His crossed arms answered her question before
he spoke. Of course it was no. It would always be no. He opened his mouth. Spoke the one word.
She felt her face redden. “You
make me feel like a child.”
“I don’t make you feel anything.”
She met his eye. Crossed her own arms. “About time you figured that out.”
“Oh, I figured that out years ago, Deb. You make it obvious enough.”
“I do nothing of the sort.”
He gave her that lazy smile, revealing the tiny chip on his front
tooth. “You think I don’t see you
looking around when you walk down the sidewalk, always three steps ahead of me?”
“You walk too slowly.”
“You would too, with one of these.” He uncrossed his arm and jabbed a thumb at
his cane hooked on the back of his chair.
He leaned forward. “You have no
idea, Deb. None. What it’s like to be old.”
“I don’t have to. And neither do
you.” She looked out the window. “They say Malibu is nice.”
She whirled around. “Moving’s an adventure!”
“We don’t move. We run away.
As soon as someone starts to question, we pack up. We can’t even see our own children, for God’s
“It upsets them.”
Dubinski asked me the other day why I married someone twice my age.”
“Did you tell her you’re my elder?”
“Didn’t want to give her a heart attack.”
He allowed himself a smile. “This wasn’t the way I envisioned our marriage
to be. You were supposed to heal the
“Aging is a completely preventable disease.”
“What happens if someone gets hold of these
“I only made two.” She held out her hand. “One is all it takes. I don’t want to be alone.”
The dog came up and nosed her in the
She swatted at him. “I hate your damn dog.”
Her eyes widened. “You mean it?”
He nodded. He tucked the pill into his cheek and made a
show of swallowing.
“Tomorrow, you’ll be good as new.”
He smiled back. “Malibu?”
She clapped her hands. “Malibu.
Oh, I’ve got so much to do!” She ran
from the room, humming softly.
He extracted the pill from his cheek. Fed it to the dog.
He woke to her screams. “You fed the pill to the damn dog, Frederick?”
“Now you’ll never be alone.” He
eased himself up, reached for his cane. “I
want a divorce, Deb.” He rose and
shuffled into the kitchen and picked up the telephone to call his children.
Labels: flash fiction, Write on Edge