“Stories Replace People” by Herbert T. Schmidt, Jr.


He said something that hurt her
She reacted angrily
He raised his voice
She spoke louder than he
He told her she was acting like a child
She said he was being manipulative
He shook a finger at her
She said she was leaving without him
He said there’s no leaving in love
She said you watch me
He was overwhelmed by a sense of great loss
She slammed the door on the way out
He had seen the look in her eye
She hated him during their argument
He grew very cold and shook for hours
She did not reappear or call
He was alone
She was gone
He sent her flowers
She said thank you I want to talk to you
He was afraid of what she would say
She knocked on his door later
He opened it
She asked him if he was going to hug her
He hugged her
She sat down and began to tell him how much he had taught her, etc.
He asked her if she had come to break up with him
She said yes she had stopped loving him during their argument
He said there was nothing else to talk about and left the room
She left her ring on the table and closed the door softly as she left

He told the story to his friends
She told the story to her friends
His story stressed how childishly she had behaved
Her story stressed how he had hurt her

Where she had been in his life there was now a story
Where he had been in her life there was now a story

There is nothing in life sadder than when
Stories replace people

Herbert T. Schmidt, jr.

Foto by L. K. Thayer

© 2010