Beginning and Ending

Can't say I've ever been too fond of beginnings, myself. Messy little things. Give me a good ending any time. You know where you are with an ending.

– Neil Gaiman, Sandman #57

The one thing in favour of endings is their simplicity. Beginnings have so many complications – meeting someone, seeing them again or not, taking them home or not, falling in love or not. So many opportunities for complications.

And at the end? Just goodbyes.

I stood staring at the boxes, my whole life packed up like just so much rubbish, waiting to be shipped out into an uncertain future. You had already gone, your own things neatly packed. The house, we had decided, held too many memories. So the house – our house – would be sold to some smiling stranger who had no idea of the miniscule tragedies that had played out within these walls. Because in the grander scheme of things, our tragedies were tiny. Just another couple falling apart.

Pudding jumped up onto the nearest box and yowled at me, demanding to be fed, even though it had only been an hour since breakfast. I scratched him behind the ears absentmindedly. I had won the custody argument. Another point to me in the endless game of racking up points against each other. It didn't feel like much of a victory now.

We had met at a party. As beginnings go, it was unremarkable. A brief courtship, all flowers and restaurants and gazing at the stars, and then, more or less inevitably, we got married. A very ordinary story, all things considered. After years full of failed romantic entanglements, this one had all seemed so straightforward. And now, here we were. Simply, yet completely, at the full stop.

All that was left was to pack up these boxes, and find another beginning somewhere else. The thought weighed heavily in my chest. I had had too many beginnings, too many endings, to relish the prospect of my newfound "freedom".

I slumped down onto box, my head in my hands. I had been so naïve. With all the wide-eyed innocence of a Disney heroine, I had believed in forever. That was how it had always worked in the movies. But the end had come, so different from those bright beginnings, leaving me alone in a room which already looked unlived in, all its memories packed up into the boxes which littered the floor.

I hadn't cried yet. There had been too much shouting, too much anger, and, in the end, too much grief to do anything as petty as cry. But now I could feel the tears beginning to prick at the back of my eyes. I didn't bother to blink them away.

So this was the end. Not with a bang, but with a whimper. All the potential of our beginning snuffed out at this bitter ending. You were gone. Surrounded by the pieces of our life together, I sat and cried.

A/N: Written for Fiction Land's Challenge #01: Beginnings. The word limit was 500 words.