“Where were you last night?” she whispered as he came into the door.
There was no eye contact between them. Hanging his coat and tapping the snow from his boots, he kept his head hung low. She sagged in the arm chair, her feet folded beneath her. Shadow cast across her face. He couldn’t tell if she was looking at him or not as he crossed the room and left the living room to retreat into the kitchen. A drink was necessary to relieve the desert in his mouth. She always had the power to make him feel guilty. What ever it was, it wasn’t his fault. The soft movements of her feet crossing the room was booming thunder in his chest.
“Leave me alone,” he said without turning from the fridge.
There was nothing new revealed by the harsh white light, but he stared at the shelves anyway.
“Where were you?” she asked.
“Why does it matter?” he asked as he selected the half gallon of milk.
Opening the jug, he sniffed it. Looking at the expiration date, he confirmed that it was past due for dumping out. Usually was. He poured himself a glass anyway. Maybe if he got sick she would leave him alone. Probably not. More likely that she would lurk over him and continue to ask him questions that didn’t matter while he emptied his guts into the toilet. A careful sip told him it was passable.
“You were supposed to be here,” she stated.
“Who says?” he asked taking a large swallow.
She gave no reply.
He shoved the milk into the fridge, knocking over the orange juice that had also gone by. He didn’t right it before slamming the fridge door closed. It didn’t matter. If the cap was on it was keep. If the cap was off it was already spilled. None of it mattered.
“I made no promises,” he said, finally turning to look at her.
The low light made her look pale and smudged dark shadows beneath her hallow eyes. She had been crying. But when was the last night that she hadn’t?