A Dead Thing

Ginger pretended not to notice as Frank entered the room exhaling a loud sigh into the vacuum that had grown between them in the last two months. He dropped into the recliner and picked up a magazine from the coffee table and began rustling the pages with pointed abandon.

Ginger turned the page on her book and put her nose further into it. There was nothing to discuss as far as she was concerned. She wished he would go out or something. Really, it just too much to bear. She could feel him looking at her. She began to grind her teeth.

Frank put his book down, stretched and let out another long loud sigh. “Sure is quiet right now. Gotta say I’m grateful for that. Ha ha.”

Ginger lowered her book and glared at him. “Oh that’s just so funny Frank. A real knee slapper, that’s what that is.”

Frank jumped up and threw his hands in the air. “Well for crying out loud, Ginger, why can’t you just admit everything was great between us until, well, you know.” He jerked his thumb in the direction of a closed door behind him.

“I don’t want to talk about it Frank. You know I can’t just…oh what’s the use?”

She got up and stormed into the kitchen and poured herself a glass of wine. When she saw him coming she turned her back and folded one arm across herself. He stood behind her and she could feel his attitude soften.

“I’m sorry honey, it’s just been so hard, you know? I know we agreed and all but it’s been two months now. We’re going to have to do something. We can’t just leave it this way.”

He looked toward the closed door and grimaced. She saw the look on his face and anger welled up in her but she knew he had a point. They couldn’t just ignore the situation. She would have to make a move.

He changed his tone. “Did you hear the sounds coming from that room last night? It frightens me, Ginger. I’m not afraid to admit it.”

“Oh Frank, I know. Sometimes…look, I’m sure it’s all going to be fine. Just give it a few more days, okay?”

“You know something I don’t?”

“There has to be something coming up, there always is.”

“So we just wait for it to make a move?”

“Frank! How dare you. That was uncalled for.”

“I’m sorry, I just don’t get it. I want our lives back. You and me, just the way we were. Is that so much to ask?”

Ginger smiled for the first time in several days. “No, Frank, it’s not. I promise, never again. Once this is over, never again.”

He went to her with a warm embrace. They were in the middle of a kiss when the front door flew open and Ginger’s sister whirled in, a maelstrom of tie dye and unkempt hair reeking of cannabis and waving a flyer above her head.

“Oh my god, they’re doing a two day gig in Seattle next weekend. I am so there! Rocco’s got his VW van running again; a bunch of us are trippin’ on up there tomorrow. The Grateful Dead rules! You guys are so awesome for letting me stay here; I’ll stay in touch. Gotta go pack my stuff!”

With that she went to the room and closed the door behind her. Frank and Ginger smiled at each other.

“See Frank, I told you there had to be something coming up.”

They went back to kissing.

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