My Wife Glows in the Dark

She asks me how my racquet-ball practice was and I say, great thanks. I rub my shoulder convincingly as she tells me about her evening of dishes and dirty nappies. Her story is as transparent as mine, but I’m working a lie so I don’t question hers.

She is a poor detective - more Clouseau than Poirot. She thinks I don’t see her - behind cars, in doorways, around corners - but I do. I see everything. She doesn’t move when my eyes try to find her, but she is there just the same, not realising that I have her chasing her own tail.

I’m happy to indulge her, to pretend I don’t notice my new shadow, because she will only ever see what I want her to. And besides, after tonight, she won’t do it again.

#

“It’s work, honey,” I tell her, already shrugging my jacket on. “I’m sorry. I have to go.”

I’m a doctor, so leaving the house at eleven-thirty on a Thursday night isn’t such a stretch. I have made midnight trips before: I have saved lives at this hour several times. This one though is different. Make up a patient, give him a name, a tumour, two months to live. Shake and stir.

I cross the street and make as if I’m checking for traffic, but there are no cars at this time of night, and it’s really her I’m looking for. She’s still there, hands frightened by her sides, pretending to be interested in the sides of beef Joe has in his butcher’s window.





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