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An Excerpt From A Book

I walk slowly through the kitchen, wincing at the boxes stacked and pushed up tight against the wall. I close my eyes for a moment then, trying not to see the empty counter tops, the toaster and microwave and coffee maker and spoon holder packed neatly into one of the many boxes piled under the window I used to look out every morning. I reach for the light switch so that I can make it all black, and that is when I see the coat hooks. I see our coat hooks. I see only one jacket left hanging. There is only one now and I start to break at the sight of it and I think how can one jacket hanging on a coat hook hurt so bad.

I turn toward the bedroom then, ready to crawl in and cry myself to sleep for the last time in this apartment, for the very last time, but I hear a sound. I stop. I listen. I almost can't hear, but I can.

Very slowly I move in that direction. I know he is there, but I don't understand what he is doing and it shouldn't matter, but it does and so I walk toward him, passing more boxes and the dining room table. It is leaning against the wall with the bottom of it facing out and I realize I have never before seen the underside of the dining room table and I don't want to so I look to the floor and I see the legs there. The legs of the dining room table are piled on the floor beside it and my heart is piled there too. My heart is on the floor beside the table legs, in pieces.

Finally I get to the threshold of the living room where I hear the sound again and as I enter I feel it before I even see. I feel it. I feel the shaking and the crying and the heartache and the fear. I feel it and I am stunned. I didn't know. I just didn't know. I turn then and I see. I see him with his head down and his shoulders pulsing with the pain and I wish that it was not too late. I wish that it was not too late.

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