PostHeaderIcon Laughing Out Loud

By Jael Strong

 “Phil, really, you had to know this might happen.  This is what happens with relationships.  They might work out or they might end.  And we’re ending. I’m sorry.”  Phil Lytton sat on the couch next to his fiancée, newly-created-ex-fiancée, Becky Kaiser.  She smiled.  “You could hardly support a family.  Phil, you work at a pizza shop.”  This was a job that Phil was quite happy with.  He liked sitting in his rusty red car eating day-old pizza during his ten minute breaks.  But she laughed.  And he really did love her smile and her laugh.

Becky looked at her watch.  Phil didn’t like watches.  So he never wore one.  Becky always wore her watch, and always stared at it.  Phil really did love her watch too.  He just didn’t want to wear it.

 “Can you excuse me for a second?”  Phil left Becky sitting on the couch as he made his way through his tiny apartment.  He felt his hands shake and his stomach turn as he walked away from her.  If he was that kind of man, he would have taken his fifty-cent-yard-sale lamp and thrown it at her.  Instead he made his way swiftly and quietly to the only room he could feel alone, the bathroom.  He cursed his big feet as he heard them booming through the three rooms that made up his home. He came to the bathroom and locked the door behind him.

Phil Lytton was angry.  His muscles bulged from the pushups he did every morning, but now they twitched from irritation.  His eyes stung him.  He blinked tears away and wedged himself tightly between the walls of the small bath room.  He dug his long nails into the palm of his hands until the nails broke the skin.  The pain shook him.  Phil Lytton felt a fiery fury breaking inside, under his pale skin.

A red dot on the white wall caught Phil’s eye.  A tiny red beetle with perfect black spots was crawling across his bathroom wall. Phil stopped shaking and got closer to the beautiful creature.  Phil’s grandmother used to get a certain pleasure out of smashing insects, but Phil was horrified by that practice.  He loved insects.  He loved beetles.  He loved this smooth red ruby walking on his walls.  It reminded him of ice cream, which he also loved.  It made him forget that he was trapped in a small bathroom, in a small apartment.  It was a beautiful bug.

Phil Lytton wrapped his large right hand around his left shoe, never taking is eyes off of the beetle.  He untied his shoe, and slipped it off of his big foot.  Phil lifted the shoe above his head.  He stared at the moving red dot on his wall.  Phil shocked himself when he heard the wall crunch as he crushed the beetle beneath his shoe.  The beetle, ugly and crippled, stuck to his clean wall.  Phil stared at the bug, then his shoe, then at the bug parts again.

Phil Lytton started to laugh.  His thin frame shook inside his baggy red shirt and beige pants. His stomach jiggled.  He put his hand over his mouth to keep the sound in.  His light brown hair fell over his eyes as he convulsed with laughter.  It was a bug after all and that is what happens with bugs.  They either live outside or they come in and get crushed.  And this one got crushed.  When he thought of this, Phil Lytton laughed.  And Phil Lytton loved to laugh.  On the couch, two rooms away, Becky Kaiser, sitting solemnly and staring at her watch, looked up when she heard Phil Lytton laughing out loud.

About the Author
Jael Strong is a writer for TheWriteBloggers, a company dedicated to creating professional blogging content for increased internet visibility.

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