by Jennifer D. Jones
She expected the call and wondered why they had waited. Eyes pierced the goblet, prism vision through wine silt stripe. Above the line, the phone pulsed red and she felt false power in willing it to stop at four. The machine below trapped condolence from cowards and a distant ding announced the arrival of more lilies, perhaps a temperamental ficus.
Liquid distorted perspective as she slumped and focused on the offering. Two sunken bands lie buried in dregs, diamonds extinguished. She calculated the times he’d used the glass before they poured this last together. This time it was his idea. There was no ultimatum. She would wait for him to heal. An empty bottle stood on granite slab, salient witness to this final vow.
The recorded greeting confirmed his absence and beeped before the caller gave the scripted line, “Dr. Thompson, we missed you at check-in on Monday. Please contact the center to reschedule your stay or let us know if you have made other arrangements.” Resurrected from his favorite leather chair, she glided into the kitchen. With broken fingers she lifted the receiver and started to make other arrangements.