Saturday, 15 June 2013

Maybe she was having a fit



In one sentence is the spark of a story. Ignite.

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She thought maybe she was having a fit of some kind, but she couldn’t be sure. She managed to put her wine glass down on the table. Her heart was beating at such a rate she thought it was going to bounce out of her chest. She lay on the sofa because she was unable to get off it. Her husband stood at the fireplace. He was looking into the flames, the way he always did, lost in the colour and the movement. She couldn’t speak to attract his attention.
The swelling opera chorus covered the small noises she made, so he was unable to hear her. But he was not unaware of her distress. He turned to look at her.
He smiled. A slow, sweet smile that had a hint of sadness.
She tried to speak; to open her mouth. To tell him she needed help.
Her mouth opened but no words would come out.
She could still breathe. She was still aware of what was happening to her, but she could do nothing about it.
He stepped over towards her. He crouched down so that his head was closer to hers.
She blinked. What was happening? He knew she was distressed and he did nothing.
He swirled the scotch in his tumbler.
She had wine. He had whiskey.
She always drank red wine. He usually joined her. But tonight he hadn’t. He hadn’t drunk at all, even though it was a kind of celebration. He said he wanted to wait until they got home.
She tried to lift her hand; to touch him. She loved him. Their celebration tonight was a special evening. The probate on her uncle’s will had finally come through. She was the sole beneficiary.
Just like her husband was her sole beneficiary.
.
.
.
Oh, dear God.
She frowned at him.
“Y-You?” she asked.
He smiled that sad smile again. “I’d say I’m sorry... but...” He shrugged.
He wasn’t sorry. All those tiny little hints, the bad excuses, the unanswered phone calls, the way he just wasn’t as intense about her as he used to be. It all made sense. She hadn’t worried about it at the time but she had noted it.
Her face must have transmitted all of that to him.
He swirled the whiskey and took another sip. “It was the wine,” he confessed.
She blinked for a yes. Her breathing was getting more laboured. It would never work. The day of the endowment. He always was better looking than he was smart. She sighed. A condemnation of him; the first she had ever allowed herself. She loved him. But she knew in her heart what he was. That was why she had changed her will that morning.
Her vision was going gray at the edges, her breathe coming in tiny pants, now as her heart raced for the finish line.
She managed to smile at him.
He’d have a fit when he found out.
She had left everything to the Amnesty International.
~~~~
© AM Gray 2013