Our boxes line the hallway. We’ve emptied our bookshelves, dusted them off, separated fact from fiction, and tucked everything away. Even the cookbooks are packed. The time has come for new recipes.
I thought I could predict our evolution. You’d come home a hero; we’d have a child or two, a dog, a lovely garden bursting with peppers, zucchini, onions, tomatoes, lettuce, perhaps some arugula. I thought the triumph would overflow. I thought your successes would become mine, that your hard work would build a life for our family. I wasn’t expecting the miscarriages, the dead vines, the ocean of water that was forever between you and I.
I don’t know what felt more empty, my heart or my womb. You were gone for so long, but then you returned. And somehow I was still alone, whispering “Good Night” through the phone. I wanted to grow old and fat together, feasting on chicken, cake, and tri-colored salad. It was you who told me about arugula, that farmers used to consider it a weed, a nuisance. Before it was re-named, no one wanted to eat it, but I never cared. When you’re famished, language becomes secondary.
At first, I couldn’t tell you because I couldn’t remember the words. I never wanted to hurt you. Telling my family was even more awful. My mother never trusted you, but she saved her harshest words for me. She said she’d always known I was… weak. She told me not to call anymore.
It’s Independence Day weekend. We should be at a theater, watching a movie where the whole world blows up, and the hero emerges triumphant. Instead we are here, surrounded by cardboard, waiting for movers.
There’s a knock at the front door, and you rush to open it. A tall blonde woman greets you, but you ignore her. She strides past and kisses me hello, leaving a lipstick stain on my lips. I pick up my suitcase, and we leave hand in hand.
This is my entry for round two of Trifecta’s 33rd challenge. The prompt was to use the third definition of the word “triumph”. Be sure to click the link to read the competition! It definitely made me nervous…