Zest Lit Issue 2, October 2013 - Page 85

for it, but when she reopened her eyes, the space was as empty as before. She began to feel lightheaded just as Joe made an abrupt turn to face her. Tears streamed down his cheeks in rivulets and the green in his eyes drowned in liquid. She imagined melodramatic music playing in the background like it did in soap operas when a character admits a pregnancy or a murder.

‘She was in bed with the Fed-Ex guy. That’s why she ordered all that stuff. At first, I swore I was dreaming. But it was all too real. They peeked out from under the covers and stared at me like I was the guilty one. I couldn’t move. It was like my feet were glued to the rug.’

Images of Joe standing in that empty corner and fastened to the carpet permeated her brain. Problem solved, she thought, although he might look out of place with the bulging Glad Bags and vintage lampshades strewn around him.

Suddenly, she felt the weight of Joe’s head on her chest as he heaved and sighed and cried onto her sweater, and it felt good to have his thick arms around her, to stroke his hair, to smell the mix of Old Spice and whisky and to forget, even for one second, the empty corner near the kitchen. Joe sobbed so hard that his entire body bounced against her breasts, and, selfishly, she wanted his misery to go on as long as possible.

‘Where is she now, Joe?’

‘At home, packing her things. She’s going to her mother’s. Said she was bored being a housewife. That I never appreciated her. When the Fed-Ex guy delivered a package by mistake and showed some interest, she started ordering like crazy just so he’d come back.’