Entry for Contest: Another Point of View.
A job offer creates an unkown dynamic in a new relationship.
There were words, secret words. Words I couldn't know and I could sense it, there on the end of his mouth, right at the corner where the cigarette fumed red and bright in the cool night air. He stood before me, facing away and to the side, as if looking for something in the winter sky. For a moment, I found myself pacing my breath, matching it was his. Perhaps, I could understand, if I did that.
He sighed and tensed his jaw. I prepared for another lecture. I disdained these, the moments when he's upset, and I can't help him. It frustrates me when he bears his heart in this manner: Only a bit here, only a bit there. We had been married for two years, there had been moments when our ken would meet. Tonight had not been one of those nights.
I lit a cigarette myself. He didn't turn to face me when he spoke.
"I'm taking a job in the spring." The sound of his voice broke the cold silence. It felt as though I had forgotten what speech sounded like, each word newborn. And the secret words came. "It's an engineering job in Tulsa. Some kind of fabrication project."
"How long have you known?" It was dumb to ask. The clairvoyance of the moment had already offered up the answer. I knew that it had been some time. He didn't say.
I played with my hands, my fingers, the ring. He dragged air through the cigarette and I put my hands to my face. The cold air bit my shoulders and I tried to cry. I could not.
"It won't be dangerous," he said, suspecting that I was lamenting some poor future event. "It's totally safe."
I put another smile on, hiding my secret words.