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She moved in big strides, with her delicate, black stockings, and her flawless, shiny straight hair, and her zip-up boots, which made pronounced clicks as her high heels hit her marble kitchen floor. Wealth used to suppress her appetite for success, but passions were passions and, to freshen her passion, she spent her time gawking at the photograph of Katherine Hepburn that she’d printed out and taped to the wall. Every morning for months, in front of her mirror, she carefully applied eyeliner that nobody would notice, and recited prepared monologues that nobody would hear.
Then came the hard part. As usual, he was in the living room after a long day at his firm. He had crashed on his couch and his television was blasting; there was a beer in his hand, and a couple more were on deck. She walked in and looked down at him from the doorway. It was Wednesday afternoon.
“Have you thought about what I said yet?” she asked. He didn’t respond, his eyes fixed on the baseball game. She walked over, boots clicking, and grabbed the remote from his hands. She muted the television. “Have you thought about what I said yet?” she repeated. He turned and smiled at her.
“About moving to Hollywood, getting out of here. You promised you’d think about it.”
“Oh, right,” he said, his smile becoming a simper. “Look, I really don’t see why we would. We have plenty here in Phoenix. In Hollywood, we’d need to buy a new house, a new everything.”
“We have plenty here in Phoenix?”
“What do you mean? We have everything we’ve always had.”
“Don’t you want more than things?” she asked. “Don’t you want to do something?” He glared at her, taken aback. He swung his torso around, and moved his flaking bare feet from the arm of the couch to the floor.
“What can I do for you?” he eventually asked, his words breaking the smooth, hopeful air with their usual lumps of pragmatism. “Baby, we’re married; we live in a great house, in a great city. I go to work each day, and know that work will still be there. Don’t spend your time wanting what we can’t have. Just live the life that we do have; everything’s perfect.”
For a moment, her mind settled in the images of his “perfect”: breakfast on Mother’s Day, him after a big win in court, family photos and trips to the lake house. But he wasn’t living. He was sitting on his couch watching television. So she took one, final, big gulp of him, and then chucked the remote at the couch. She marched out, wordlessly, her boots producing those typical, pronounced clicks.
She would pack up what was hers and, on Wednesday night, make the solemn six-hour drive to Los Angeles. He couldn’t stop her. He was mundane, uninspired, a roadblock. She’d show him. She’d show him.
And then she arrived.