Millicent Glenn's Last Wish by Whitaker Tori

Millicent Glenn's Last Wish by Whitaker Tori

Author:Whitaker, Tori
Language: eng
Format: epub
Published: 2020-09-30T16:00:00+00:00

Business always flourished in the spring—and that was a blessing, because I needed something to flourish. I needed something to talk about over late dinners or early breakfasts—chitchat to fill that space where my chest was hollowed out like a tooth with a monstrous cavity.

Dennis was working more Saturdays, staying out later every night during the week. Was he throwing himself into his job to cope with his grief? Did he seek refuge from our house, where his wife’s eyes held telltale signs of tears most days—such a contrast to Janie and Raggsie, who thrilled when he arrived home? He never asked if I was ready to return to more business duties. I wasn’t.

But it might’ve helped me if he’d asked.

It was now Sunday afternoon, a rare day home for him. Dennis said, “Honey, I’ll run a load of wash for my work clothes this week. You rest.”

What? Had I missed laundry day on Thursday? No one—I do mean no one—in our circle of friends or in Dennis’s family had ever heard of a man doing laundry. It pained me to think what Mother Glenn would say if she heard.

My eyelids shut, sickly. And there was Abbie to consider: she would never let me live this down.

“No, no, I’ll do a load,” I said from where I lay on the couch. “In a few minutes.”

Moments before, Dennis had given me another pill in hopes of lifting my mood. At the doctor’s suggestion Dennis had already purchased more medication since I was discharged from the hospital. The pills helped me to sleep. They helped me cope.

I would never get over losing my baby. But this part that went on all day—freed only if I managed an hour’s sleep—wouldn’t last forever. I wouldn’t feel this blue forever. Would I?

Dennis carried an armful of work pants and shirts out of the bedroom. The washing machine was behind louvered doors in the kitchen.

“I told you I’d do that,” I said groggily, angrily, as he passed through the living room.

“I don’t mind. Really,” he said. “It’s not as if I can’t figure out how to push a button on a machine.”

His words felt like a smack—as though the menial work I’d done at home for years was nothing. A silly, mindless push of a button.

I was sitting up on the couch now, but I hadn’t moved to stand. “I don’t know why you couldn’t have waited a few minutes. I said I’d do it.” I sneered.

“Janie needs her diaper changed and to be tucked in,” he said. He’d already carried her from the playpen to the crib. “Can you do that?”

I rose. Then I came within an inch of Dennis’s nose in our living room and shouted in his face: “Can you let me know you feel this agony I’m feeling? How can you keep it locked up so tight?”

He jumped back, confounded. Speechless.

Janie whined. My little girl needed me. I padded to her room and changed her diaper in her bed. She smiled and grasped hold of her bare feet, and for a flash of an instant, I thought my life was normal.


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