When he got home, she wasn’t there yet. Because this never happened, he assumed she’d gotten an angry phone call from Chelsea, who would have told her everything in such a way that he would be the stereotypically chauvinistic sex fiend. He would be unable to wait to explain himself or defend himself against her accusations and threats. So, he called her.
That’s when he heard her phone vibrating on the counter, right next to a half-emptied glass of room-temperature orange juice that had been left there for, he guessed, about nine hours and thirty-some-odd minutes.
He checked the phone, and saw that no one had called her all day except for him.
Draining the glass, he proceeded to corral the rest of the unwashed breakfast dishes to the sink. He’d only turned on the tap when he heard the door open and the jingling of her keys banging on the side of her thigh.
“You’re home early,” she said, before he could greet her.
“You’re home late—well, later.”
“I’m taking cues from you.”
She pushed past him to the refrigerator with her lunch bag and purse still hanging from her arm. Scanning the contents of the refrigerator, she reminded him that they were out of milk and shut the door.
“Were you in a hurry this morning?”
She wasn’t paying attention, so he repeated the question, this time with more concerned, projecting so she could hear him over the clanking of the dishes he was stacking.
Again, he repeated the question.
“Oh, no. I mean, I guess. I didn’t sleep much, so I was slow starting.”
“Thanks for doing the dishes, by the way. I have no desire to do anything tonight. I’m thinking of skipping out on the art center, too.”
“I’m not quitting. I just need to regroup. I can’t start out running on low. I don’t know. I am exhausted.”
He paused, and let go of his question about her suddenly renewed interest in ballet, not because he knew the answer but because he thought of another question.
“Hey, speaking of dishes, have you seen my chip bowl? I couldn’t find it the other day.”
“It was broken.”
“What do you mean, ‘It was broken’? You mean you broke it.” Continue reading “Conclusion of “The Fault””