My husband travels. I’m always anxious until he comes home. Just this morning he left me alone for another business trip. I’m not afraid, I tell myself. This house is old and creaky, that’s all.
When he showed up a few hours later, I was so glad that his trip was cut short. I don’t think things went well because he wouldn’t talk. He just came inside and sat down in his favorite chair. After trying to coax a conversation out of him, I give up. When he’s ready to tell me what happened, then he will share. So without any more attempts at conversation, we decide to go to bed.
I turn on the television in the bedroom, and set the television’s timer. I just can’t sleep in total darkness. There are things in the darkness. My husband is accustomed to this bit of silliness, but I can’t deny what I feel.
I fall asleep, but it’s fitful. The bedroom is silent and black when I awaken. I feel odd, like there’s something wrong. Then I hear it, our dog, the diva is still in the backyard. My beloved pooch is barking her head off. Our neighbors will burn us in effigy if I don’t let her in, and soon.
I still feel edgy though. I move sluggishly under heavy quilts. My hubby’s arms are wrapped around me, but a little too tightly. I’m surprised Mr. Stoic didn’t wake up first. He’s usually such a light sleeper. The phone on my nightstand rings, and I squint to read the clock on the DVR. Only 9:30? Seems later than that. I pick up the phone.
“Hey, Babe. You asleep? Aw, I didn’t think you’d go to bed this early. My flight got delayed to Boston. I tried to call you on the house phone but the line was dead. Glad I could get you on the cell. I didn’t want you to be worried…”
My heart stops.
Diva is outside pitching a fit. She knows what I now know.
If my husband is in Boston, then what is in the bed with me wearing his face?