"I'm leaving," he said.
She knew he was expecting some
emotional reaction, but she did not have the one he was looking
for. Her face remained neutral. Where was the sick feeling in
the pit of her stomach? Where was the pang of fear? She felt
like smiling, but after all their years together, she didn't
have the heart to hurt him that way. So she stared at him in
"Aren't you going to say
anything?" He sounded peeved, like an annoyed child.
Options churned through her mind. She
sighed. He wanted his last fight. He wanted to see her care.
He wanted to hurt her. She could not give him any of those
things. She chose carefully. "I don't see any point in
"Fine," he snapped. His wrist
flicked in a blur.
She barely had time to register the
shape of a picture frame before it smashed against the wall
behind her. Their own smiling faces mocked them from the floor,
tuxedo and white lace creased and tattered. She felt suspended
in time, as if in a dream where every moment unfolds in crystal
precision, sharp as the broken glass around her feet. The flash
of his eyes knifing her as he strode past. The whuffing sound of
air that washed over her in his wake and its chill touch upon
her cheek. The tickle of her hair fluttering against her throat
in the last eddies of his passing. The sudden brightness of the
door opening onto crisp winter sun and the slam that rode its
heels. The sound of his car chugging to life. His life, without
her. Hers, without him. The final near-silence of an empty
She sat still, listening to the silence
whisper to her for a long time. Echoes of the past faded quickly
before promises of the future, filling the nothingness within
her. Slowly, like dawn creeping upon night, she smiled.
She stood up and walked to the phone.
Her hand shook as she dialed and butterflies danced in her
stomach as she listened to the tinny ring against her ear.
She suppressed a laugh, but not the
smile. "I'm coming," she said.
©Sonja Torres 2004