Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: The Reader (04/15/10)
TITLE: Strange Behavior
By Pamela Kliewer
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I used to be able to tell what she was thinking just by looking at her, especially when she was miffed with you-know-who.
I could read her like a book.
Just before she’d erupt like Mt. St. Helens, her face would turn all red and she’d scrunch her eyes shut tight as if building up steam.
The thing that gets her. goat the most? That would be the amount of time I spend playing video games. Yeah, she really hates that.
But, something has changed in the last several months. Like I said, she’s been acting kind of strange.
It’s not really strange as in weird, but just, well, different. Ya know?
She seems settled, quiet, gentle.
Gentle isn’t something that would describe her before, that’s for sure. And quiet, she sure never had that quality about her before. She could lift a car off the road, what with the way she was always yelling at me.
So, here I sit on this rainy Saturday afternoon and she’s just come in from her weekly grocery-shopping trip. It used to be when she’d come home from these trips and find me being a recliner spud, that she’d light into me something fierce. Letting me know how I never lift a finger and what a lazy slob I am… blah, blah, blah.
I learned to tune her out pretty quick, but now that she’s not doing it any more, the silence is rather, well, eerie… not sure if that’s quite the word I’m looking for, but it does freak me out to see her this way. I mean, come on, what would you do if all of a sudden your wife went from nag, nag, nagging, to being this quiet, gentle creature?
It’s enough to drive a guy crazy, I’m telling you. The woman I used to be able to read so well, has now become a mystery? This, I tell you, is not cool!
Whenever I ask her about this religious kick she’s on she tells me it’s not religion, but a relationship with Jesus.
Anyway, she’s just come in from the store. She’s in the kitchen putting the groceries away. Well, she was… sure is quiet in there now… I wonder what she’s doing.
Before I can get up out of the chair to see, she walks into the living room with a smile on her face bright enough to rival the moon on a clear night.
In the gentlest voice I’ve ever heard, she says, “Honey what would you like for dinner?”
My jaw drops to the floor and I just gape at her. I put my finger in my ear, acting like I’m cleaning it, to make sure I heard her right. “Excuse me?” I say, shock registering in my voice, I’m sure.
“What would you like for dinner?” she repeats, her voice still calm. “We could have pizza, spaghetti and meatballs, or a chef salad…”
“Pizza sounds great…”
I’m still baffled by her behavior. Wow. Maybe I need to quit trying to read her and pick up the Bible I’ve seen her reading early in the morning when she doesn’t think I’m aware… I just might learn something…
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