like the oarfish, his sighting is a harbinger of a tremor. he lives in the deep-waters of her happiness – a deep-lying reminder good things come in waves. but it’s the tides between the waves that rock her skerry. so, you can imagine her feelings when, sitting in her living room on a cloudy saturday morning mid-april, he knocks and walks in. she gets up, hugs and invites him to sit down. as they dispense of courtesies, she is texting. he has an uncanny precognition of her texting habits – he knows she wouldn’t be texting a woman at seven-thirty-six in the morning. she prefers calling her close friends. as she responds to a text, he looks around the living room – new photos of their three-year-old daughter, new healthy potted plants, new hand-made artifacts in dark hues of orange to match the new sofas, two used glasses of wine on the center table – no lipstick mark on either, a turquoise pair of shoes beside the sofa she is sitting on, a whiff of a male oud perfume … a text comes in, she checks it, smiles and responds. she hasn’t seen or heard from him in three months except for sporadic texts about their child. when he left three months ago, he had told her he couldn’t give her what she wanted immediately. she told him she couldn’t wait any longer – four years was a long time. she knew he had a new flame, but she was tired of fighting fires. another text comes in, she checks it, smiles and responds. she looks at him. he pats the space besides him, she gets up to sit beside him. he seems to have lost a few pounds, but he still looks in good shape in his navy-blue under armour storm rival tracksuit.
“so.” she turns slightly to face him. from his angle, her resemblance to whoopi is striking. he unzips his tracksuit top. she notices he is wearing an engagement ring – on a gold herringbone necklace. he touches the ring.
“depends where you would want to wear it. i agree, four years is a long time.” a text comes in, she looks at it, puts the phone aside. she closes the space between them on the sofa, he leans forward, she puts her hands round his neck – to undo the hook.