Acreage (II)

The stark white backings of the photographs reflected the overhead light like a camera flash, bright and blinding. Turning away, she stopped to stare at the back of her husband’s head, dull and flat, like the side of a pumpkin left to rot in the earth.

The years with him had their possibilities and then their disappointments, and now they were woven like a wool rug, the ends tied tight, forming an intricate pattern. She couldn’t leave without being hopelessly tangled. She had to drag him forward.

“When are you going to make a decision?â€? she asked, still examining his head.

“I told you, meatloaf is fine,â€? he replied.

She chuckled to brush off her building resentment. “No, not dinner,â€? she said. “Getting out of this apartment.â€?

“Are we back on this?â€? he asked, sighing. He folded the paper into his lap. It was an invitation to sit on the couch, but she didn’t accept it.

She chose a photo from the white grid on the table and held it up to the light.

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