My footsteps echoed as I walked down the halls. Fingers trailing along the bottom of the picture frames that lined the walls I wondered how many of those happy moments I had taken for granted; so sure we would last forever. I stopped in front of the picture of Chris and I at the lake. Had it really been only a week? Where were those smiling happy people now? At the top of the stairs I paused. My brain was telling me to go but my body would not respond. I could not bring myself to walk down those steps; I feared his answer so. Almost detached from myself, I forced myself down the stairs. I could feel the blood rushing through my vains and was very aware of every breath that came into my lungs. Dizzy with light headedness I stepped into the kitchen. My eyes immediatly sought him out there behind the stove. To anyone else this scene would be concidered normal. but it was the silence that scared me. It was a silence that spoke louder than a scream; that pierced through my heart directly into my soul. I positioned myself directly in front of him so that he had no choice but to notice me. When he looked into my eyes I saw such pain and anger that I forgot what it was I had planned to say. Finding my voice I asked, "Did you have Tasha in the house today?" Tasha was his ex and an ever present shadow in our lives. After every fight and every squabble the threat of Tasha hung in the air like Seattle fog. The one we had had that morning, though, was different; the worse we'de ever had, in fact, and I had left for work that morning without even saying goodbye. When I returned he was already in the kitchen cooking, silent. In my room I had found the bed unmade and ruffle and strands of red hair on his pillow. He looked at me intently, his gazw never waivering, the emotions behind it never changing and said, yes. Nothing more, nothing less; as if it were the most natural thing in the world. "Did you sleep with her?" Again without blinking he replied, "yes." Tears played behind my eyelids, but I was determined not to give him the satisfaction of seeing them fall. Without another word I stepped around him to the cabinet and pulled down a wine glass. Casually he turned back to the food on the stove. I gazed at his form as I filled the glass to the brim with the wine off the counter top. Slipping out of the kitchen I silently surrendered to the tears and the pain. Back in the hall I slipped the picture we had taken at the lake off of the wall. They seemed to be strangers to me. Back in out room I fumbled with the top of the orange bottle. Inhaling deeply I pulled the cap off and shook nine small white capsules into my hand. Looking up at the mirror I stared at myselfl; tears falling, nose leaking, lips trembling. In a flash I downed the nine round pills with the wine and placed the glass on the dressers smooth surface. On the bed I lay my head upon a pillow, and with the picture laying facedown on my chest I closed my eyes and fell into the darkness pressing in on me at all sides.
September 11, 2009