Facing the music

I told Ichi about the trip before I told Aya which wasn’t a smart move and was a cowardly one.  I should have said something to her first.  It’s just that I had the opportunity to go and I know she doesn’t have any interest in this and I know we always celebrate each others birthdays together and I won’t this year because I’m going out of town but she’ll understand right?  Right?  I’m a dead man.  She’s gonna give me those kicked puppy eyes and I’m gonna feel like shit.

I was fidgeting like a cat sneaking through the dog pound, jumping at the slightest sound, chewing people out for just about anything then having to apologize for acting like a nutcase, and pacing.  Ryo finally kicked me out of the bar and told me to go home and wait for her.  “Face the music like a man” he said.  Asshole.  He knows how much she looks forward to spoiling me on my birthday.  He also knows I fucked up.  I should have talked to her first.  If the brat spills the beans before I can explain……

The lights were on when I get home.  I stood in the garage for at least 20 minutes trying to get my nerves, and my story, together.   If I smoked I’d probably have gone through a pack or two in that 20 minutes.  I finally decided that I do have some balls and went inside to face my wife.

I could smell dinner cooking.  Smelled good whatever it was.  I followed my nose to the kitchen.  She was in there, hair up in a loose bun, pink apron on, humming happily.  I cleared my throat and she turned around with the biggest smile on her face and a “Hi baby!”.  She told me that it was about time I came in and asked what I was doing for so long in the garage as she came to me and gave me a kiss that forestalled any answer I would have given.  I hugged her tightly after we broke from the kiss and told her that I was just thinking and lost track of the time.  Must have been something in my voice because she pulled away and gave me a long look.  The timer on the rice cooker went off just as she was about to say something and the moment passed as I cleaned up and sat down.

She joined me at the table and chatted about her last job and how she was sorry she didn’t give me more notice but the job was last minute, asked if I liked the sushi she’d left and if Ichi had gotten into it before I did.  I just nodded or shook my head according to whatever answer was needed and pushed my food around on my plate.  I was listening with one half my brain and thinking of a good way to tell her with the other.   When she announced that she had decided to shave her head and get it tattooed and I said that it sounded nice, she realized that I really wasn’t listening.

She came and sat down beside me, taking my hand in hers and leaning her head onto my shoulder.  She didn’t speak.  She knew me well enough to know that I’d start talking when I was ready.  We sat like that for a while.  Hearing her gentle breathing and smelling the scented shampoo she used in her hair seemed to calm me down and finally I told her.  She didn’t say anything while I was speaking or for a long time afterward.

I was really worried that I’d hurt her when she finally spoke.  She said that she understood and that most men when they reach the age of forty have the urge to do something different.  She called it the 7 year itch whatever that meant.  She patted my hand and said we could always celebrate when I got back and that Ichi and I should have fun.  She sounded distant as if her body was there but her mind was somewhere else but she smiled at me and it was warm and loving like always.  Still.  In the back of my mind I knew she was a little disappointed.  I was kind of disappointed myself.  My birthdays were always ultra special because of her.  It’s gonna feel weird not having her with me.

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~ by jujuken on June 27, 2011.

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