250 word short story
“Are you unravelling a little honey?” I am wary with words, keeping it light. Twenty plus years together gives us a shared idiom, but nuances of dialect still play tricks. He is easily alarmed by intimacy introduced suddenly.
It was the towels that alerted me. All of them dry as dust for days on end. He always showers daily, always has. We both do, among many things that have synchronised. Tea variety, sock manufacturers, biro preferences. I guess an affair can be ruled out, I would have known.
Would I have known? We have never come close to mutual honesty, despite written commitment. An address scrawled on a piece of paper in a long-forgotten pocket can make my jaw clench, tears smart hot. A casual anecdote told to a third party that I have never been privy to. Did you make that up?
I made it up when you put me on the spot. Or just breathed a sigh when you missed the slip. Of course I have secrets, what sane person doesn’t? My girlfriends share the load; like a squirrel caching nuts I store my stories in the minds of those best suited to them. Karine for confessions, Melanie for dreams unfulfilled.
So this morning I should have been forearmed, yet here I am all shaking sobs and uneaten breakfast as I read the note. The towels have gone along with a few other things that surprised me, such petty wants we harbour. The dog glares, accusing and snubbed.