Touch and Go

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She sits by the computer window, waiting to hear a personal moment — usually tucked in the middle of his fire and brimstone sermon. Usually, she is there, dressed up as a life lesson, an example to be made of sacrilege.

Casualties of war, they once bonded over forbidden fruit, the cut of the smallest piece of cartilage, the impulse to flee, imagined hurts, daydreams of resurrection — real fire and brimstone, as they bore into flesh, tore apart the good bones of the brokenhearted victims of her anatomy.

With every passing service, he worshiped away the remains of his angry young man into the role of the pious, spouting scripted Scripture, carefully maintaining polite society, strangers gathered together on the first day of Bible study.

Every other year, she pores over transient pages of their shared past, drawn together by mutual hatred of the prodigal daughter who got away — the one he fantasized about the fucking from behind, the one who blamed her for everything.

In her intermittent dreams, she sits there still, three rows behind the exit, waiting for his return, wading through the grandchildren, the ex-pat rejects, hungry parishioners unlocking their jaws for one more crumb from the Bread of Life.

The hours between Sabbath and Monday are always the loneliest.

 

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