She patiently waits. Dinner is almost done. She knows the drill. She knows where the line is. Dinner done, kitchen clean he sits down to watch the news. It’s almost time. They’ll watch a game show together. It’s the tradition. They’ll both shout out the answers, they’ll be correct alot of the time. Her probably a little more than him. Maybe a funny sitcom, something witty and clever. Nothing low brow, thank you very much.
Finally it happens, he stands up and with a stretch announces that he’s got to be up early, guesses he’ll go read a book for awhile. She’ll stay down here and read, maybe play on the computer. It’s their ritual dance.They both know what comes next. She waits a few minutes after he goes upstairs. There is no hurry, it’s not like she has to. It doesn’t hurt anyone. She grabs the bottle. A nice civilized glass of wine while she reads her book. A picture straight from a novel. Curled up in the chair with her book on her lap, and a warm glow from the table lamp shining on her glass. She has the perfect life. As she reads that tendril of desperation starts to creep up the back of her spine. The words in the book can’t hold her attention. The loneliness makes her fingertips cold.