Writer in Residence · 08/09/2013

Soon This Will Only Be A Moment

It will perhaps be evident upon reading this that Matt DeBenedictis was once a preacher. I guess God’s call for Matt, though, was writing stories.

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He said it was important, that it had to be now. He had to leave before the kids rustled from their slumber, before they began the morning processions to their designated buses. Not next week. Not in the summer. It was eternally clear.

He spoke as his wife lay uncomfortably on the bed. When she appeared fetal to him, her trembling legs pushing against her chest, she would rearrange her limbs, her frame, looking dislocated as she tried to find air in the fabrics of blankets.

“I wish you could hear his voice as I do.”

“Does he tell you there will be peace? Does he tell you there is comfort for either of us?” She asked, her own voice creaked as the worn wood and stripped joints of a desk drawer opened too many times.

When the heavenly father spoke to him, demanding a faith of action, he did not question it. There was no turmoil of decisions; just a quick acceptance deemed a life of reverence.

A terrible feeling of what to tell others welcomed itself to her. She began to clutch a pillow as he finished zipping his duffle bag and suitcase. He placed his wedding ring on the dresser. His eyes stopped at a photo from their wedding.

It had been a spring ceremony. They were sort of smiling at the camera. Little cracks in the corners of their lips were the delight that their son wasn’t showing yet.

She asked to hold hands, to attempt to hear the voice together. He quietly said no. Unable to look at her anymore he offered her a blessing; one to understand sacrifice is a scratch in the gaze of eternity.

She wondered when he would leave. When his car pulled out of the driveway would she have enough time to run into the backyard, open and close the shed, and scream before the kids woke up? She didn’t plan on asking God if this was a trial that would bear worthy rewards. It was a meaningless gesture to believe in words.

He walked out of the room and she watched him. Bag slung over his shoulder, suitcase in hand, and two jackets worn as one. No one saw his car leave the driveway and turn down the street.

In three months her hands caressed another man. Another man who could hear the heavenly father.

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Matt DeBenedictis lives in Atlanta, Georgia. He is the founder of the press Safety Third Enterprises and is the author of three chapbooks, including Congratulations! There’s No Last Place If Everyone Is Dead. His website is wordsforguns.com.

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posted by Jamie Iredell