Dinner was seasoned with sparse, mundane conversation about the weather and the kids’ upcoming sports events.
“Meatloaf tastes great, hon,” I said.
She nodded and replied, “Lilly’s soccer tournament starts next week.”
“Yeah, I remember.”
“Did you put in for time off?”
“I don’t need to take time off for a game that starts at six p.m.”
She frowned. “You know what I mean. Did you make arrangements to leave early, like I suggested? So you can actually get there on time for once. Maybe even help with a few things beforehand.”
“No. There’s no need to arrange anything. If my work is finished, I’ll just leave early.”
“I’ve heard that before.”
We both sighed, and I took another bite of my suddenly bland meatloaf.
After dinner, we washed the dishes together in silence and then migrated to the living room to watch TV. Kate chose to sit in the armchair, leaving me stranded on our uncomfortably large couch. We stared in silence for a good hour before one of us finally spoke. “Did you get enough to eat?” she asked, her tone suddenly light and caring. I felt a spark of hope, and after a moment’s consideration, I decided to join her in the armchair for some cuddle time. But before I could even leave my seat, she stood first and said, “I’m going to bed. I’m tired.” And upstairs she went.
That was it. No goodnight. No kiss. I thought about it long after she had faded up the stairs—the unsettling spirit of a woman who was once much more alive than she is now.
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