by Giselle Leeb
She’s wearing out our door, banging and slamming it every time she comes home. Why does she always knock first, when she has a key? That’s the kind of lame thing she always does. Then, just as I’m about to open it, she’ll twist the key in, shout, “hello, darling,” in that cheery voice and slam it behind her as she sails straight past me.
Slam! The noise rings in my ears as she steps into the kitchen and whacks her bag down on the counter.
“Oh,” she’ll say, “what a terrible day.” Then she’ll put the kettle on.
And I stand there fuming because she didn’t kiss me. If it was on purpose, that would be something. The thing that really gets me is, she doesn’t even notice. And meantime, she’s wearing out our door.
Maybe it’s my new hair? Too butch?
Today, I don a bob-style wig just before she comes home.
She bangs on the door. She twists her key. “Hello, darling.” Slam! Straight past me to the kitchen.
I watch her toss a teabag into one cup, her back to me. I’m so pissed off I don’t even wait for her to turn around.
“Nice day?” drifts up the stairs after me.
Enjoy your fucking tea, I think. And don’t ask me how my day was. And stop wearing out our door.
Today, I stand behind the door in my bikini, no mean feat in the English winter.
In she comes. “Hello, darling.” Slam! Straight past me. Into the kitchen.
I run upstairs and pull on a jumper. I can’t stop my tears seeping into its thick wool.
Today, I’ve got a better plan.
Her key grinds in the lock. She’s going through. “Hello, darling.” Down the passage. Into the kitchen.
Thunk! The door hits the rubber stopper I’ve attached to the wall. I hear her put the kettle down. I can almost see her puzzled frown.
When she comes out, there’s a bear standing there.
“Darling,” I growl, but she runs out the back door and then the back gate, screaming.
Giselle Leeb‘s short stories have been published in Mslexia, Wet Ink and other publications.