It’s so hard to be married. Waking up to the same guy day after day. Dealing with all of his stupid moments and all of his faults.
Why doesn’t he ever tie up the bread bag?
Why can’t he lower the toilet lid so the dog doesn’t get into the toilet?
Why can’t he take his dirty laundry downstairs himself? Why do I have to do it?
Why do I have to do everything around here?
Why can’t he chip in for once?
Just so many little things that annoy me about him. So many things I wish I could change about him. No. Things that he should change about himself. Why should I do all of the hard work?
Why does it always come down to me doing everything?
It isn’t that I don’t love him anymore. I do. I guess I do.
I just wish—
My Skype alert went off. Someone was trying to make a connection.
I closed out of my Word document. Closed it and saved it for later. I still had plenty of thoughts I needed to write down.
I accessed my Skype program and made the connection.
My husband appeared on screen. He sat huddled in a dark room, lit only by his phone’s screen. “Hey, honey.” His voice was doing that “I’m scared beyond spitting but I’m trying to sound oh so brave” thing.
“What’s going on?” I frowned. “Why are you Skyping me? You never—-”
“Sweetie. There’s no time for that. I just.” His mouth trembled as he tried to smile. “I needed to see you. I needed to see your face. Hear your voice. I.” His voice caught. “I love you. I’m sorry for all of our arguments. I’m sorry for all of my faults. I’m sorry for—-”
“Stop! What’s going on? Tell me. Talk to me.”
“I’m.” He glanced off to the side. “I’m still here at work. I’m—-” He did a half-hearted chuckle. “I’m hiding in the—-”
“Hiding? What?” My panic spiked higher and higher. “What?”
He looked at me. “I love you, Darleen. Always remember that. Promise me that you’ll always remember that.”
“There’s a shooter here at work.”
I covered my mouth with my hands. I wanted to gasp, but I had no breath to gasp with.
“I don’t know who it is. Someone said it was Henry Gilgo. But. I don’t know. I don’t know. I’ve been trying to get out of here. I’m hiding right now while I think of a way to get to the front door.”
Words filled my head like water in a glass pitcher.
Don’t die! Come home to me! Be safe! Escape! Come home! Please come home! Come home! Don’t die! Come home!
I wanted to say it out loud. I wanted to scream every word.
I love you. I love you. Come home and leave the bread wrapper open. Come home and leave the toilet lid up. Come home with all of your annoying behaviors and—-
His hiding space suddenly lit up.
His eyes widened in fear.
His phone fell out of his hand.
And the screen went dark.