The old wooden rocking chair sitting next to the aging window is a painful memory of my past. Resting there silently, several months of dust cover its flowery patterned cushion. The flowery patterned cushion that beckons me to sit and have another look through the smudged window pane. Rain pelts against the window, cascading down like wasted teardrops. Above the rocking chair, patiently waiting in her web, the spider seems to peer down on me, mocking my saddened life. This dusty old house has become my tomb as I saunter across the creaking wooden floor. The floor that had once witnessed enjoyment, now only sorrow. Once this house had been thriving, now only an lifeless shell. The divorce had stolen all its grandeur, all the laughter, all the reasons to live another day. Now it was all just echoes in a dream, reliving the past as a bad rerun. As I move slowly across the floor, I feel my unkempt toenails dragging across the wooden surface, making a slight scratching noise. I reach for the front door and bring my hand quickly back. My suffering has kept me from opening the door, the door that opens to the world of lies and suffering. Unknowingly, I run my clammy hands through my greasy hair that has matted against my head. My thoughts are diverted back to my ex-wife. Does she even know what she has done to me? Does she care? I will not waste another single tear for her. She made her own bed, now she can lie on it all by herself. Such a selfish life she lives, throwing away my heart like it was yesterday’s trash. I do, she once said to me on our wedding day. I guess she has long forgotten she had said that. Just like a bad soap opera, she has spun her web of lies, leaving deception around every corner. In sickness and in health, how sick I was to believe her, to trust her, to give my life to her. And that part about death, how I still wish for it. I called out to death many times, but I was ignored. It seems that even death itself has tossed me aside like a rag doll. A cracking at the window draws my attention away from the memories that consume my mind. Is someone there? Again I make my way to the window to peer through its hidden secrets on the other side. All I see is the fears hidden within the smears. With my right hand, I try to wipe away the smears, but it only seems to make matters worse. From behind, the rocking chair seemes to laugh out loud, as if it had accomplished some great task. Driving me out of my mind, that’s all it has accomplished. The rocking chair is just like her, all the mental cruelty. How much more can my mind take? And why is the picture of her still hanging on the wall next to the hand-crafted cuckoo clock? The cuckoo clock with the blue cuckoo bird that constantly reminds me that another hour of my pathetic life has passed me by. Through the layers of dust, I can still see her smirking at me from the picture, calling me lazy, telling me that I’m a complete failure. Tiny shards of broken glass shower the wooden floor. I will show you who’s a failure! Still she stares at me, laughing sinisterly, as she lies upright on the floor. “What’s the matter husband? Can’t you even do that right?” she seems to say, peering up at me, still with the sinister look on her face. Another crash onto the wooden floor from the cuckoo clock sends the picture hovering across the floor, disappearing into the kitchen. “I should have done that a long time ago.” The floor is littered with tiny shards of splintered glass, but at least the image of her is gone. The soured air in the house begins to feel chilled as the winds penetrates through the slight gaps around the window frame. “Damn draft! You’re as cold as she is!” The hinges creak with defiance as I open the closet door. Somewhere hidden within the darkness is an old green wool blanket. The blanket her mother had given us as a gift for some occasion that had completely slipped my mind. Nestled in between piles of old sheets of various colors, I snatch the blanket and wrap it around me like a shawl. This whole damn house is a painful memory of her. That’s why she left so much of her stuff behind, to remind me everyday that I am a failure. Before I realize what I am doing, I venture into the kitchen and snatch a red disposable lighter from the kitchen counter top and run into the living room, straight across the tiny shards of broken glass. Even through this damn blanket she continues to haunt me! I feel the blood oozing from my wounds as I throw the blanket into the fireplace and set it on fire. Through the fire and smoke, I can still see her face, laughing at me as she disappears from my sight. Leave me alone! Why do you still haunt me? I feel my heart starting to ache as I hear another crash against the window. With pain cascading through my feet, I leave a small blood trail on my journey back to the window. This time the window is fogged and I can barely see through it. The rain continues to fall, forming little oceans of water on the window pane. I feel chills running through my bones, as if someone is in the house with me. I turn my attention back to the rocking chair. Still it sits silently, just waiting for the perfect opportunity to drive me totally insane. I notice a small pool of blood forming around my feet. I remember that there is some bandages and a small bottle of aspirin on the kitchen table. Again I make my way to the kitchen, and this time I’m careful not to walk through any more broken glass. I made my way carefully to the table, my feet now throbbing in pain. I reach for the bottle of aspirin as I notice the picture lying on the floor next to my feet. She is still looking at me, now with accusing eyes. I can hear her now, “Why is the bottle of aspirin on the kitchen table? It belongs in the bathroom in the medicine cabinet!” Without thinking, I send the bottle of aspirin sailing across the kitchen and into the living room. “Shut up! Shut up! Shut up!” I quickly reach for the picture and snatch it off the floor and begin ripping it into several harmless pieces. I let the tiny pieces fall like snow, covering the kitchen floor. I feel a slight smile develop across my lips as I realize I just showed her who’s the boss. I sit down at the kitchen table and tend to my wounds, feeling confident that I have finally silenced her. I look around the kitchen for the bottle of aspirin before I remember seeing it disappear into the living room. I make my way back into the living room, careful not to agitate my wounds any further as I look for the bottle of aspirin. The bottle is resting on the floor next to the rocking chair that seems to be rocking back and forth. I feel my breathing becoming erratic. How can this be? Sweat begins beading down my brow line as I stand frozen in terror. My head feels like it is on fire, ready to explode at a moment’s notice. The chair once again becomes still. Have I finally gone insane? Was she right all along? What the hell is going on? Another crash echoes across the window pane, and this time the pitch is different. Trembling, I make my way back to the window, trying to fight back a waterfall of tears. Nearing the window, I realize what I heard. This time across the window pain is a single long crack. I stare at the crack, wondering what has caused it. Suddenly, without warning, I start to fade to black as I feel the edge of a butcher knife penetrating my back. The last thing I remember is her last spoken words to me. “Only in death can we really be apart.” With gloved hands, my ex-wife pulls the butcher knife from my back, opens the front door, and ventures out into the falling rain.