Cockroaches: A Tragic Short Story

All Rights Reserved ©

Summary

Jane is a single mother with a beautiful little girl. The only problem is that she can't provide for Mary. To Jane, there's only one solution and it isn't pretty.

Genre:
Other / Drama
Author:
Ashleigh Knight
Status:
Complete
Chapters:
1
Rating:
5.0 1 review
Age Rating:
18+

Chapter 1

Jane looked at her six year-old daughter playing on the floor, a sad smile offsetting the unshed tears in her eyes. Little Mary was so oblivious to the terror gripping her mother’s heart. Having just lost her job that day, Jane felt fear gripping her heart like a vice of steel.

How the hell am I going to pay those bills? We’re going to be evicted in less than a week if I don’t get the manager the rent. How will I take care of my baby then?

Similar thoughts kept racing through Jane’s troubled mind for hours until Mary fell asleep on the torn, ratty carpet – if you could call it a carpet, that is. Like the rest of the apartment, it was in tatters. The apartment – God, the apartment! Tears, unmentionable stains from long before they moved in, holes in the walls, no doubt from domestic fights long go. But it was the blood spatter underneath the kitchen sink that really disturbed her. Was it from one of those domestic fights, or something more heinous?

Mary was forbidden from setting foot in the kitchen because if she asked Jane what it was, she would have to lie – and Jane hated lying. She’d been lied to all her life, first by her parents, then by that good-for-nothing, Mary’s father.

Jane truly hated that man. We’ll always be together, he said. I’ll always love you, he said. Filthy scumbag liar, is what I say, Jane thought bitterly as she tucked Mary into the small mattress they shared on the floor. He didn’t even marry me.

A tear fell from Jane’s eye lashes onto Mary’s, stirring her from her peaceful slumber. The child turned over, taking most of the pathetic, holed blanket with her. As Jane watched her precious daughter, she wondered if she wouldn’t be better off without her. A real home, a real family; that’s what my baby needs.

And how Jane longed to give it to her. How she longed for a white picket fence, a dog, a front yard, a daddy for her little girl, and a husband for herself.

Jane stood, dashing tears from her eyes. She would never be able to give her daughter those things - ever. And she knew it. She knew it to the very depths of her heart. So she’d do what she could for her. She’d do what she had to do for her.

Jane walked to the wreck of a bathroom. There was a very large, dead cockroach lying on the peeling laminate flooring. A few cockroaches dashed back and forth, darting in and out of the many holes in the walls. They didn’t even seem to notice that one of them was no longer alive. They did not grieve, they did not miss the loss of the dead. They simply carried on, scrambling for survival, paying no heed to the fallen. Humans are kind of like cockroaches, Jane mused as she watched them from the doorway. We scurry around, doing what we’ve got to, just to survive, not even paying attention when one of us get’s our number called. But we still take care of the orphans. Just like the cockroaches.

Jane turned and took one last look at her baby girl. Mary’s pale blonde hair hung limply over her face, and she was sucking her thumb again. Now what did I tell you about that, baby girl? Don’t you now that’s bad for you? Jane smiled sadly.

“Good-bye, baby girl. You know your mamma loves you. Your mamma will always love you.”

Tears were streaming freely down her face as she turned and went into the bathroom. She stepped over the dead cockroach, careful not to disturb it. She knew what it was like to be stepped on. She wouldn’t wish that feeling on any creature, even a dead cockroach.

Jane’s hands shook as she opened the mirrored cabinet, knocking a few pill bottles down. She didn’t bother picking them up. The one she wanted still stood proudly on the shelf. Jane’s hands stopped shaking when she spotted the bottle. They were some sort of antidepressant that the state was paying for. Just about the only thing the state does for us. Besides taxing us to death, that is, Jane thought bitterly.

Taking the glass she kept in the bathroom for mouthwash in her hand, she filled it with brown water from the sink. Quickly grabbing the bottle of pills from the shelf, she opened it and dumped the remaining contents into her mouth, not giving herself a chance to change her mind. Jane chased the pills down with water. She stood there for a few moments, waiting for the pills to kick in. A sort of relief flooded her body. It’s done, she thought, her body feeling very heavy suddenly. They’ll take care of her. They always take care of the orphans.

When she opened her eyes they fell once more on the dead cockroach, which still lay unmoved. In a troubled haze, she took the one tube of red lipstick she had and began to write in bold letters on the face of the mirror.

Years later, long after Mary had been placed with a well-to-do family, long after she became a renowned author of children’s books and had children of her own, long after Mary and her husband bought a house with a white picket fence and a yard, and a dog for their children to play with, the police still didn’t understand why Jane wrote what she did; what the words could have meant to her.

It was one of the most memorable suicide notes anyone had ever seen; everyone agreed on that. Not many people would write a suicide note on a bathroom mirror with a tube of red lipstick that said, “Just like the cockroaches.”


Continue Reading
Further Recommendations

Jennifer Wong: Love the writing style. Perfect of you're looking for a slight twist to a typical romantic, love story.

K. Artifex: Read the full on Galatea and I criiiiiiied my eyes out on the last chapter. Such a fantastic story <3333

Vally : Loving every chapter ❤️

Maa Abena Asante: I dislike the grammatical errors and I would recommend it to someone because it's has a great story line

Priyanka Dasgupta: Excellent plot short and sweet with the right amount of dramahad me glued to it till I could finish

Lynn Sweeden: I had such a hard time putting this one and the first one down. So amazing. The plot was intriguing the writing fanatic. Keep it up. I'm in love with these 2 books.

Qurratu Aini Mohd Nasir: Keep the good work. Thank you for creating such as great work

Alaska_1234: Ffheyhwtgtqhtqb

albert stebbins: Didn't like the end should've done more to end the story more gradually and pick up the next story with a teaser you seemed in a rush to end and start a new one

More Recommendations

Faith Crutchfield: This book is a little too fast paced for me but was really good! The plot was interesting and different. I was happy I took the time to read it but wish more time had been taken to write more about the budding romance and relationship of the main characters.

rutha8664: Like how his friend advised her. The guy is coward and full of shit.

Samantha Lynne Mead: Stuck like chuck to this book. I'm really enjoying it so far.

melikalach09: I love the plot and intrigue of the story. It is written very eloquently. Every chapter makes you crave for the next and I really like that it is not too far fetched at all and makes me respect all 3 main characters regardless of their reality as life is complex. The only issue is that the punctu...

Robin Longenbach: It was a good read. Couldn't put it down.

M_E_G_A_T_R_O_N: Nicely written, great writing style and fantastic story line. The characters are interesting, great character development and fascinating story all together. Keep up the good work.

About Us:

Inkitt is the world’s first reader-powered book publisher, offering an online community for talented authors and book lovers. Write captivating stories, read enchanting novels, and we’ll publish the books you love the most based on crowd wisdom.