My cousin keeps talking about this contest. So I figured what the heck, I'll give it a go. Hope you enjoy!
There Are Geckos in Haiti
Timmy’s hands hold his head up as his elbows dig into the table. “Why does it matter that you weren't the first to know? The test came back negative. Can't we just be happy that I don't have cancer?”
“Because I should have been the first to know! You told her instead. She's the one that made your appointment.” The tissue box creases in my hands. It's like deja vu; the same argument again and again.
“So?” Timmy slams his fist on the table. The envelope with the doctor's bill, for tests not covered by our insurance, bounces from the force.
“That's my job. I'm your wife. I'm the first one you should tell if you think you've got cancer. Especially there. I'm the one who should have made that appointment. I'm the one who should have taken you. And before that, I'm the one who should have looked, felt the lump for myself. I could have probably told you it was an ingrown hair. I've got twenty years of waxing on you. Not like I've never seen one.”
“Oh, you're a doctor now? You know the difference between an ingrown hair and testicular cancer by just looking? Henrietta didn't. She waxes too.”
Fire explodes through my body. “Excuse me?”
Timmy's eyes widen like a mouse as the trap snaps down. “Well, I just mean, it's not like … She was with me when I felt it, so naturally I had her look. That's when she made the appointment.”
“With. Her. Where?” I exhale white-hot rage between each word. The letter opener is only an inch from my hand, sitting under the pile of used tissues. Do I have any tears left for this man?
“At work. Of course at work. Where else would we be?”
Timmy's answer doesn't come out like a fluid fact of obviousness. Instead, it's blips and pauses, like a child creating a lie one word at a time, checking if they make sense.
“You just dropped-trou at work? Who else got a free show? Or are you also a stripper now? There a stack of ones in your wallet?”
“The ATM at the strip club gives two- dollar bills,” he says with a sneer. Then his eyes widen again before he looks away. “So I've been told. I got one as change for a coffee once. That's how it came up.”
He's not capable of the truth. But I ask one more question anyway. “Is this why we haven't been together in weeks?”
“We're together right now,” Timmy says. Sweat mixes with his alpine-scented cologne. Our dining room reeks of it. I'll eat in the den, once again.
“You know what I mean.”
“Intimately? I haven't felt well. My stomach. Another reason I suspected cancer!” He nods his head, as if he's convinced himself.
I shake mine and throw the balled up tissue from my hand at him. Of course, it barely crosses the polished oak surface. Still, that's further than the one still caught in the candelabra. “No. Intimate was showing your junk to Henrietta. Intimate was her calling a doctor instead of reporting you to human resources for exposing yourself at work to a coworker.”
He rolls his eyes, crosses his arms over his massive chest, and leans back until the chair creaks. “It's not like I lit candles and read her poetry while she looked. You're overreacting. I'm right, you're wrong.”
I shake my head. “Tell Henrietta you'll be staying with her. And that I'd like to swap copies; her next STD test for mine. May as well put our cards on the table. Anyone else that needs testing while we're at it? The two-dollar bill strippers you mentioned?”
“You're not going to throw me out. You need me. It's the same threat every time.”
I reach into the tissue box I've been crushing. Under the last tissue is the doll. I didn't plan to do this. Okay, maybe I did. The last time he made me cry a box of tears, I swore to myself that it'd never happen again. I grab the letter opener, the sharp little dagger we got in Haiti on our honeymoon. When the woman told me one day I'd be glad for these things, I thought it was a joke. A tourism rouse. I plunge the dagger into the tissue box, speaking the words and filled with belief. Across the table, Timmy grabs his chest.
I just saved a bunch of money on divorce lawyers by switching to voodoo.