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Junk Bonds

by Selena Jardine

She is poking around in the junk drawer, looking for a rubber band, when she finds it. His wedding ring. It's lying in the bottom along with everything else that's left over and unwanted after thirty years.

She's noticed it missing from his hand, of course, and hasn't said anything. If he doesn't want to wear it, that's his business. But she figures it's one step closer to it being over between them, or maybe just one step closer to him telling her.

She remembers the first time he took it off, after he found out about her brief affair.

“This ring stands for your vows, not mine,” he said. In protest, he wore it on a string around his neck. When they made tentative love, raw and untrusting, it hit her in the forehead every time he thrust into her, and she wept silently in the dark as she came. Holding her, afterward, he put it on his finger again.

Now she takes it to him, shaking with fury.

“The junk drawer? You put it in the junk drawer with the junk?”

He guides her back into the kitchen and shows her the contents of the drawer. Partly-used birthday candles. Batteries at least ten years old. Hair elastics for daughters who left the house eight years ago. Doll's shoes, scotch tape, the forgotten little wheels off things.

He stands, hands in his pockets, smiling a little as she sifts through this useless stuff. She looks at him, still angry, still unhappy, waiting for him to say it.

“I had some work to do on the car and I didn't want it to get scratched up,” he tells her. “I wanted to put the ring the only place in this goddamn house where nothing ever gets thrown away.”


edited by DrSpin


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