Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Messengers -- 23

“I think you’re keeping secrets” she said.

She said it through a mouthful of bacon, which is one of those things that he loved about her. Molly was an unabashed carnivore, and while he didn’t share her enthusiasm for meat in all its forms, it made him love her even more.

“I’m an open book. Hell, I’m practically a newspaper.”

“Uh huh. I think you’re keeping something from me. I can tell when you have something on your mind, and I think you have something on your mind.”

“I’ve got lots of things on my mind: my deadlines, the nature of causality, why Hugh Jackman is popular, and how cute you are when you’re devouring a salted pig.”

“Nice try, but I know something is on your mind, beyond the usual.”

Her tone was light, but it seemed a little forced. Dylan thought that she was genuinely worried about something. He wasn’t inclined to tell her what he was thinking about, and he was actually a little worried that she might figure it out on her own.

“Well,” he said, “what about you. You never did tell me about the other message.”

She paused, bacon hovering in mid air and he regretted bringing it up. They’d been married about six months when he came home from an interview to a house full of smoke.

He found Molly in the bathroom, where she was burning paper in the bathtub. She was pale and she was crying. She was burning a printout of her thesis. Dylan had tried to turn on the shower, to stop the fire, and she hit. She pounded against his chest and he had to grab her to stop her. He’d never seen her like that before. He’d never seen her like that since and he hoped that he never did.

Dylan was not, despite occasional evidence to the opposite, a stupid man. He figured out that she had gotten a message. But she refused to talk about it. She spent the rest of that day in bed, not saying a word. He wondered what she could have read that would have done this, but she wouldn’t tell him.

The next day, she was back to normal. He brought it up again and the subject was either brushed off or the beginning of a huge fight, but there was never an answer. As far as he knew, Molly didn’t have secrets, didn’t see the point, except for this.

She stared at him now, and he wondered which way this was going to go. She stood, no expression on her face.

“I’m late,” she said, which simply wasn’t true.

“Molly,’ he said, but it was already too late. The only things that heard were the kitchen table and the bathroom door. Dylan drummed his fingers on the table. He didn’t want her to know what he was worried about. He was worried that talking about it would cause what he was afraid of would come to pass. Once again, he wondered about causality.

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