it’s six past midnight. he waltzes in, a haze of alcohol and cheap female perfume trailing him. she looks up from her book. he walks straight to the bathroom legs like spaghetti getting soft in hot water. soon the shower sings. she gets out of bed, her soft, long, light, lilac house gown billowing behind her. As she passes his discarded cardigan on the sofa, a mixture of two fumes hit her nostrils – the perfume is familiar, the alcohol fume is new. her eyes water in recollection. she places her cheek against the bathroom door, fighting the urge to walk in.

… lights out. eyes wide open. bed too soft. bed too big. sheets too smooth. sheets too cool.

“you know, i’m glad you had someone when you needed someone.”

“what do you mean?” the rhythm of his breathing even.

silence.

“come back to me.” images of their last union refusing to crystallize in the haziness of her dark mind.

“you have me.” the aversion of her request crystal clear as his voice evenly scythes the darkness.

“we’re not arguing, at least i’m not. i’m waving a white flag.”

“what are you saying?” she hears the rubber snap on.

“what are you doing?”

silence.

“i’d love to have my husband and keep him too.” the room turns a darker shade of black.