He knew that he didn’t have much time before she came home. He would have to work quickly – something that he was never very good at – to dispose of all of the evidence. He could feel the color escaping from his face as he started at the task at hand. Why did she strike so much fear into him? Better yet, why did he seem to always put himself into these positions? He glanced at the clock again and a cold sweat dripped down the side of his forehead. There wasn’t enough time. She will find out. This will be the end of him.
He accelerated his speed and worked at a feverish pace. Only a few more minutes and she would be home. He heard her keys jangling at the door and his heart jumped up into his throat. If only she was a minute later he would have been done. He heard her drop the keys to the ground and utter an annoyed, “Shit.” She rarely used expletives but when she did, they came in fast and furious. He seized this opportunity to kick it into overdrive and complete his task. With just seconds to spare, he removed all traces of what just happened as she entered the door and smiled at him. She had no clue of what he did.
She began to shed her clothing right there in the living room. It was her way of shaking off the day. She stood there in front of him, teasingly half-naked, for a moment. She mussed up his hair and went upstairs to shower and change. He took this opportunity to give the place a quick once-over to make sure all of the evidence was gone. Why was he so afraid of her? It surely couldn’t have been her diminutive stature. He was almost twice the size of her. She hardly ever really got mad at him; she barely ever even raised her voice. Perhaps it was the look of disappointment in her eyes. Yes, it was definitely the look. He couldn’t bear to see her look at him that way. It always made him feel like a dog being scolded for misbehaving. Head lowered in shame, tail between his legs. Quite confident that he had covered his tracks, he breathed a sigh of relief and sat down on the couch.
She came down the stairs; hair still dripping wet and wearing a short silk robe. He wondered if she was wearing anything under there – even though he was scared of her, she still excited him. A lot of people couldn’t say the same thing after seven years. Most of his friends were divorced or in the middle of one. Their marriages barely making it past the five year mark. He wasn’t gloating about it, just making an observation. Love and fear was keeping the two of them together and for some strange reason he was okay with it.
She sat next to him and put her hand gently on his knee. She leaned over slightly and kissed him – first on the lips, and then on the cheek. He wondered what he did to deserve that. His paranoia was not an unusual feeling. He started to wonder if she knew what he had done. No, there was no way she could have known. He was so careful in covering it all up. He tried to erase these thoughts by kissing her back. They locked lips and he began to kiss her more passionately. She gently pushed him back after a moment. She wasn’t in the mood. Her actions sparked even more paranoia in him until she had told him that she wanted to have dinner first.
Dinner! He almost forgot. He scampered off of the couch and ran into the kitchen. She followed him, confused and curious. He told her to sit down at the dining room table. He rustled around in the kitchen making a lot of noise. The pots and pans clanged together with a thunderous roar. She asked him if she could help him. He told her no. She sat at the table, still in her silk robe, wondering what he was up to. There were a few more noises that came from the kitchen before he came out carrying a large tray with a silver dome covering it. She wondered where he got such a tray as she had only seen them in hotels. He uncovered the tray to reveal two lavish meals. It took her a moment for it to click in that it was her favorite meal. She jumped out of the seat and into his arms to give him a big hug. She wondered if he knew how horrible of a day she was having and that with him cooking her favorite foods was just the right thing that he could have done. She knew right away that after the meal she was going to show him her appreciation upstairs. He knew it too.
Shortly after the meal they retired upstairs where they spent the rest of the evening. She promised him that she would do the dishes first thing in the morning and he told her not to worry about it; he would take care of it. This would give him one last opportunity to cover up what he did. He would take out the trash and cover up the evidence; the evidence that he did not cook the meal himself, but ordered it from a restaurant a few blocks away from their house. In some strange way, he wasn’t scared if she found out anymore but still didn’t want her to know. He rolled over and went to sleep satisfied in knowing she would never find out that he did not cook the meal.
She smiled as she looked at him drifting off to sleep. She thought to herself that he wasn’t fooling anyone. She knew he didn’t make that meal, but appreciated the gesture after such a lousy day. She wondered if he somehow knew about her day and tried to make it all better. In her head, he did know. Still facing him, she looked at him for a few minutes more before she too fell asleep. They were both going to sleep the sleep of angels that night.