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Number Five This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   They sat in the caf", and she screamed. And yelled and shrieked and cried out, her face contorting like a dying Gorgon's.

I will, he thought, kill her tomorrow.

Her rage was aimless, incoherent anger spewing from her mouth. He drummed his fingers on the table, waiting for her to finish. He knew that soon she would start crying hysterically, at which point she would tell him that she loved him and didn't mean it at all.

It usually happened in public places, like today. The heads in the caf" turned, and the waiters looked at him pleadingly, as though he could control her, maybe put a pacifier in her mouth.

In the beginning she broke down infrequently, usually at home, and he, not understanding, wanted only to shield her from whatever injustice had been done. He used to think that just by holding her and whispering, "It's all right, dear" it would be, and her fit would pass.

His thoughts gradually organized and focused on her. He tried to follow what she was saying. "I can't talk to you; you don't care about anything I say! No one has ever cared for me before, and I thought you were going to be the one who did, BUT I KNOW YOU DON'T LOVE ME!!"

He went back to thinking in his own world. He'd heard that one several times, it was gripe number five. He unfocused his eyes so he wouldn't have to look at her. Her face, usually so attractive, was now so twisted that it disgusted him.



He was making dinner, and she was sleeping. She exploded whenever she was overtired, so when she wound down, he always took her home and put her to bed. He brought her some chamomile tea. She sat up to drink it, then whispered, "Thank you" and fell back in her bed.



He turned up the radio to deafen her ears. He knew if he listened too closely he'd hear her waking up, wondering why she'd slept so long. She's going into the kitchen, he thought, and seeing the note.

He knew he would be able to hear it, even on the highway two hundred miles away from the woman screaming in her kitchen. n


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.




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