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Forgive Me Now?

by Joe Mynhardt

Andy’s coffee mug shattered against the wall. Yet his rage would not subside. With his hands covering his face he attempted every anger-management method the psychologist had prescribed.

Loneliness washed through his body like a frigid rogue wave. The mug had been warm; he rubbed his hands together in a vain effort to recapture its heat.

Andy paced up and down the living room, struggling to believe how dim-witted he had been. Debby would never forgive him. He’d be lucky if she hadn’t already phoned the police, who took things of this nature quite seriously.

Andy glanced up at the ceiling, listening. She was up there in one of her quiet moods again.

Perhaps more time was all she needed. It had only been a few minutes since... Was that piece of the mug staring at him? Andy froze. With the sun nearly set beyond the window, he couldn’t be certain. The mug appeared similar to a red eye following him as he rounded the coffee table, almost as accusing as those of his wife.

Andy shook his head. Was he losing his mind?

He longed to scream as loud as he could, louder than the church bells from the graveyard down the road.

Andy stepped closer. He picked up the red eye. Only a small part of the heart that had once adorned the mug remained. He recalled the day Debby bought him the cup. It was Valentine’s, about a year after their wedding.

I’ll have to get a new one now, Andy thought. But maybe it wasn’t too late. He could get her some flowers from the garden, her favorite. He knew better than to give her chocolates, seeing that they had led to so many arguments in the past. Flowers will do the trick. And she’ll come around.

Andy stepped outside the house and grabbed a handful of daffodils, refusing to peer at the last remnants of the sun.

He ascended the stairwell.

Uncertainty accompanied the darkness that swept over him. What if she didn’t respond to the flowers? Perhaps he could buy her a diamond necklace after they made up. It would look perfect in her wooden jewelry box, the one he gave her on the same Valentine’s she bought him the coffee mug.

Maybe a backrub would grant him her forgiveness. In the very least it should show her how sorry he felt for being so impulsive. Maybe he’d only get a warning, seeing how it had been the first time he hit her.

“Darling?” he said from the hallway. “I’m coming in, okay?”

Andy opened the door. The final rays of sunlight managed to ascend the two-story house and illuminate the bedroom. He walked to the bed and sat beside his wife. “I’m really sorry, darling. I got you some presents... You want me to run you a bath?”

Tears dampened Andy’s eye sockets. “Please answer me,” he begged. “Don’t leave me over this. I’ll never do it again.”

Andy placed the flowers in front of his wife’s face so she could see them.

She didn’t react.

The drone of a dial tone drew his attention to the phone in Debby’s limp hand. He turned to the jewelry box lying on the carpet. He recalled hitting her with it, yet was shocked to see it smeared with coagulated blood sprouting strands of black hair. Only then did he notice the smears of blood that traced her path across the ivory carpet and up the bed towards the phone.

“Why won’t you wake up?” he cried as he steadily punched his forehead, harder and harder till the tears flowed freely down his face. “Don’t you love me anymore?”

Andy bit down on his lower lip and rocked back and forth. “Please wake up. Please wake up,” he continued to chant.

Faint police sirens slithered through the open window. The sun had set and darkness prevailed.

Copyright © 2011 by Joe Mynhardt

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