Continuing the serialization of an original novel I’ve written entitled SCARED.
“But that’s not why you want a gun?”
By now, she had picked up her briefcase and was shoving papers into it in preparation for her day. “No … it just occurred to me that we ought to have one.”
“Why now? Trump and his crazies are finally out of office … the pandemic is almost behind us. Things are beginning to look up for a change.”
Setting aside her briefcase, she looked at me. “Well … there’s still so much division and racial discord … they’re even talking about food and water shortages. I don’t know. I just have this feeling that something bad is going to happen. Having a gun just seems like a good idea.”
I pondered the thought for a moment. “Just seems strange for you to suggest it now … I mean,
we’ve been married for twenty-five years, and we’ve never had a gun.”
Chris seemed almost embarrassed. “I know.”
“There are two of you father’s shot guns in the attic.”
“I know,” she sighed, “but I think we need a hand gun, a revolver … maybe two.”
“You’ve really been giving this some thought, haven’t you?” I was shocked. This was not something my wife would ever suggest. What had happened? She had never been comfortable around guns, probably because her father had so many. In fact, that was the reason the shot guns were in the attic. For years, I had kept them in the guest room closet until, one day, she had insisted that I be rid of them. They made her nervous, she said.
Chris shouldered her briefcase and then looked at me. “I think it would be wise.”
Wise … what did that mean? It would be wish … like it was something I had overlooked. I returned her stare and forced a smile. “Okay.”
Then she changed again. She was Chris of the soft voice and bright smiles as she crossed the room to kiss me good-bye. “Have a good day.”
I returned the kiss. “Wish you didn’t have to go.”
“I’m late already.” She headed toward the French doors. “Remember to wake Marty at eight.”
She opened the door and paused. “What’s your car doing parked there?”
I hesitated … wanting to be nonchalant as well as convincing. “It was cold … and dark. I was tired.”
She looked at me suspiciously. “Is there something you’re not telling me?”
Well, there was this fly … instead, I feigned indifference. “I don’t think so.”
“You were smoking last night.” It was an accusation, plain and simple.
I blanched. At least I had remembered to wash the wine glasses. “Yeah, the rehearsal didn’t go well … I was stressed out.”
“How do you think Marty’s ever going to quit if you continue to smoke?”
Chris stared at me. “No, you’re not. There’s no need to lie about it. Just, please, try to keep it outside the house.”
I watched her as she shut the door. So much for that.
NEXT: SCARED continues.