by Brain Evenson
In late November, three weeks after his wife disappeared, Gerard sold their city apartment and moved to a small isolated house in the countryside. He had been planning to sell the house before she disappeared—or rather, they had been planning to sell, he quickly corrected: it had not been his idea, but theirs, he stressed, long before her disappearance. Together they had come over time to hate life in the suburbs, had begun to crave a “peaceful, simple life.” And so, they had made up their minds together to sell the apartment and buy a small isolated house in the countryside. They would take one last trip to the seashore, for old times sake, and then they would sell their apartment and move. Was he to be blamed, he wanted to know, now that she was gone, for having proceeded individually as they had always meant to proceed together?
No, I said, by all means no. I wasn’t blaming him for anything.