My sister looked hurt when I told her I saw Tom at Bobby’s Lane’s bar, that we’d exchanged digits. True, she was the one who always called him “that foxy Tom Reynard” behind his back, but that was high school, and she’s happy with Mr. Park Chevy Motors now. She recovered quickly, said “Great!” I filled her in: a pinch more foxiness to love now, corporate accountant, full head of untamable auburn hair, a runner, like me, five years divorced, twenty-year-old quadruplets.
I moved into his condo six months later, and it was perfect: long walks, paintball with friends, wild and instinctual sex four times a week, but soon he began going out with the guys at night, rolling in at three a.m. on a Tuesday. He loved my cooking at first, then just ate the meat, then he said he wasn’t hungry at dinnertime, “late lunch.”
He left for two days, in the middle of the week, to see the Northern Lights in Alpena! I wondered about an affair, of course, but he was showering less, his fingernails were dirty, and his hair got messier (and redder, too, for some reason). He always took a deep sniff when he hugged me. He said I showered too much.
The powder room toilet had given us trouble for months. I decided to leave after I walked into that bathroom one day and saw a tiny, triangular skull floating in the toilet bowl.
Michelle Morouse’s work has appeared recently in Necessary Fiction, Wigleaf, Peregrine, Lullwater Review, Passager, The MacGuffin, Pembroke Magazine, and Passages North. She is a Detroit area pediatrician and she serves on the board of Detroit Working Writers.
Lead image: “I see” (via Flickr user pipilongstockings)