Fenced In

Image: Pixabay

Image: Pixabay

Dinner is ready. While Marcy waits for her husband, Jerry, to come home, she drinks a glass of vodka straight, and then brushes her teeth with fennel flavored toothpaste. She goes toward the kitchen when she hears her husband come in.

“I smell pot roast . . . my favorite.” Jerry sniffs around and hugs Marcy, pecking her forehead with a kiss.

“It’s all ready; let’s go eat.”

Jerry heads to the bathroom, saying, “I’ll be right there to join you. Let me just wash up quickly.”

Marcy goes to the dining room. She sits herself down and looks across the table, playing in her head what she’s going to say to Jerry about how she feels living in Podunk.

Jerry walks to the dining table, rubbing his hands. “What a great spread. I’m starving.” He proceeds to carve the meat and serve Marcy and himself.

“You don’t have to give me any of the mashed potatoes, Jerry. I made that just for you. I don’t care for it, you know that.”

“I know you don’t like mashed potatoes, but I thought maybe you’ve changed your mind. It could be that one day you say why not. Just like you did when you said we could move here.”

Marcy draws in her breath sharply and jumps right into it. “I’m glad you brought that up. To be honest with you, I’ve been waiting–since we moved here five years ago– to like it. But, pumpkin, I’m just not feeling it. I work part-time as a floater at the bank. All my friends are almost two hours away, one way. There’s not much to do around town. I’m over my love affair with our gorgeous house, the only great thing and reason we moved here.”

Jerry looks at her, unblinking for what seems like a long while. “I’m stunned at what you just said. I thought you liked it here. We go on our hikes in the conservation areas every weekend, to dinner at Little Italy every other Saturday night. On Sundays we get a Redbox movie. I thought you liked our simple life. Plus, I’ll be retiring in a couple of months . . . “

“And to do what? The same thing we’ve been doing. Jerry, I – I can’t continue with this. I’m depressed.”

Jerry stands up and walks over to Marcy. “Honey, did you stop taking your medication?” He gets down on his knees to face his wife, who continues to sit at the table.

Her eyes moist from her seemingly hopeless feelings, Marcy feels repugnance toward Jerry. When he embraces her, she’s suddenly furious. As if to channel her rage away, she starts to slap her right hand on the table and feels it land on her dinner knife. With Jerry still encircling her and now shushing her like an infant, she impulsively takes the knife and plunges it deep into her husband’s back. He gasps and loosens his hold on her. Equally shocked, Marcy lets go of the knife, pushing herself away from Jerry. He gapes at her as he falters back. She stands up, shaking her head. This was not her plan. She flees the house and runs until she falls down. She rolls on her back and looks up at the dimming sky. She feels more trapped than ever.

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