Her eyes remain closed.
She’s leaning back, her head cushioned by the sofa, face up to the ceiling. There’s her neck, then there are her breasts bursting out of her blouse, so round, so full and from my last touch, which now seems like eons ago, so soft. She can fault the pregnancy for a lot, but she has to give it credit for that spectacular bosom.
Her eyes open, her face turns towards mine. “I heard you,” she says.
She gets up and goes upstairs to pack her bags as I demanded. I clean up the broken glasses and reassemble the newspaper pages. When everything is in order again, I lay on the couch and stare at the soundless television.
The silence of the house is soon broken by music. She’s playing the piano. Her voice rings through the house as she begins to sing.
When she sings, everything listens. I close my eyes. She is sad. Her voice is crying. Her brokenness is crying out to mine. The house is in mourning.
My wife is saying goodbye.
Anger is easy. My anger is justified and even expected after a betrayal of this magnitude. At this point, I understand anger only too well. But an emotion is creeping in as I listen to my wife bring words to life. I don’t want to understand this feeling because I don’t want it. Not now.
But this feeling is overwhelming and it is drowning me in tears. Making me weak. While I was frozen hard and numb before, now I’m all soft and runny. At this point, with that voice, I don’t know where my brokenness begins and where Eva’s ends.
My wife is bidding me farewell.
I go to her.
She’s playing the piano while facing the window. Her piano sits pretty beside my writing desk. How we’ve sat side by side on many occasions as she created her music and I created my stories. We always did it facing the world. Me and her, against the world.
I stand behind her as she plays, not sure if she can sense my presence.
I’m reminded of the night I found out about Dan. How I had been standing here watching Eva come through the gate. My car was not parked outside and that’s why she thought I was out. I wonder if I would have ever found out about Dan had I not left my car in the garage that day.
She ends the song and holds the last key for eternity. When she stops, the house dies. I’m left hanging by a thread.
She gets up and picks a small bag that’s on top of the bed, barely looking my way. “I’ll come for my other stuff in a few days, hope that’s okay.”
“Which song was that?”
“A moment lost.”
I notice that she’s all cleaned up and her face is not teary anymore.
“I will, of course, check with you first.”
“Before I come for my things, I’ll call you first.”
“Where are you going?”
“My brother’s place. I’ve spoken to him.”
“We promised to handle everything that would come our way. We knew this would come and we said we could handle it.”
“I know. But I guess we didn’t know shit. It’s harder than we thought, maybe– I don’t know.”
“Why is it so hard?”
“I have no answers, Mark. I’ll go now. I really need some rest. I haven’t slept for days– I’ll just–”
“I’m sorry for the pain I caused you.”
I nod some more.
She’s walking towards the door. My heart is tearing off my chest and racing towards her in a bloody mess. Foolish organ.
Her shoes are clanking down the stairs. The door is creaking open, closing, and I look out the window to see her heading towards the gate.
She stops to answer her ringing phone.
“Hi,” I speak into my phone when she picks up.
“Hi,” she says, and looks up to see me standing by the window.
“How is the baby, I forgot to ask.”
She doesn’t speak for a while.
She leans against the gate and takes off her shoes. “The baby is fine.”
She won’t look away. Neither can I seem to be able to look anywhere else but in her eyes.
“I should–” she’s pointing at the gate.
“You know it wasn’t all pain.”
“Our marriage wasn’t all pain.”
“No, of course not. I didn’t–”
“Just that you apologized for causing me pain. There was no pain until…at least not for me.”
“No. I know how good it was. I was there remember?”
She’s smiling. And she’s making me smile.
“Yes. I remember.”
“Good.” She picks a spot on the ground that has sufficient grass and sits down.
I lean against the window so I can really see her.
“That song. It was beautiful.”
“Enya is something, isn’t she?”
“Yeah. It’s deep. I just went through the lyrics.”
“I meant every word.”
“We knew this day would come. We talked about it.”
“We promised that we would work through anything. Coffee, and a slice of love, was supposed to fix us.”
There is silence. My heart is jumping seeing her looking up at me, not saying much.
“What do you want?”
“ I want to forget that Dan ever existed.”
“Do you think you can do that?”
“Can I punch him first?”
“Because one, he didn’t hurt you, I did. And two, you’re not a violent person. You are kind and I don’t want that to change.”
“It almost killed me when I found out you know.”
“Oh, Eva. Damn you, woman.”
“Yeah. Damn me.” Her sigh is palpable.
“Don’t go. Please come back inside.”
I had been sitting on top of my desk. Now I move back to the window.
“You want to leave?”
She’s lying on the grass facing the sky, phone to her ear, her bag has now become her pillow.
“I’m exhausted. I’ll take a nap here then come in later.”
“I’ll come and get you.”
“I don’t want to move a muscle, I’ll just sleep for five minutes then–”
“I’ll carry you so you won’t have to move a muscle.”
“Since when have you ever been too heavy for me?”
“I love you so much I can’t breathe sometimes.”
She closes her eyes. A smile spreads across her face. “I’m breathing.”
“We will be okay, won’t we?” I ask.
“Better.” She says.
We hang up.