by Bob Jacobs
I’ve never complained about her putting on weight. Over the years she tried every diet going and I gave her every encouragement, but each Christmas she’d be heavier than the one before. I told her that I loved her and I meant it, but at almost twenty stone she didn’t love herself and couldn’t believe that I did either. She could hardly walk and would barely fit through the door frame.
One night, after she’d gone to bed, she came down without me noticing and caught me on margaretatwoodnaked.com. She cried all night. I said I was sorry and tried to reassure her, but I ended up in the spare room. The next day she joined Weight Watchers, the following week she signed up at the gym. She started a five-veg-a-day thing, then took up jogging, and she just got faster and faster.
This morning I knew something was up. The air didn’t stop shimmering all the time I was eating my cornflakes. She appeared in front of me and said, “I’m leaving you.” I asked why and she said she was bored and wanted to make a fresh start somewhere else. When I asked her where she was going she said, “Gliese 581 c. It’s a planet.”
I looked it up on Wikipedia while she packed her stuff. “But it’s over twenty light years away,” I told her. She said she thought she could make it in a few hours if she pushed herself. The last time I saw her she wore a heat resistant suit, with a polo neck jumper underneath, and a sealed glass helmet. She carried an oxygen cylinder, five portions of veg and some clean underwear. The air shimmered, the clouds shuddered, and that was it. She was gone.
After she left I went back on margaretatwoodnaked.com, but as I browsed the pictures it was my wife I was thinking of.
Bob Jacobs lives in the south-east of England with his wife and kids and Sony Vaio.