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Coke or Pepsi?

By Char Bisson

“Coke or Pepsi?” he asks.

She looks at him, this man she thought she knew so well when they married four years ago. Why doesn’t he get it? Control me, control what I think, control what I wear, and now control what I drink. Let me decide for myself.  I have a mind.

“Make it a ginger ale, thank you.” she says, thinking she would prefer the taste of Pepsi.

He scans her face and groans inwardly, deep enough for his kidneys to hear and respond with an ouch.  How did this happen? Everything I say or do suppresses her, manipulates her or disgusts her.

He hands her the ginger ale while sliding into the booth opposite her. Their eyes don’t meet. She notices his open collar shirt.  Brown curly chest hair glares back at her. She swallows relief at knowing she no longer has to see him undressing.

Memories flood through him; soft beautiful hair brushing past her eyes when she laughed, lips so delicious he could never get enough and fingers that loved to caress him. None of her was his anymore.

Wait. He sucks in his breath. Was she ever really mine? He looks deep into those loathing eyes finally understanding what he must do. He stands up slowly, deliberately.

His last kiss barely touches her fragrant hair as he turns and walks out the door, his heart wrenching.

04/09/11

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