She Left Me.

Pearl

            I grabbed a couple things from the closet and shoved them into the bag. My make up bag was taken from the counter, along with all my skincare items that I used every morning and night. It was all shoved inside without any organization.

            “Button.” Crow’s disapproving tone came from behind me.

            I zipped up the bag and placed the strap over my shoulder.

            “You think I’m gonna let you leave?”

            I turned to him face him, seeing him black the doorway that led to the hallway. His eyes showed his anger, but the tightness of his face showed something else—fear. “I just need some space right now, Crow.”

            He did his best to keep a straight face—but then he swallowed. “I was honest with you—”

            “Ten years later.”

            “Nothing happened. How many fucking times do I have to say that?”

            “You didn’t fuck anyone—but you still made a fool out of me.” I moved to the door and waited for him to step aside. “Move.”

            “No.” His arms crossed over his chest. “I’ll sleep in the guest bedroom. I’ll stay on the second floor and give you space. Whatever the fuck you want. But you aren’t leaving this house.” His eyes flicked back and forth to mine. “You better get your gun out of the nightstand because a bullet is the only thing that’s going to get me to move.”

            I made a step to his right.

            He moved and blocked me.

            I moved the other way.

            He did the same. “We’ve been married a long time and not once have you tried to leave me—”

            “Because you never lied to me until now.”

            “I didn’t lie—”

            “You omitted the truth. Information that would have drastically changed how I behaved. I looked like a dumb wife that has no idea what goes on in my husband’s life. I’m not sure what I’m more upset about…that Lacey tried to fuck my husband at my business…or Nadine tried to fuck my husband under my own roof.”

            His eyes darkened. “You aren’t leaving me. You think I won’t keep you a prisoner again? Because I fucking will, Button. I will tie you up, and no amount of buttons will ever earn your freedom. If a lawyer tries to serve me divorce papers, I’ll shoot him between the eyes and stuff him in an oil drum. You try to replace me with someone else, I’ll do worse to him. There is no scenario where you ever escape me.” His face tinted red and the tendons started to pop because he was more livid than I’d seen him in a long time.

            “Crow, not once did I say I was leaving you. All I said was I needed space.”

            “You can have your space—here.”

            “No. Now get the fuck out of my way.”

            He breathed quietly, his breaths starting to become more audible.

            “Button—”     

            “I’m angry at you, Crow. Far angrier than I’ve ever been since I’ve known you. The last thing I want to do is look at your face, to share a house with you lurking in every damn corner.  I just want some damn space and that’s not too much to ask.”

            His eyes shifted back and forth between mine, his anger softening into fear. “I’ll let you go…if you promise me that you’ll come back.”

            No amount of anger could make me immune to his vulnerability. Make me ignore the silent plea for reassurance. “Crow, I love you with my whole heart. I will come back and we’ll spend the rest of our lives together until our children bury us next to your sister and your parents in the cemetery. But right now…I just need some time away from you.”

            He didn’t blink as he listened to me, and once I was finished his stare remained just as hard. After a couple breaths, he forced himself to move, to step aside so I could reach the door. He looked away—like he couldn’t watch me go.

            I didn’t say a word to him before I walked out.