Beyond the Western
Love on the Rocks
Scott A. Gese

Image Source: Sam Williams / Unsplash

Their marriage was heading toward a rocky shore. Could it be saved? Should they even try?

Beyond the Western

Charlie Hackle had been married for seven years. He and his wife were not getting along.

It had been a tumultuous marriage from the beginning.

On this particular Saturday morning. He and Rebecca had been fighting over each others obligations and responsibilities toward their relationship. This was not the first time they had argued over the subject.

Rebecca had grown tired of todays argument and locked herself in the bathroom. She refused to come out. Charlie had grown tired of the argument altogether. He tried to talk to Rebecca through the door. Hoping to coax her out, but she wasn’t responding.

He had reached the point where he had had enough. He gave up and told her he was going out.

It was a full hour before Rebecca decided to open the door. Charlie still hadn’t returned. She was glad he was still gone. She needed a break from the bickering. She felt better after several hours had passed. Charlie still hadn’t returned and now she started to get concerned.

Stopping off at the neighborhood tavern for a drink was becoming a regular habit with him. She wanted to believe that’s where he was and halfheartedly convinced herself of it

By evening Charlie still hadn’t returned. Rebecca was concerned enough to call his cell. There was no answer.

Her growing concern was enough to cause her to make a few phone calls to friends and family. No one had seen him all day.

Now she was worried.

She went so far as to call the local hospital, but was told no one named Charlie Hackle had been admitted. She was relieved to hear it, but was now more worried than ever.

Charlie didn’t come home that night.

In the morning Rebecca called the police on the off chance he may have been arrested and was being held in custody. They had no record of him being arrested. They suggested she file a missing person report, which she did.

A week went by. Rebecca was beside herself. Her mind kept racing. Was he hurt and laying in a ditch somewhere? Was he dead or had he just up and left her? What was bothering her the most was that she didn’t know for sure.


Charlie Hackle had had enough. He couldn’t take the screaming, the fighting, the nagging and the door slamming any longer.

He told his wife he was heading out.

What he did was stop off at the neighborhood bar and nurse a couple of drinks as he tried to calm down and decide what he really wanted to do.

The drinks made it easier for him to make up his mind.

He knew he didn’t want to go back home, so he decided to get a room for the night.

He didn’t call his wife and knowing she would try to call him, he turned off his cell. He needed time to himself and didn’t want to get into it with her over the phone.

In the morning, Charlie had made up his mind. He went to his bank and withdrew half the savings from his account. He got in his car and started to drive. He had no clue as to where he was going. He only knew he was getting away, and as far as he was concerned, the farther the better.

He was leaving everything behind. His crappy job, his angry wife and his shitty life.

With each new day he felt more at ease and with each new day he felt more remorse. He knew he should contact Rebecca and at least let her know he was alright. He just couldn’t get himself to do it.


A full week had gone by. Second thoughts were eating at him. Charlie was now torn between disappearing for good and returning home to try and salvage his wreck of a marriage.

Against what he thought to be his better judgment, he turned the car around and headed back toward home.

He decided he needed to try and work things out.

A week had gone by when Charlie pulled into the driveway. He went to the front door, took a deep breath and not knowing what to expect, cautiously went in.

When Rebecca saw him come through the door, she had two choices. Either accept the fact that they had issues and try to work them out or tear into him for what he had put her through.

She decided to tear into him.

Charlie started up the car as Rebecca yelled at him from the front step. This time he felt much better about driving away.

© Copyright 2019 by Scott A. Gese All Rights Reserved.