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Aberrant: Wild Card - [HW #1] Watching Her Die [Complete]

z-Matt McShae

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Frozen pizza and beer were the only items in Matty’s hands as he walked up to the checkout lane. It had been a long day at work; his hands were raw from where he’d scrubbed them at the work site, trying to get all the paint off his fingers. It was a losing battle and he didn’t care about it too much, but long habit ensured that he made the attempt. Cynthia hated him to come home with ‘spotty fingers’.

Matty smiled ruefully, a little quirk of his lips, as he considered the situation. Eighteen hundred miles away, and she could still pull his leash. It was just a little thing, but it had meant so much to her. It had meant a lot to him, too, since it meant that she wouldn’t nag him about it. Not for the first time, he wondered if they would have lasted, regardless of the rest. It wasn’t a comforting thought.

His cell phone rang and he stopped next to the bread display, using the carton of beer to edge aside a stack of hot dog buns. Shoving the pizza into the opened space on the shelf, he dug out his phone. The number was his parents’ and he considered, for a moment, not answering. There was a trembling feeling in his gut that told him he didn’t really want to answer. He did anyway and was greeted by his mother’s voice. “Hey, Mom,” he said, pitching his voice so that people walking by couldn’t hear him. “What’s up?”

“Matty, sweetie, I have bad news,” his mother said softly.

“It’s Cynthia, isn’t it?” he asked, feeling his throat tighten. “She did it.”

“I’m sorry, honey. She was found last night, at the house. You’ll stay with us, when you come home. We can spruce up the guest room.”

“I wasn’t…” he started, knowing that the last place he wanted to be was back home. Cyn’s parents were there, and he’d run into them. He’d have to look her father in the eyes and see the anger; he’d see her mother’s pain and know that he had abandoned her to her end.

“Matty, you’re her husband, still,” his mother said. “There are arrangements, and you need to be here to make them.”

“Yeah,” he admitted after a moment. “Yeah, you’re right.”

“Of course I am,” she said, attempting a joke. “I’m a mother.”

“I’ll be there soon,” he said, then spent ten minutes getting her off the phone. She wanted to sure he was ‘alright’, and he knew he would be. He wasn’t the one who had been suicidal.

Matty put away his phone and looked at the pizza for a long moment. Then he picked it up, put it back in its spot and got a second pack of cold beer instead.


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