Day Seven: By Lori Titus

Sunday: The clouds came in early and hung low over the ocean. I can see it from my window. By noon I go and close the drapes. The blanket of gray clouds make me feel like I’m drowning. I light a fire and hope the flames will cheer me. I watch the tongues of flame move while I remain in silence.

 Monday: I called in sick to work today. The spaces between hours seem to move in slow motion. Television and internet have nothing for me right now. My phone is the enemy. I keep checking. No messages. Maybe he’s really gone this time, but if he is, he can’t do it without speaking to me first. Could he?

Tuesday: I had to get out of the house. The clouds had cleared but not my vision, cloudy, thick and blurred by my daydreams. I drove, and as if by rote, I find myself in front of his house.

Wednesday: Nighttime. He managed to call me the one moment I didn’t have the phone right beside me. I listen to the message more than once, trying to put concepts behind his words. What was I doing outside his house? Was I trying to scare his wife, Lydia? If anything happened, he was going to say he didn’t even know me. Well, thanks dumbass, for leaving that on my voicemail….

Thursday: I drive down the coast. This time the clouds are gone and the sun is warm. This weather is why I came here. It’s really the only reason I stay. The house is empty this time. Robert’s secretary said he and Lydia would be gone for the week. I just sat there in the car, trying to work up the guts.

Friday: I decided this day was for me. Got up early and showered, enjoyed the hot prickles of water flowing down my skin. Went down into town and to the spa. Hair, nails, everything done to perfection. I bought a new dress. I had tears in my eyes as I left the store, but no one saw behind my sunglasses.

Saturday: Robert keeps the good stuff in his house. None of that wine cooler mess. He kept French wine, hard liquor, and that was it. A look in their refrigerator made me laugh. Some kind of diet yogurt in twenty different varieties. Soy milk. God awful imitation eggs. Bottles of chilled water lined up like soldiers. Miss Lydia was trying to keep her size two figure. Upstairs, in their room, I walk with my glass and a bottle of whiskey. Everything is perfection here. I go through the drawers. Slutty panties, teddies, but most still had the price tags attached. So what was she wearing to bed. Nothing? That didn’t seem likely. I slept there that night, alone with too many images in my head. It was the most peaceful sleep I’d had for months.

Sunday: I put on my dress. I put on my heels. In the kitchen, I find matches. In the cupboard, there is a pack of cigarettes, hidden in the same place he likes to keep them at my house. I stand over his bed and light the pack, one by one, and throw them onto the mattress. I don’t leave until I’m satisfied with a nice, cheerful flame.

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©2011 Lori Titus

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