From Bonnie Gorshe (Beaverton)
As she opened the kitchen door the shriek of cicadas pierced her eardrums like darning needles. You could hear them inside but not like this. He’d built a solid house. She’d give him that. She pulled a few grocery bags filled with what was left of her life out to the screen porch where they would be ready to go the minute the taxi came.
She wanted the driver to hurry up. She was never left alone for long. Her eyes grew weary of searching the road, so she looked around the sad garden she’d tried to start. The poor fuchsia had died immediately, its pink dancing girls withering from disappointment.
They’d met in a body shop where she was getting a fender straightened and he was putting a hoist on his jeep. He was a quiet man, but attentive. As an ordinary looking girl she loved being told her face was like an angel, her neck like a swan. His words sounded like lyrics from a corny old song but she found it endearing. “In my house on the prairie a body can be free. I’ll take care of you. Just the two of us.”
And it was just the two of them, day after day after day, in a house filled with guns and supplies to last a decade. They were surviving a war that wasn’t happening. The man she had married wasn’t just quiet, he was paranoid. This life was going to smother her.
A plume of dust announced a car coming down their road. She gathered her grocery bags. But it wasn’t the taxi, it was his jeep. She ran the bags back into the house and hid them, then phoned to cancel her ride. He would leave again in about a month. She would wait.