The lie lay between them like a corpse. It was solid and cold and immovable. It was the unspeakable thing in the room and it was slowly stealing all of the air from her lungs. If she didn’t speak soon, she would not be able to.
“I don’t know, I just can’t believe….” She trailed off, her eyes wandered around the room looking anywhere but at him, she was pacing, running her fingers through her hair, she seemed frantic.
He sighed. “It was a thing, I don’t even remember it. It was nothing. I said I was sorry.” He sounded exasperated and tired. Tired of saying nothing or saying the same thing over and over.
“I found the keys. I guess I should have known. I mean, they weren’t mine. You gave her keys…” She said it so fast, like she was spitting the words out. She started to shake her head but it hurt so badly. She could feel a migraine building behind her temples- feel the vague pulsing turning into a vice-like pounding.
“She never used them. She was never here. I mean, not really. Not alone, like, like you. She wasn’t staying here too. She just met me here…so she had a key. In case she was early, I guess. Or in case I was late so you know, she wouldn’t have to wait.” He fiddled with his hands, rubbed them on his knees. He was anxious to leave. Ready to be free or forgiven. His speech was slow and lazy. “It was no big deal, I swear.”
“But she was here. She was here in our home. She was in our bed and showered in our bathroom. And she was here, “ she pointed around the room focusing on the sofa, her voice rising in pitch, words tumbling over one another, “when I came in. She was here, passed out with candles and wine, half naked. She was waiting for you, or, or had you already been here? Did you leave her here??” Her eyes widened when she asked the last question, the last words were shrill, she was almost shouting. She knew. She had not walked in before, but after.
She quickly swallowed, trying not to throw up.
He kept his gaze downward. He knew there was no point in denying. There never was, she had him dead to rights-again. Now it was just the waiting. The crying, the curiosity, the questions, and then she would silently give up. She would stay. She would look around and refuse to give up on this little story she had created for them-the house, the happy ending.
“I’m sorry, “ he added quietly, his tone deep and husky. It was another lie that would swirl around the room, aimless and empty. He wasn’t really. If he was, he would not have done it, would not do it again. But he couldn’t even promise that.
He finally looked at her. It was odd, he noticed, she was not even crying this time. Her eyes were not wet with tears, they were not pleading with him. They were empty of everything.
“Well, okay then, “ she whispered just loud enough for him to hear. She stood and he thought she was going to walk to him, curl up in his lap and weep. Start to kiss him and undress him, start to touch him and fuck him as though she could both punish him and make him hers in one painfully beautiful moment. He knew her, and maybe that is why he kept doing it; for the aftermath, the punishment. He loved her more when she was raw and broken, when she was fighting him and demanding him, when she needed him and was desperate for him. He felt his body start to stir.
But then she didn’t. She rose silently, like a cat on the prowl and padded over to him. She leaned down gently, but did not sit, did not cry. She looked at him with pity this time and placed a simple kiss on his cheek. She laid her key on the cushion beside him and turned away. Without another word, without taking a single thing with her, she slipped quietly out the door.
“Wait.” he started, but he could barely hear himself, and there was no point, she would not hear him either.
She was already gone.