One Simple Sentence

She closed the book, placed it on the table, and finally, decided to walk through the door. She wrote it in her journal and was determined to make the last simple sentence of her last paragraph be the first verbal sentence she spoke to her husband tonight.

Dropping the match on the soaked charcoal, she stares as the bricks ignite and wonders just how hot it will get tonight. Sitting on the deck and basking in the extra hours of daylight, she sips her glass of cabernet, hoping it will calm the warring butterflies.

It seems it’s not only her nerves that have been warring this unseasonably, warm March in 2012. The good people of the midwest have taken shelter at least three times this month from what seems armageddon style tornadoes and storms that have killed 33 people.

The screen door slams–as it has for the past 2 years–and even though she should be use to it by now, she is robbed of any sense of calm. It seems the things she should be use to after 15 years are the things that mount and bother her the most lately.

In an effort to greet him, she stands and turns toward the patio screen door which leads into the yellow kitchen adorned with welcoming bursts of color and a shelf of Willow Tree Angels.

“Be strong,” she whispers to herself as she slowly breathes in and exhales.

“Hey, What’s up?” he says as he slides open the patio screen.


“You okay?”

As she looks at him, she answers to herself, “No, I’m not, but I desperately want to be.”

“Melissa. Hello?”

“Oh, I’m sorry, was in a daze.” Guess it won’t be my first sentence after all, she thinks to herself as she swallows yet another defeat. “How was golf?”

“It was good! I kicked-ass!”

“That’s great. You sure had great weather for it.”

“Yup. Hey I’m goin season the steaks and then jump in the shower.”


As he showers, she pours her second glass of warm courage and sends up a another prayer. Spanning the wooded back yard with its tire swing and dilapidating trampoline and shed, she breathes and exhales. It should have been said a long time ago. In fact, it was, but for a more concrete, justifiable reason. At 40, she can’t imagine another decade of loneliness.

“Man, that felt good.”

She turns toward him and takes in his chiseled features, sun-soaked skin and wavy salt-n-pepper hair. She still wants him.

“You got a lot of sun today.”

“I know. How was your day?” he asks as he pours his glass of cab, walks over to her and kisses her on the cheek.

The kiss shocks her to a response, “Oh, uh well thanks, my day was pretty uneventful.”

“Where’s Emily?”

“She’s at the Carter’s for Tiffany’s birthday sleepover.”

“That’s right.”

As the steaks sizzle and the wine warms, the two exchange surface conversation, and she longs for a cigarette.

“Mike, I, uh, I don’t want to”

“You don’t wanna what?”

“Just a minute. I’ll be right back.” She opens the door to her home-office, walks to her journal, opens to the last sentence of the last paragraph and takes it in.

She closes the book, closes the door, and walks back to the deck.

He’s texting and doesn’t look up.

“So what were saying? You don’t want to what?”

“Mike, exhale I don’t want to be married anymore.”

His fingers stop moving, and he looks up into her eyes for the first time in years.

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