On Paper

This week’s challenge from http://www.trifectawritingchallenge.com/ is to write a piece using the word ‘appear’, meaning ‘to have an outward aspect/seem’. 

I’m Marie Smiley. Thirty years old. I’m married to Max. I have a little boy, Jack. He’s two. He’s my world. 

On paper, I appear to have the perfect life. Hell, even my surname’s happy.

Everywhere I go though, I hear whispers. When I take Jack to the play centre, I hear other Mums whispering about me. Could she be wearing any more make-up? She’s too over-protective of that little boy. I hear her husband’s having an affair. They appear to think I can’t hear, but their words cut me like a knife.

They don’t know half of what goes on behind closed doors. They don’t know that my thick make-up covers the bruises. I always seem to have a black eye, or a split lip.

I’m protective of my little boy, because he’s the only man I’ll ever be able to trust.

Yes, my husband does have a mistress. I wouldn’t be surprised if it wasn’t one of those gossiping Mums. He also has a shocking temper, and likes to lash out at me.

On paper, I really do have the perfect life. In reality, I need to get out.

Next time Max comes for me in one of his rages, I’m fighting back.

I keep my knives sharpened ready.

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16 thoughts on “On Paper

  1. Appearances and reality – so often not in sequence. I’m glad she’s keeping the knives ready. I enjoyed the series of short sentences that you started this piece with. It quickly set the scene and read well.

  2. Your style of using short sentences helps build up tension and adds cadence to your words. It is always so easy to be the critic, the judge of others; much easier than actually making the effort to get the facts before rushing to judgment. You have captured that, all too common, human tendency very well, as you did with the dilemma of the abused spouse. Well done in all regards.

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