This is the 10th vignette for the book, A Twinkle in the Eyes of God. Astral was Monk’s first wife. She called herself Lilith. Monk was known as Will. They lived in Virginia. At this point their marriage has fallen apart.
The stars were out, a rare cloudless night. The fight had ended and I was sitting in the cabana once again wishing I’d been more understanding and less angry. But like everything else that had transpired over the last few months, that was a lie, both mine and Astral’s. There was nothing to be understanding about. I wiped my eyes and quietly admonished myself for being such a crybaby.
I didn’t hear Astral coming up behind me.
“I think it’s time for you to go,” she said, her voice flat, emotionless.
“I imagine you do.”
“I’m not asking, Will, I’m saying you need to go.”
“So you can make a proper announcement about you and Judah Martindale?”
“Yes. It’s no secret anymore.” She slowly walked to the other side of the table.
“If it ever was. You two were hardly discreet,” I said.
“I not going to argue about that anymore. You need to go”
I looked at her, the starlight twinkling behind her hard unhappy face. “Why do I need to go? Why don’t you go live with your boyfriend?”
“The house and farm are in my name, Sunshine, remember?” The emotion was back, making her voice harsh and brittle.
“Yes, of course. This was my fault to begin with, so I should leave because it’s so much more convenient for everyone else, right?” My voice was no better.
“Say it however you want.”
Beyond her were the fields I’d turned over the day before, prepping them for another season. Beyond the fields were the mountains, and beyond that? I didn’t know. There was nothing here, and nothing there but bloody dirt roads and the terror of that day long ago.
I looked at my wife. “It seems you two have this all worked out then. And my last act?”
“I talked with Donald, he can work out the details—”
“Details of what?”
“Judah’s buying your half of the farm,” she said.
“Yeah he might as well take all of it.” I shook my head. “You know the word is that Judah doesn’t know a fucking thing about farming.”
“I’m not interested in what any of friends think!”
“Yes, we’ve argued about that too.” I smiled as I wiped my eyes. “I guess we’ve found the end of that rainbow.”
“I don’t need any of your smartassed remarks, Will!”
“Then I guess I was wrong. Ah, what does it matter now.” I put my head in my hands.
“I expect to see you tomorrow at Donald’s office. Ten o’clock. And try to look presentable.” I heard her start to walk away.
“Whatever you say, dear.” I sat up and turned to her. “I guess this means you can get pregnant now?”
Astral glowered at me.
“Yes it does,” she said, walking back to the house.
The starlight danced above her, danced despite the tears running down my face. Somewhere, they assured me, was God in his infinite wisdom.
©2020 David William Pearce