The Anticipation

I recently wrote this in a class in my MFA program. It focuses intently on character. What do you think?


Her nest was empty. The children had grown up; the husband had died. And she felt like she had nothing. She felt like this could be the end.

That was, until she saw a brochure for Iceland. It was a casual happenstance—just waiting for an anxiety-ridden root canal at her evil dentist’s office. But this brochure—left by some poor schmuck who probably would need it less than her—took over her mind. Her anxiety melted away for a few moments, looking at the pictures of the Blue Lagoon and Dettifoss. What beauty she saw! The landscapes! The Icelandic horses! What a wonderful place to find herself.

So she would go. She had to go. Wasn’t this a sign? After all, she had had a disastrous year. Her husband was finally taken by cancer. He’d suffered for years, and the doctors originally claimed that he would survive. But they lied. Just like everyone lies at one point or another. And he was gone—just like that. Her world was shattered and she knew that she’d never love again. Why would she? Did she even care about that? She doubted it. Her true love was gone. And she just had her children. But, of course, they flew the coop, too. Her older daughter moved to the Northeast. Somewhere in Maine. Somewhere she’d never think to visit. And her younger daughter, well, she was just starting a life of drugs and alcohol. She had tried to get her daughter into rehab before her husband died, but it was useless. She knew that her younger daughter would either come around eventually… or have the same fate as her late husband. It was just a question of when.

Here she was. Waiting on her bed. Anticipating. She was leaving tomorrow. For the trip of a lifetime. The trip that could and would save her. She just had to let it. She just had to get through these next moments before the taxi came. Well, of course and the seven-hour flight with no food at all. And then, finally, the anticipation would be over. And she would finally be free. This was the anticipation she was always seeking, always waiting for… freedom from it all.

Here she had to go.