Lake Effect, Spring 2003, Volume 7: Confessions

Douglas Smith



She revealed herself through her dreams. Her breath, like smoke, rose from her mouth. He listened to her, listened to the names drifting above her calm face, and it frightened him. She was with someone else, and night after night he listened to her. It was always cold in the bedroom, and he felt his heart beat under the blankets. He waited for the light to stream in through the windows. Then it was different. During the day he was happy, and often he put his arms around her and kissed her neck. Once he asked her if she was having an affair, but she only smiled and pretended to be hurt. Although he tried, he could not believe her. Sometimes he touched her pale face at night to see if she was really there. Sometimes he only stared out the window, but he continued to listen to her litany of names. One night he placed his hands around her thin neck and began to squeeze. It happened so quickly. She opened her eyes and stared brilliantly at him. She arched her back and pressed her head against the wall. She was moving. The inside of her mouth was pink. He continued to tighten his hold until she relaxed and her eyes were white. Then he leaned against her and closed his eyes. It was that time before light, and he waited. Something was going to be discovered. Something was going to happen.