I RECEIVE SOUNDS AND IMAGES but I can’t control the frequency or the content. This is how I knew she was with someone else---I saw two hands gripping her thin hips, heard her voice release in a waterfall of orgasm.

When she comes home, I have already begun and I stay invisible for days until she finally says, “You know things. You always do.” She moves out on the weekend but the sights and sounds of her never do.

Six months later her mother is in the hospital. She sits on a blue vinyl chair holding the silver railing of the bed where mom sleeps. She looks neither anxious nor sad, just tired. I see her as clearly as I do each time, at night, my eyes closed in bed.

The next day I call her, she says, “You know things.”

“I’m sorry Sylvie.”

She makes a noise “hmmm” as if she just can’t explain anything. “Are you still in love with me?” she asks.

And then I catch a glimpse of her eyes, sunken into purple rings and I know she’s been beaten.

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About Timothy Gager

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Timothy Gager is the author of twelve books of short fiction and poetry. His latest Grand Slams (Big Table Publishing) is his second novel. He's hosted the successful Dire Literary Series in Cambridge, Massachusetts since 2001 and was the co-founder of Somerville News Writers Festival. He has had over 400 works...read more of fiction and poetry published and of which eleven have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. His work has been read on National Public Radio. Timothy is the Fiction Editor of The Wilderness House Literary Review, the founding co-editor of The Heat City Literary Review and has edited the book, Out of the Blue Writers Unite: A Book of Poetry and Prose from the Out of the Blue Art Gallery. A graduate of the University of Delaware, Timothy lives in Dedham, Massachusetts and is employed as a social worker.
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