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 to him. He walks out of the den as if he has not heard me, his hand resting at the small of 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. I am furious 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-<em> her</em> 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?

I have to hustle to catch up, way down the dirt road from them, but I see where they parked ahead. If I yelled to him now, he wouldn’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 five years. Thank you for understanding.” They embrace as I reach them, seeing 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 a bed of violets and forget-me-nots. 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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