Wednesday, August 21, 2019


It had rained for four consecutive days. Had rained implied that it had stopped. It never stopped raining. She and he—so named for they understood little of themselves beyond that—sat huddled together on the bed in their small cabin at the base of the mountain a mere mile from the sea. There was nowhere to go. All around the cabin, the land was slick with mud. They were both thin, drawn up into themselves, thin enough to be turned away from each other on the single bed. Each attended to different sections of the room’s sparse walls. She said it first although he was always thinking it. “We can’t have a baby.” His head hung like a bell from the neck of a cow. His mother always said he was an accident. He shook his head; rung the bell. She was still talking. “Everything we do is wrong. Even this vacation. We spent what little savings we had. All it does is rain. I think I’m going crazy,” she said. He nodded again, this time even she heard it. “I hate you,” she said. He uncurled himself from the bed and headed slowly toward the door. He did everything slowly. It was the only way he could be sure. “Where are you going?” she asked, looking at him for the first time that day, perhaps ever. “I’m going to get help,” he said. Although there was no one who could offer them such a thing. “Can you ever forgive me?” she asked. He knew then that the decision had long since been made. “For what?” he asked, something loosening inside of him. “For not having your baby,” she said. “I’m infertile,” he told her, “I had an accident. Something went wrong during surgery.” He put his hand on his abdomen to feel the scar although it was microscopic. She had never noticed. He put his other hand on the door knob. “Wait,” she said. Behind the cabin, the hillside swallowed all the water it could. Until it couldn’t. Until it couldn’t wait any longer.  

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