Monday, February 2, 2015

faulty Valentines

Two faulty Valentines patching up their relationship

From CONSIDER THE SUNFLOWERS Copyright  © 2014 by Elma Schemenauer & Borealis Press

The next morning Tina put on her orange maternity dress, combed her hair, and sat down on the bed. All she needed now was shoes, but her stomach was too big to let her bend over. She looked up as her husband returned from the bathroom. "Frank, could you help me?"

He knelt on the rug in front of her, lithe and handsome in his green shirt and black trousers. As Tina gazed down at his dark head, her love for him welled up inside, almost choking her. She clasped her arms around his head.

"Hey." Frank's voice was muffled. "What're you trying to do? Smother me? Squash my brains?"

She leaned as close to Frank's ear as she could, her stomach a hump between them. "I need to tell you something."


"I'm sorry for every time I complained about our farm."

Frank dropped her shoe. "What brought this on?"

"Your stepmother's complaining. It made me realize I've been wishing my life away—wishing our lives away, always dreaming about living near Dayspring or in Vancouver."

Frank heaved himself to his feet. "I guess it's just human nature," he said, sitting on the bed beside her. "Always thinking the clover's greener on the other side of the fence."

"It's more than that," Tina said. "I feel like I've been skidding through our whole marriage with my brakes on."

"Why? Do you think we made a mistake, getting married?"

Where had that come from all of a sudden? "No, please, I'm not saying it was a mistake.” She grabbed his arm. "You don't think so, do you?"

"I guess not." He didn't sound sure. "But I sometimes wonder if I'm the marrying kind at all. I realize I haven't been an ideal husband to you."

No, Tina had to admit, Frank wasn't an ideal husband. On the other hand, she wasn't an ideal wife. But they were learning to accept each other as they were. And despite their weaknesses, there was always that quicksilver connection between them: the fleeting joys and flashes of humour that shone through the disappointments and frustrations. She elbowed him in the ribs. "You're right," she said with a laugh. "You're a terrible husband. Do you know that?"

Frank jerked his head up. "What did you say?"

"I said you're a terrible husband. You're indecisive, grouchy, sacrilegious, unreliable, and restless."

He grinned and pretended to bite her shoulder. "And you're a terrible wife. Do you know that? You're sanctimonious, two-faced, dissatisfied, lazy. And shrewish."

"Anything else?"

He lay back on the bed, crossing his arms under his head. "That's pretty well all your faults I can think of right now. But there must be more. I'll let you know."

"You do that." She lay down beside him. "You're a terrible husband and I'm a terrible wife. We're agreed on that, so what do we do? Get a divorce?"

"Nope. As far as I'm concerned, you and I are stuck with each other. Like two burrs under a roping saddle."

You can read more about Tina and Frank in my 1940s-era novel CONSIDER THE SUNFLOWERS. It’s available from Chapters Indigo online or the publisher, Borealis Press .




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