His Secret

man
He creeps downstairs, wincing every time he creaks a step. His flashlight shines toward the door leading to the garage. Almost there. He can hardly wait to be with his sweetness. His breath shortens at the thought of the taste and touch of —.

“Harry?”

He turns around to see his wife at the top of the stairs’ landing. He smooths his sparse hair, as he asks, “What are you doing up?”

“I have the same question for you. Why do you have your jacket on?”

“I forgot to get something from my car, ok? What? I need some kind of permission . . . .?”

“Oh, for petes’ sake, don’t give me that. I was just wondering. I heard something and then noticed you weren’t next to me, so I came out looking for you. For all l know, you could’ve passed out in the hallway or something.”

“What am I? Ninety-years old? Why would you think I’d be passed out?”

“Why are we even arguing? What’s the deal?”

“Nothing! Go back to bed . . . . sheesh.”

“Oh!” She threw up her hands and waved him away, saying as she turned back toward their bedroom, “You can be so annoying.”

Rolling his eyes upward, but relieved nonetheless, he heads toward the door leading to the garage, no longer caring about being very quiet. At least he knows now she’s not coming downstairs. He opens the door and quickly shuts it behind him and walks toward the freezer against the end wall of the garage.

He takes out the box of chocolate pecan pie ice cream he had bought right after running some errands that evening. He had immediately stashed it behind the plastic covered frozen vegetables and Pyrex containers of food Jody had cooked for the next two weeks. She’s quite the planner, but all her dishes were just not filling enough for him. And, she never serves dessert.

He’s had enough of her control over his diet. He’s going to have his ice cream and eat it too. He goes inside his car and sits down. He takes out a spoon from the glove compartment and proceeds to dive into the carton.

His eyes close, as his tongue tingles at the chocolatey coolness. He moans as his teeth eagerly crunch the pecans. Swallowing spoon after spoon of the sweet concoction makes him lose track of time, until he sees that he’s about finished the half gallon. Dazed in a state of bliss and from the effects of the sugar, he gets out of the car.

Suddenly, he feels the weight of what he has consumed. He staggers for a moment and drops the carton. He tries to break his own fall by slapping his hand on the hood of his car, but his hand slips down as his body follows suit. Before he loses consciousness, he whispers, “Rocky Road . . .”

©2015 Karina Pinella

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