Caught

The screen door is open and I walk in. Jeremy likes it open so I don’t nag anymore. I smell spaghetti. He cooked? I hear his voice and call out. He suddenly walks out of the den as if he has not heard, his hand resting on the back of a blonde who looks familiar. Is she Jack’s teacher? I duck around the corner. I want to catch him in the act, furious now, when I see my favourite red pumps, dangling from her fingers as they walk through the kitchen and out the door. He closes and locks it and I run out the side way to watch from around the garage. They take off in presumably her burgundy BMW and I grab my bike and hop on, hurrying to keep abreast of where they are headed. They don’t go far, turning off the side entrance of the old arboretum where we used to walk. I am crushed. Why would Jeremy cheat on me? And why would he bring her here?

I have to hustle to catch up from way down the dirt road, but I see where they parked. If I yell to him now, he won’t hear it. Jeremy and Kristy, it was always us. Everyone we knew said so. My heart is in my throat as I huff and pant and finally come close enough to see them and hear their voices. I watch Jer take my shoes from the woman and lay them neatly by flowers and a weathered cross.

“It’s because of you,” he says, “that I can move on with my life after ten years. Thank you for understanding.” They embrace as I reach them. I see my name on the cross, and the small stones and shells beneath.

“You’re a good man, keeping her memory alive. But it’s time,” she says gently and leans against him, looking down at the crude shrine in the bed of violets. I look down at my feet, remembering a tango in those shoes. I watch my body turn transparent and start to melt away, feeling myself gently tugged far until I cannot see them, or that world, anymore.

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