My Hidden Lives // Prose / Projects

30. scenes of domesticity #1



Evening cigarette in hand, she’s perched on the windowsill, second glass of wine swinging dangerously on the tips of her fingers. She drinks with such familiarity, it sometimes scares you. What will happen in a few years’ time – will it stop, or get worse – will she need it more than she needs you when you say „It’s me or the grapes, honey“? Do you even want to stay long enough to find out? Will you?

–          Go easy on the bottle. I’d like some too, after I’ve finished the review.

–          Should’ve bought your own then.

Living with an only child is never easy, especially when you come from such different backgrounds. You begrudge her the ease with which she’d so far glided through life, and she resents you for how difficult you’ve made it now. Perhaps if one of you budged an inch, you’d find yourselves in the same spot but the evening’s too far gone, and you’re as tired as much as she’s drunk.

–          Fine, drink all of it then. See if I care.

You don’t care about the wine as much as the fact that she can drink it on a Monday night without a reason not to. She’ll dutifully get up in the morning and prepare your breakfast, then climb back under the covers and sleep until noon. There’s actually little point of her getting up at all. The doors keep shutting in her face, one by one, and each time she comes back from a day of job-hunting you can see a new bruise forming. Her body is covered in them.

Little of what makes her unhappy is truly your fault, but you wish you could be absolved in entirety. Say you’d warned her or told her to stick with doing what she knew. That you’d have had the feeling things would unravel in such a slow, wasteful way. But you didn’t, and that’s the sin you’ll have to live with for the rest of your life. Truthfully said, you’d thought of nothing but your own comfort and the selfish urge to have her close. Have someone close. Someone who would love you as much as you know she does, when she caresses your hair coming up behind the desk of your study and places a wine glass of a sweet red next to your papers.

–          Use it well, mister.


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