“I’m leaving,” she said. “You can stay here.”
He looked shocked, perplexed. As if he would actually go anywhere! “I don’t understand. Why?”
“It’s simple,” she said, picking up toys from the floor and stuffing them in the trash. “I need more.”
“I tried to be enough for you,” he said.
“I know you tried. And I tried to make you enough for me,” she said, taking up a towel and scrubbing the finger smudges off the wall. How did she ever not notice the dirt on the walls?
“I was here for you. You were my first, my only…. I caught your last two babies!” he exclaimed, disbelief turning to anger. “Has anyone else done that for you?”
“No,” she said, stopping for a moment to inspect the ceiling. Lord, even the vents needed to be vacuumed. “And I do feel sad about that. I loved you when we met, but…” She fitted together the brush and extensions for the hose, then just before clicking the button to suck the undesirable evidence of neglect away, she said, “You just don’t feel like home anymore.”
He waited for the noisy whirring to end before resuming. “So that’s it, you’re going. Just like that?”
“Don’t worry,” she said, shoving the vacuum in the hall closet. “Someone else will come and fall in love with you, the same as I did. They’ll be happy to wake up to you each morning and come back to you each night. They’ll care for you and maybe even work at changing you to be more suitable for their needs. Not me. I can’t make this work. I need a fresh start.”
“I don’t want anyone else. I want you. Can’t we make this work?”
“That’s sweet.” A smile of pity crossed her lips. She gathered her luggage and her purse, opened the door and stood for a brief moment. “It’s time to move on though,” she said, and closed the door behind her.
What if it was true that all we thought was right was wrong?