Forgive Me Mike: Inspired by Robert Cormier's "The Moustache"

February 13, 2008
By Natasha Abellard, Philadelphia, PA

I couldn’t believe it was him. Standing right here before my very old, lifeless, and desiccated eyes was him. He looked the same as I remembered him. Tall and thin. Plus, he wore that same ol’ beard that he’d never get rid of. Mike took better care of it than he did his patients. He still managed to keep it looking good even with the grey streaks that it produced from years of aging. Mike always did love his beard. Any time, I’d ask him to shave it off; I’d get the same answer, no! I’m actually kind of glad he didn’t. For over the years of our marriage, I grew quite fond of it. A great guy he was to me. He always had flowers delivered to me at work. Each time, there’d be a dozen exactly. He’d even surprise me with cute and romantic candle light dinners. Afterwards, we’d enjoy a nice walk by the bay. I miss those times with him.
But as loving and as caring as he was, he never forgave me for that night. He never understood that I acted only out of anger. That, as I did many times before, allowed my emotions to overcome me and turn into somebody I was not. I caused so a lot trauma to our little girl that night. But I didn’t mean to. Mike just made me so angry. He had a way of doing that, you know? Getting under my skin until I got so heated up that I’d just.... It’s not like I just exploded out of no where! Or did I?
That night, he walked into the kitchen jolly and merry as usual with just one hand in the pockets of his khaki colored pants.
“Hey darling, how was your day?” he asked while I cutting some vegetables.
“Fine, where were you? You’re late.” I said a bit angrily.
“Ahh, just came from a stroll in the neighborhood, get a breath of fresh air,” he replied calmly.
“Oh just a stroll, or did you go visit that Rachel gal that called you hear yesterday,” I yelled heatedly.
“What Rachel ‘gal’ are you speaking of,” he asked, still quite calm.
I turned around with realizing that the knife was still clutched in my hands. I noticed that he kept one hand behind his back.
He raised his right hand in the air and said “My darling, I swear I was not with this Rachel ‘Gal’ tonight or ever!”
He came into hug me and without any realization of what I was doing, the knife I was using to cut vegetables was now in Mike’s hand. He yelled in agonizing pain bringing forward the hand that was behind him to hold the stabbed one. When he brought his hand up, behind him dropped another dozen roses and a box of dark chocolates. My favorite. To make it worse, she was there watching the whole time. In fact, she was the one who called 911. For I was so stunned at what had just happened that I couldn’t do anything but watch as blood spilled second after second toward the squeaky white floors.

He lied to the police. He said it was all just an accident. Thank God the stab wasn’t deep enough. He came back the next day with his hand totally wrapped. He didn’t fully recover for another two weeks. Turns out that Rachel gal I grew so jealous of was a client of his, an old lady actually. Her granddaughter was sick that night and she wanted to know what would make her feel better. Mike never said anything about it. He never made any references about that night. He remained the same as if it never happened. I’d say sorry every day, but he never forgave. Now, today, he stood in front of me. And all I wanted was for him to forgive. An he finally did. His voice sounded funny, as if he were talking in a huge tunnel. “I forgive you, Meg.” Then he gently pressed his lips against my cheeks. I was finally at peace.

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