by Peter Dudley
His eyelid twitches just before the lightning. He picks away at me, beginning early in the morning when his coffee is too hot, or not hot enough. One by one he snaps off my little bits of happiness and leaves them to blow away with the dust. Dust is all that remains of our marriage, barren and beaten down as it is. And me—I’m left with little but faith. Faith, and revenge.
We started like everyone starts. Hopeful. Naïve. Blind. He couldn’t afford a diamond, so I made peanut butter sandwiches and we watched the 737s land at BHM as the sun set. The next weekend he took his buddies from the shop to Talladega while I worked two double shifts. When he got back, I said something foolish and saw his eyelid twitch for the first time.
It’s funny how winter creeps in, like the sound of those airplanes, so silent and far off at first. You don’t notice the sound until it’s upon you and it’s throwing you to the ground with a deafening thunder. A puff of tire smoke and the sound recedes and is forgotten for a time until the next thunder comes.
Today, when he hits me, I’ll fall. My head will strike the corner of that new granite countertop. Blood will speckle his white shirt. Police will come. And there will be a reckoning.
I see his eyelid twitch and welcome the lightning. As I fall, I hope there is a God.