Now that Sophie’s Gone (Short Story)

Elizabeth got up and found Tom making breakfast for her. It had been a long time since he had roamed the house shirtless, but now that Sophie was gone it was as if he had rediscovered his love for shirtlessness, the hair on his chest, and the little bit of muscle tone left in his arms.

She was sure that the way he held the spatula was done deliberately to demonstrate his right arm’s bicep. Was this just her imagination?

He was cooking something he referred to as an omelet. “You used to love these when we were first dating. I put extra cheese in it. And bacon bits…that’s fun, right?”

She smelled burning cheese and egg from across the room. It was too early in the morning to have Tom come face to face with the ugly realities of their life before Sophie.

If the fabric of their reality could have been held together in spite of the weight of truth, she would have had the words “Sophie was the reason for the marriage, stupid” tattooed to his inner right arm.

She was about to say something about making herself some cereal when suddenly he broke out into a barrage of pushups.

“3…4…5…6…” Then he was up and stirring the eggs again. Now back to the floor. “7…8…9…” Sprinkle some more bacon bits into the omelet.

She was sure that some of his chest hair had fallen into the omelet.

“I was thinking I’d clean Sophie’s room today,” she said. “You didn’t have any plans for it, did you? I was thinking I could…”

“Sweetheart, sweetheart. In the long years of marriage together, you’ve rarely known me to be so poetic. But let me throw some poetry at you that gets to the heart of the matter — I don’t give a fuck!” He put extra emphasis and vulgarity into his use of “fuck”.

The way he said it made him sound like some insecure and pretentious frat boy.

The eggs were starting to smoke.

“10…11…12…13…”

 

 

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