by John Weagly
We used the sky to mark our time.
When the two of us went inside, the stars were at their deepest, filling the heavens with pinpricks of light. Now, as we came out, the sun was rising.
“This was…” I started.
“I know,” Janet said. “I… I’d stay longer, but…”
I smiled. “If you stay any longer I might never let you leave.”
She smiled back. I took her in my arms. I could still smell traces of her perfume from the night before. “Leave him,” I said.
She tried to pull away from me. I didn’t let her. She relaxed against my chest. “Tom, I love him.”
“You love me, too.”
“I do. But we’ve tried so many times. We fight. We hurt each other. It never works out.”
We started in high school and we’ve carried on since. Even her wedding three years ago didn’t stop us. Every few months her husband goes out of town and she comes back to me.
“We can try again,” I said.
“No. This is the best it can be for us, me on one side of town with my life, you here with yours. The distance is good for us. It makes us work.”
I knew she was right. I let her go. She got into her car and I watched her drive away. Something inside of me howled every time I watched her leave.
When I looked up at the sky for sympathy, the clouds looked back with red disdain.