna and she waves back, sipping from her large coffee mug.

They don’t know what it’s like.

They don’t know the pain. The loss.

They have their husbands. Their children. Their happiness.

They don’t know what Hanna feels.

She throws the coffee mug up, gulping up the entirety of it’s content. They don’t know she hasn’t drank coffee in months.

They don’t know there’s vodka in the mug.

They don’t know.

 


 

This story is based on a prompt by Harri Andrew and fits in an entire project with 20 other short stories based on prompts. To see them all, subscribe to my email list through my website.

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