Previous Challenge Entry (EDITOR'S CHOICE)
Topic: Irritated( 11/08/12)
Wait, Is That a Turkey?
By Wilma Schlegel
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“Where do you want these groceries?” she’s asking me.
Where do I want them? I didn’t want them at all. The coffee, I wanted the coffee. We ran out this morning. Actually I left the last little bit for her. Wouldn’t you think a normal person would get out during the day and pick more up? What did she do all day? Seriously, I don’t know what goes on in that head of hers. And then she gets mad at me and says I treat her like ‘she doesn’t have a brain’. Am I on ‘Candid Camera’ or something?
Well, she’s not going to get me now. Nope, I’m not going to complain at all. Uh uh, it ain’t gonna happen.
“They can go right in the back,” I tell her. I walk to the back of the Jeep with her. She’s opening it even as I’ve spoken.
Yeah, look what’s still inside - that desk she wanted from the auction. Yep. Who got that for her? I did.
She places the bags gingerly around its sideways legs. The desk is on its backside, the only way it would fit in, its legs sticking out ... like a Thanksgiving turkey.
She’s grabbing the netting handle of the bird and hefting it in as I arrange the other bags. Gotta hand it to her, though. Years ago she’d have swung that bird right into the back and hit anything in the way. Now, she’s very controlled, always controlled, almost too controlled.
She doesn’t say much to me. She used to talk a lot and smile - and laugh. Sometimes she’d cry, too - not a lot, but sometimes. Now, all we seem to do is get on each other’s nerves and just let the irritation fester under the surface. I never know what she’s thinking, sometimes I don’t want to know.
I miss the way it used to be - even the crying (I still hate that, but it was something real at least). The emotional outbursts, the making eye contact, the reading each other’s thoughts and especially the laughing - oh how I miss the laughing.
Is there any way back from this place of perpetual annoyance? What should I say right now? Is there anything to say? I don’t want my head bitten off, I just want my wife back
Oh no, before I’ve taken the time to think about it, some rogue words are falling out of my mouth. “Hey, good idea getting that turkey now.”
Did I say that out loud?!
Her eyes fix on mine. I feel some of what Esther from the Bible must have felt when she entered the king’s throne room without being summoned. Will she welcome my comment or will she knock me out of the ring with one sharp jab from that tongue?
I know she’s got a brain in that head, I can see it working, calculating, in those eyes of hers. Oh no, here it comes!
No wait, do I detect just the slightest tilt of her head? That cute little movement she used to make way back, back before....
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