The Resolution

Simon trudges off the train, not even hearing the name of the city the conductor announces. They were all the same to him. He maneuvers through the crowd out of the train station and flags a taxi. The yellow cab pulls up and a short man rushes out. He quickly grabs the bags and throws them into the trunk. Simon bends low and groans in pain as he falls into the squeaky back seat. He rubs his lower back and pulls the pain pills from his briefcase popping two back without water.
“Where to sir?” the taxi driver’s thick accent floated back to him through his fog of pain.
“The City Side Inn please.”
“Are you sure you want to go there? A man of your stature might want to stay at the Ritz. It’s only a couple blocks from here and would be much nicer for you.”
Simon, used to the response to his pressed suit, shiny black shoes and name brand briefcase, doesn’t bat an eye as he responds, “The City Side Inn is much more economical for a family man like myself thank you.”
The driver shrugs and wordlessly drives on through winding street after winding street until they pull up to a motel that had seen better days. The faded yellow paint was chipping in several locations. Many shutters had fallen from the window and the remaining ones were tilted in one direction or another. The lit up sign reads “ ity S e in” instead of City Side Inn as several light bulbs must have burned out. Simon pays the driver and drags his luggage inside to a dimly lit reception desk where a bored looking middle-aged woman sits clicking at the keyboard with one finger.
“Can I help you?” she murmurs without looking up.
“Checking in under Simon…”
“Gotchu right here.” She clicks on a couple keys then opens a drawer and hands him a key. “Room 105 out these doors to the right 4 doors down.”
Simon finds himself in front of room 105 and pushes open the door, bending his tall frame to get inside. He sits on another lumpy bed, his back already protesting. He looks at the clock hoping it isn’t too late. He grabs the motel phone and dials out.
“Hey it’s me. I got here safe.”
“Simon, you don’t need to tell me that anymore.”
“Sorry Mary, old habit.”
“Which is why we’re no longer together. You’re too late, I just put the kids down.”
“Please Mary, I’ve had a long trip, can I just tell them goodnight really quick?”
Silence. He holds his breath hoping she doesn’t hang up on him. He hears muffling then two sleepy voices answer the phone. “Hello?”
“Hey kids! I just wanted to wish you goodnight.”
“Where are you daddy?”
“We haven’t seen you in so long daddy.”
“I know guys, I’m on another trip I’ll be home soon.”
“Dad, don’t forget about my soccer game it’s on Saturday.”
“And, and, and don’t forget about my dance recital! It’s on Friday!”
“I’ll do my best.”
“Ok daddy. We miss you come home soon! We love you!”
“Love you both. I’ll be there I promise.”
“Simon, you need to stop making promises you can’t keep. I won’t allow you to talk to them anymore. This was our biggest problem and the biggest reason why we broke up.”
“Mary, I’m tired of this. I promise I’ll be there. This is going to be the big sale I’ve been looking for, so I don’t have to travel anymore. I should have been a better husband, I should have been there. This time is different. I’ll be there, I’ll make it up to everyone I promise.”
“You always say that.” Click.
Simon hangs up the phone and lay back down on the lumpy bed. He clenches his fists as hot tears streak his face. He sits up quickly and grabs a pad of paper writing furiously notes and plans. After an hour he smiles at his plan and lays back down. This was it. He was going to make this sale, but it was his last one with his company. He was going to strike out on his own and become his own boss. No more traveling all the time. No more bad back and sleeping on lumpy beds. He wanted to sleep in his own bed and be with his kids every night.
Simon smiles as he falls into the first peaceful sleep in a long time.

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