Shades of blue

A serene hue eases into the room. The morning layer of cloud pushes the blue tinge through the window slits.  The apartment is full of these cool tones, a reflection of last year’s grey painting frenzy.  She smiles at the awkward leftover painting taunting her from across the room. Why is it still there? It pleads pitifully from across the room while she daydreams all the ways she can mutilate it. Punishing it, but for what? Losing her affection?
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Her porch light flicks off, and he trudges down the snow packed walk to the avenue. Enough she thinks. She’s had enough of him. She wonders if he’ll try to hitchhike again. Remembers that night: driving Katie from her dance class to Sarah’s house for a sleepover; she was on her way home when she saw him. He stood near the curb facing oncoming traffic, far enough away not to get splashed by the spray of tires, but close enough for drivers to see his upturned thumb. A ribbed shirt clung to his body highlighting the curves of dampened muscles. His skin is darkened from the re-occurring spray of road water. She pulls the Corolla over to the side of the road and watches him slowly start to make his way toward her car; his large strides purposefully avoid the water filled potholes. Why was she doing this? She could easily merge back onto the road and drive away. He reaches the door and looks through the glass at her. His eyes are solid gray, like the stones circling the path to the back porch. She unlockes the door.
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“And the bag boy gave me paper after I asked for plastic. It just shows you how much attention…” she stops mid sentence, her eyes staring into his unrecognizable face. The way his darkened eyes are glaring down at her sends a shiver through her spine. Immediately she chastises herself for complaining. As soon as he comes through the door he has me nagging at him; it’ s a wonder he comes home. Her stomach churns looking at him.

“I’m sorry Honey. How was your day?” she wills herself to smile up at him. His eyes narrow and darken. What is it? What have I done?
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He sets his suitcase against the hall closet. She stands in the corridor producing a weak smile. He reads the creases in her forehead, her clenched jaw; she has had a rough day. Three peddles have fallen from the tulips he brought home yesterday; the water has already yellowed. The crystal vase it sits in was an anniversary present. It’s a Tuesday night. She used to go to the gym with her sister Sara on these Tuesday evenings. He remembers the black lycra shorts and the faded Roots tee. Both lie folded at the back of the closet.