The door creaks open, then creaks closed. Morgan, deciding not to tiptoe, angles toward the bathroom. Gillian, in the bedroom, intercepts him.

"Was she good?"

Guilty-party status, of a sudden, in reverse, Morgan feels the weight of his transgression.

"She?"

He fibs.

The light snaps on like an X-ray; moments-past are moments-present. Morgan, indisposed to falsehood, crosses to the bed, upon which Gillian, upright, tensely waits. Eyes agree to meet. Hers frisk / his recognizably fidget. Neither wants to play the scene as written.

"I had a nightmare, Morgan. I woke up afraid. You weren't here. I really needed you to be here, but... you weren't. The dream upset me worse when it was over, when I reached for someone to comfort me and found an empty space. Weird, isn't it, the way we strand ourselves from the ones we truly love? I keep asking myself why?"

Morgan listens silently—guilt and getting-even played to a stalemate. Had he used Michelle as a reprisal? Or was she now an end in lieu of a means?

"Morgan, I don't care about this chippie you've just been with. So she fucked your socks off; fine; I'm happy you got laid. What does concern me, what I dearly care about is us. I can't afford to lose you, Morgan. Not right now. Not ever." 

Gillian takes his hand in hers and lifts it to her cheek... presses it... kisses it fondly... smells its odor. An unexpected angst wells up inside—which she suppresses. Struggling for control, her grip goes slack; his hand falls free, settling in his lap like a wingless sparrow.

Together, yet apart, they sit without a word.

 

 

last tuesday...

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