The Trip by A. M. Linton

The gushing and drumming of rainwater on Margo’s house were just what she needed to put and keep her asleep throughout the night. The lighting and thunder were another story, though, because the moment she fell asleep, she was jolted awake by a loud clack, followed by the loud rolling of the thunder.

I hope it doesn’t cut the light, she thought and drifted back to sleep.

The next time she awoke, sunlight was forcing its way through the slit between her two pink and white bedroom curtains. She stretched and yawned while letting out loud sounds of pleasure.

“That was just what the doctor ordered,” she said, smiling at the cream-popcorned roof.

She gently threw the cream blanket off her body and sat up at the edge of the bed. The bedroom door was slowly pushed open, and a tall man dressed in blue jeans and a red sweater entered. His curly black hair was in a low afro, and he smiled shyly at her.

“Honey, you are up,” he said.

“And you are home!” she exclaimed, “why didn’t you wake me when you got in?”

“Because you looked so peaceful lying there that I didn’t have the heart to disturb you.”

“But I wouldn’t have minded. I missed you so much.”

“I know, and I missed you too. Here,” he said after covering the distance between them.

He put the light brown tray with a white teapot, teacup, toast, scrambled eggs, and an unpeeled banana on it on the bed next to her.

“Thanks, honey,” she said, looking down at her favourite breakfast.

“You’re welcome,” he said, kissing her forehead.

“But wait,” she frowned, “where did you get the bread? I was going to do the shopping today.”

“I know. I saw the list on the table, and I did the shopping.”

He carefully sat on the bed.

“Honey. You didn’t have to. You must be tired from your trip from England,” Margo replied, studying his features.

“I’m good. I slept on the plane, and when I got in, I caught a few more hours in the chair.”

“But,” she began.

“Eat up,” he encouraged, “before everything gets cold.”

So she did.

Later that day, after eating a dinner of baked salmon, rice, cole slaw and green bean stew he helped to prepare, they sat to look at the evening news. This has been a habit since they were married three years ago. They watched and discussed some of the news features, and just as the sports section came on, her husband’s cell phone rang.

He looked down at it and said, “It’s my brother. He’s returning my call from this morning. I’ll be right back.”

He got up and left the room with the phone to his ears. Margo and her husband had been apart for three weeks, and although they spent the entire day together, she whispered, “Hurry back.”

Margo wanted to see the highlights of the Test Cricket game between England and South Africa. England was hosting the tournament, and they won the toss and were on the second day of batting.

As she watched, as usual, the camera moved into the stands, and for a moment, Margo’s heart missed a beat. The camera then returned to the players on the field.

Margo snatched the black and silver remote from the chair, rewind the news to the portion with the audience, and paused it. There, dressed in dark shades and a purple and white sweater, was her husband with his arms wrapped around his business partner of one year.

At that moment, her husband rushed into the living room and stared at his frozen image on the screen.

Margo slowly turned her head to meet her husband’s eyes. Then, as though something that was lying dormant inside her erupted, and she could not stop it.

She growled and growled at him, and spit, thicker than she had ever felt, formed at the corners of her mouth, and some ran down her chin.

Margo jolted out of her sleep and opened her eyes to a semi-dark bedroom.

“It’s okay. It’s okay,” Margo heard her husband say as he wrapped his arms around her in bed.

“Were you having another nightmare?”

She nodded, still breathing heavily and unable to speak.

A few minutes later, with her still awake, her husband said, “Sleep. I won’t let you miss your flight tomorrow, and besides, if I did, my best friend, your business partner, will kill me.”

He kissed her on the forehead. “I’ll miss you, but I’ll be here when you return home. Sleep.”

The End.

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