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Saturday, 23 August 2014 13:17

The List

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He comes home tired, red. He doesn’t eat as usual. He sleeps. Questions start pouring into her mind. Why is he so red? Where did he eat? Why is he tired? But she knows, knows that he is sleeping with someone else. A gut feeling that gnaws at her stomach doesn’t need the proof of a panty in his pocket or in the wash.

Which raises another question – what to do about it. Does she stay or does she leave? And another, how did they get here? The one moment they were happy, or so she thought, and the next he was gone, folded in on himself.

She didn’t notice it at first, blamed herself for his lapses in attention, as women tend to do, for his unexplained outbursts, his anger.

To do

Groceries

Bread

Milk

Cheese

The cookies he likes

Chores

Iron shirts

Wash his car

Clean out the garage

Plant marigolds

Pros

Freedom from pain and worry

No humiliation

Not feeling as if she’s letting herself down

Cons

----

Fears

Her friend’s son had a breakdown after the divorce

Her cousin’s daughter is on anti-depressants after learning about the infidelity of her father

Plans…

Plans…

Does she have to choose between her dignity and the sanity of her children?


 

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Connie Fick

Cornelia Smith Fick was longlisted for the Sol Plaatje EU Poetry Award (2016). Her debut collection, Eye of a Needle, originated as a thesis for the Masters in Creative Writing at Rhodes University. A nurse by profession, she was a freelance writer for Takalani Sesame. Her poems and short stories have been published in local and international literary magazines and anthologies eg. Itch, Botsotso, Soho Square V (Bloomsbury), Experimental Writing: Volume 1, Africa vs Latin America, Ladyboxbooks.com and Atlanta Review. She lives in Johannesburg with her family and two dogs.

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