You have no items in your cart. Want to get some nice things?Go shopping
It’s been one week since George died, and here comes a man walking up the long dirt path to Marie’s house. George? Marie thinks. But no, this is a living man, the kind who knocks on the door with a fist and uses two feet to pass through the threshold of Marie’s home.
The man says something about a car, something about a phone. Marie’s not listening. She’s already seen all she needs to. There’s a scar on the man’s right hand, the same size and shape as the birthmark that had graced George’s.
When they were new to each other, new to everything, Marie had told George she didn’t think they’d ever be parted. They were taking a walk by the river, the water high after a week’s worth of storms. George, Marie had said, I intend to know you forever and I don’t mean until the end of this life. If I go first, I’ll come to visit. I’ll be wearing my wedding dress and carrying a bundle of those yellow flowers that grow like weeds outside our front door.
Marie’s not hard to overtake. The man ties her hands behind her back and holds a knife to her throat, says if she screams, she’ll regret it. Marie sits quiet as a crumb and watches the man run his hands over the surface of her life, his backpack growing fat with treasures.
That day at the river, George had said, But Marie, what makes you think we’ll get to decide what form our souls will take? When I come back, I won’t be me. I’ll be the tooth that won’t stop aching. I’ll be the bee that stings you on a sunny day. I’ll be the sound of the slamming door that the wind takes with it when your back is turned.
He’d been laughing, but Marie remembers – that ache in her, like someone lit a match in her chest and it never stopped burning.
The man puts his bag down and turns toward Marie. She braces for the knife against her throat, but it doesn’t come. Instead, Marie watches as the man walks into the kitchen, where he takes a glass out of the cabinet and fills it with ice.
Marie closes her eyes, and she’s back at the river that day. She sees the water slapping against the bank, the trees hanging low over the dirt path. She feels George’s hand in hers, sees his mouth open. She waits to hear what he’ll say next, but all there is now is the sound of the water running in the faucet, the ice cracking in the man’s glass.