Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Stained Glass

"A good light truly illuminates the dark." She clicks the remote, changing the station.

" Would you shut the fuck up with the homilies?"

She looks at him, surprised, hurt. "Hey, it's true! Why are you so pissed?"

"I'm tired of all your explanations and abstractions and pontifications and and and I don't know what all else. I'm tired of it all. And I'm tired of you most of all."

"What?" She clicked the remote again. The image on the TV shrank, then disappeared. She placed the remote on the night-stand. "How can you say that?"

"It describes us."

"Huh? You make less and less sense. Describes us how? What are you saying?"

"I'm saying that I'm tired of you, your stories, your high falluting mannerisms. I'm done."

"Done? What do you mean, done?"

"Done. We're done. I'm done. I'm taking my things and hitting the road, flying the coop, jumping the fence. I'm leaving in the morning." He opened the closet, flipped the light switch and disappeared from her view.


"No buts. I'm done." His voice was muffled.

She leaned back against the pillows. "It's 11:48."

"So?" Hangers clattered as he pushed shirts, pants, jackets, back and forth. "And in an hour it'll be 12:48, then 1:48, 2:48, 3:48, 4:48, 5:48, 6:48, BRRNG! Time to wake up and I'll be outta here. You and your friggin sayings, morals, whatever the fuck they are. Where's a box?"

She didn't answer immediately, eyes shut tight against the soft light of the bedside lamp. She'd made the Tiffany-style lampshade a few years ago, while recovering from a miscarriage. He'd driven her to the class, "Stained Glass for Beginners," every Tuesday night for ten weeks, sat outside in the courtyard, reading while she worked and healed.

"Where are the boxes?" He repeated.

"In the garage. You'll need the packing tape. That's on a shelf near the boxes." Her neck itched. When she scratched it, her fingers came away wet. She watched him leave the room and murmured to herself, "That which does not kill us-"

"-leaves beautiful scars. I heard that. So pick at the scabs, I don't care. I'm not interested." He opened the door to the garage and the alarm chimed. "Shit." He punched in the code to deactivate the alarm. "Where in the garage? Behind the shelves? Oh there they are."

Funny, she thought. I can hear his voice clear across the whole house, but in the closet eight feet away I could hardly make out the words. "Yeah, along the wall."

"Got them. Thanks."

"Tape's there too." Why tell him? Why make his life any easier? She should be arguing, fighting, throw herself at him. Wrap herself around his knees and beg him to stay, pound the floor with her small fists, anything to keep him. Right? Isn't that what a woman in love is supposed to do? Keep her man happy, keep her beloved by any means?

"Got that."

So why was she laying there, tears crawling down her face? She took a deep breath, exhaled it slowly. Rolled onto her stomach and pulled the cover over her head. She'd deal with it in the morning.

Or not.

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