‘It’s not my thing,’ he said, ‘I won’t enjoy it.’
Despite my insistence that it was the most beautiful and tragic thing I had ever read, his stubbornness prevailed. It was a short story, in a collection of short stories, about a girl who longed to live and die as a movie star, but never found the courage to ask the cost of a bus fare to Hollywood. Some of the lines simultaneously filled me with joy and broke my heart. I wanted to share these words with the man I love but he wasn’t willing to open his heart to it. It didn’t make me love him any less, but it saddened me somewhat that we couldn’t talk about it.
I felt him watch me as I walked out into the garden. It was going to rain soon and I hoped it would. I sat down on the bench at the end of the garden and looked at the flowerbeds and my house and the sky and the terracotta frog given to us as an anniversary gift from our friends. I didn’t really like it but it reminded me of a time and a place and my husband of 24 years. I was as lucky and as happy as I was ever going to be.
I came back inside and put the kettle on and felt revived and calmed by the warmth of the kitchen. I went into the living room and  found him, buried in the pages of the book, deaf to my offer of a cup of tea.


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