“Have a nice walk?”
“Umhm…” she mumbled.
“Unhuh, ate some stew. There is more.”
He nodded and left. She could hear him in the kitchen and waited for a while before getting up and going out to the kitchen. She could hear the click of Sport’s claws on the kitchen table and his quiet admonition to the dog, who usually tried to see what was on the table.
Her slippers were by her chair in the den and she slipped into them before joining him in the kitchen. He was eating the last of the stew, drinking a beer and looking at the newspaper.
She got a beer out and opened it as he looked up.
“You have a good day?” she asked.
He shrugged. “It was ok.”
She sat down, petting Sport as he lay his head in her lap.
“Sport had a good day, didn’t you, old boy?”
His tail was wagging and hitting the counter.
“He likes the beach,” she said.
“Always did,” her husband said.
He noted a few of the issues in the paper, the death of a local businessman and terrorist strikes in the
“Sometimes I wonder if you don’t love that dog more than me,” he said.
She looked at him, then at the dog.
“How is Sylvia?”
“This isn’t about her.”
“It isn’t? I think it is. At least it is if you want to me my husband, my real husband. The dog is loyal. He would die for me. He won’t run off with another bitch just because things aren’t perfect or my ass gets a little big.”
“I never said…”
“No, you never did, Loren, you never said anything. David never said anything, either, but he really doesn’t love me either.”
“I thought that was over,” he said, putting the paper down and looking at her. He took a long drink of his beer, as she thought.
“It is. It was, but he wanted to talk. Same bullshit as ever, all words and no action, as usual. Now, Sylvia, she took action, didn’t she?”
He was a little pale.
“You saw her didn’t you?”
“Just coffee. She came by the office.”
She sat there, stroking the don’s head, her blood singing in her ears, but the dog’s warm love kept her together as she looked at nothing. Another lie, another promise broken, an agreement shattered, she thought, but she had done the same thing.
He finished the beer and took the dishes to the sink.
“OK, you can have her. I’m done,” she said.
“No, I am finished with all the lies. David lied, you lie, I lie. Everyone but Sport lies, you know that? He is the only one I can really trust.” She did not look at him, but looked at the dog.
After a moment of silence he turned and opened the refrigerator and took out another beer.
“I’ll move my clothes into the back bedroom,” he said.
“You do that,” she said, a tear running down her cheek as he left the room. The dog looked after him, then to her, whining a little in the back of his throat as he looked at her.