Crossroads: A Short Story.

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By Brandon Jamil


“Chase your passion not your safety.” -Paulo Coelho

Jameson arises out of bed and walks down the stairs into the living room. He turns the coffee maker on and waits for the coffee pot to fill. While Jameson awaits, he goes into the hall closet. Jameson notices all the boxes of art supplies he stored away years ago. He decides to take one box out and rummages through it.
“Babe, what are you doing? Come back to bed.”
“In a moment.” Jameson continues to rummage through the box of painting brushes and old canvases. Jameson placed the box aside and grabbed a cup of coffee. Jameson returns to the living room and sits in front of the closet.

“Babe, what are you out here…”
“I haven’t gone through these boxes in ages.”
“We aren’t doing this again.”
“Alex calm down, I just want to see my art.”
“The last time you went through your art work we went bankrupted.”
“I was going through a depression. I thought we’d gotten-”
“No, we haven’t gotten over it. You will not destroy this family again.” Alex walks away and slams the bedroom door. As Jameson continues to sift through the boxes of art supplies, he notices an unfinished painting. Jameson pulls it out and holds it to above his head- to the light.

“I wonder what would have happened if I would have simply followed my dreams.” Jameson places the painting down and sips his coffee.
“I can’t remember what I was thinking when I painted this. I remember waking up with no real money, but I loved my life. Now I feel trapped.” Jameson glosses over his painting with his fingers and begins to cry. To hide his emotions, he runs to the bathroom and closes the door and turns the faucet on. “I hate this life. All of it. None of it is real. I am with someone who doesn’t love the real me. I am in a career I hate, and I live in a house that I didn’t want. All I wanted was to be able to create my art and sell it. I wouldn’t mind working a regular job just to pay rent. If It means that my life was at peace, I wouldn’t care.”

Jameson snapped out of his emotional rant and cleaned his face. He returns to the living room, where Alex is waiting for him on the couch. “So… I guess we’re going to do this again.”
“I can’t talk to you right now.”
“Oh, you will talk to me god damnit.”
“For what? To hear you bash my-”
“You need to get this stupid dream out of your system.”
“Yeah, hear you go. My stupid dream.”
“We’re not twenty years old anymore. It was cute then. Now we’re grown, you know with a mortgage and children we just adopted.”
“That nonchalant attitude is how you feel about our family… Right.”
“No, I love my children.”
“Oh, I get it. I am the fucking problem.”
“You made me quit my art.”
“I made you grow up.”
“No! You have me chained in this damn prison with you.”
“Leave us out of your confusion.”
“Fuck off Alex.”
“Soon very soon.” Alex walks into the kitchen slamming down the coffee mug while mumbling under his breath. Jameson continues to sort through his art boxes and sitting them alongside the hallway.
“Those paintings need to be put away before I go pick the kids up from your mother’s house,” Alex said. Jameson paid Alex no mind and focused on his paintings.
“The only thing worse than staying here is leaving. How can I pursue my passions while maintaining a family? I know it’s impossible. I will disappoint Alex and my family, but how I can live with myself, knowing that I am actively betraying my own heart?”

Jameson turns his back to the living room where Alex is sitting. Jameson picks up his very first paint brush he’d purchased when he was sixteen. At one point this paintbrush was his only friend. It was his therapist, and lover. “I can’t give this up. I won’t give this up.”
“It’s the art fantasy or your family.” Jameson walks towards Alex and throws his wedding ring at Alex. “Fuck you, but I love my children and I always will take care of them. I don’t want-”
“Fuck me? You leave and I will get half of everything!”
“You can fucking have it.” Jameson storms across the room trying to place his art supplies back into the boxes. Alex walks over and grabs a box and throws it on the front lawn.
“You don’t want our marriage anymore? Leave! Get out!”
“I am not going anywhere!”
“No?” Jameson walks outside to pickup the box on the front lawn, Alex throws another box while Jameson walks in. “I ain’t playing with you anymore. You want that fucking dream… Have it. Just not in this house!”

“This house is mine. Now you pack all your shit up and leave with the one bag you came with. Now let’s get you packed.”
“You think-”
“This marriage is over, and don’t let the door hit you on the way out.”
Alex unable to speak, he sits down on the sofa. “I didn’t think you’d ever ask for a divorce.”
“Alex, I love you, but I love me more.”

“You’re truly willing to give up everything for this?”
“For what? MY SOUL? YES.”
“What about our family?”
“What about our family?”
“You still don’t get it do you? This isn’t about you. It’s about our family.”
“My life will be about living my dreams with the people I love.”
“Then so be it…”




©2019 Brandon Jamil All Rights Reserved.

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