Love Potion Number Nine (part 2)

“You all right, Linda?”

“Yes,” I lie. It feels like I’ve been punched in the gut.

He pauses. He knows me better than that, but also knows how fragile the balance is between us right now. We’re practiced, Marty and I, at the fine art of dancing around issues. “Okay.”

I watch my husband walk away, broad shoulders hunched, balding head bent. He slides open the glass door where our youngest daughter, Kate was watching us with big, hopeful eyes. Marty gives her a long hug and kisses her forehead. I know he’ll give our oldest daughter, Mandy, the same kind of attention before driving back to the hotel he’s spent the last few days in. He wouldn’t look for an apartment. He said that felt too final. He still doesn’t believe we’re getting divorced, even though we’re down to the final steps.

I go back to weeding, poking and prodding and yanking unwanted plants from the bed with vigor that hadn’t been there before Marty’s visit until Kate comes and asks when dinner is. “Now, I guess,” I snap, immediately regretting it as my daughter lets me know with a frown that I’ve spoken too harshly. “I’m sorry, honey,” I say, trying to smile. “I’ll be right there.”

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