by Iván Brave
I hate wasting time, because I’ve got to make money. And talking about it is the ultimate waste of time, with small talk at a close second in the rat race to the bottom. But then, stuck in the blizzard, the howling wind and the ninja star snowflakes hitting the side of my vehicle parked on a highway, there was one thing left to do: think.
The wind banged and crashed against the side of the car, making it rock still, but at least we were crawling forward. Inching our way to our respective exits along the highway. One car making room for another. In the glove compartment I found a cable, plugged it into the 8V charger, and popped my phone in.
Two missed calls, and too many email notifications. I put the phone on airplane mode, and drove forward.
Up ahead, between the windows of a tall building, someone had strung a bunch of green Christmas lights, and made it look like a tree. Not a Christmas tree, though, but an Easter tree: round, full of eggs and ornaments. Bunnies and groundhogs. Spring time and fertility. Everything green.
If I weren’t a lawyer too then I wouldn’t get my wife, but I do. She made partner at her firm this month, whereas I was made partner at mine half a decade ago, which is when I bought this hunk of junk I’m driving now, useless. Sidebar, we have one kid, but wanted two. We stopped trying after a while.
And I mention this because I made it home. I met my wife. And there was a glow about her. A glow which reminded me of that sidebar. Of empathy. Of death.
“I’m pregnant,” she said, hands made fists, and trembling. “I want an abortion.”
I knew, and she knew I knew, that it wasn’t mine. She would ask me to take her to the clinic on Sunday.
“Did you make an appointment?” I asked.
Suddenly her hands relaxed. I didn’t want a fight, and neither did she. And we laughed.
“Yeah,” she said. “I—”
I put my hand on her shoulder, and felt her soft for the first time in a long time. We walked to the kitchen.
Iván Brave lives and works in his hometown of Houston, Texas. Author of two novels, available on Amazon, Brave prepares for the fall when he begins his first semester of doctorate school, studying Creative Writing at the University of Houston. Find out more at www.ivanbrave.com.