Not So Stormy After All

It was a dark and stormy night. After they finished dessert, he left. Bit by bit, she began to clean up the Sunday papers and the coffee mugs. When she picked up the brown one, his brown one, she noticed it had a chip on the rim near the handle. She tossed it in the trash. One less dish to wash. She pushed back the kitchen curtain.

The mountain across the lake, dark and purple, was like a sleeping giant. Lightning struck across the sky. The thunder trembled the glasses in the dishwasher. Her mood matched the chaos in the sky. She was stirred up inside. What would he come home as? She never knew.

Rob would be back the moment she finished tiding. Amazing the timing. Her part was to get the place in order. Then he’d be back.

She went over to the front window where she could see the driveway. The wind was bending the tall willow tree down to the pavement like a greeter at some fancy hotel, not at some little back house outside the city.

Last month he came back from his night wanderings dressed like an old- fashioned delivery kid. “Special delivery,” he said. He delivered the planted pot to her waiting arms. She could tell the poor old droopy thing was a toss–away. The red mark along the side was a big as they could make it.

The wind howled. Then his wild knock banged at the door.

“Why hello Spider Man,” she said. “I love your tights.”

“Special delivery,” he said through the tight fabric stretched across his face.

“I’ve tidied our little web just right,” she said. “Come into it.”

It didn’t matter that the storm was still blowing when she shut the door.