Aftermath

May 4, 2010

“You are such a fucking liar. You know I never wanted to do it in the first place,” she said. Her figure appears in the mist escaping the bathroom door, enshrouded like a goddess from some distant Indonesian temple. His eyes instinctively move to the freckled curve of her backbone as she walks past. Wearing nothing but a bright orange towel, wrapped around her hair like a turban, he often wondered what was more important to her: her hair or her modesty.

“For Christ sake, I told you how I felt about it beforehand. You’re the one who walked down there and did it, not me,” the man replied, his finger pointed up at her face. “Don’t put this one on me.”

“I wanted to have it. After six years, I would think you knew how I felt on the subject,” he said as he rolled over in bed. He sighed, and felt her eyes trying to gouge him from the other side of the room. They had had this argument so many times, but now the evidence was there- or rather, wasn’t anymore.

No further words were spoken that night. He slept, untroubled, as the dawn approached. She, on the other hand, lay on her side, eyes wide open, until the first rays of light peeked through the blinds. Her left arm coiled itself around under her head and her right lay down her side, so that her hand could rest upon her empty belly. The doctor at the clinic had told her that she was making the right decision; her child had signs of a severe birth condition that made it impossible to carry full term. She had kept the decision to herself, because she knew what he would say had he known the circumstances.

She didn’t regret the choice she had made; she regretted not bringing him with her.

Without a word, she rose out of bed, leaving him to continue his rest undisturbed. She felt scarred. Soft footsteps move through the kitchen, and the screen to the backyard slowly opens and closes. There, sitting on a wooden chair with one leg too short, she contemplated leaving. It wasn’t the first time she had thought about it, but it was the first time she thought about it seriously. She could do it. Gather her things, call a taxi, and escape his grasp for the final time. But where would she go?

It didn’t matter, she thought, as long as it wasn’t here anymore.

Hours later, he turned over to apologize to an empty pillow. Sitting up halfway in bed, he rubbed his eyes and noticed the note she had left in coral pink lipstick on the vanity mirror: “GOODBYE FOREVER, PRICK.”

MSBQ

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