It was a Monday night that Emma poured herself a glass of wine. Her hands were beginning to crack from the dish soap that had become a second skin to them. She dipped her finger in the wine and traced it through the edge of the glass until it sang.
A snore came from the living room. Of course, she didn’t expect anything else. Not a “hello” when he came home, not an “I love you” before bed, not even an “I’m home” as he came through the door. It had been so long; she didn’t even remember the sound of his voice.
She walked to the living room and stood by the door. There he was, plastered on the couch without even taking his shoes off. His mouth hung open as if to catch flies. His feet hung from the armrests like two pieces of meat hanging from hooks.
Emma stepped to the edge of the couch. She ran her hands through his chest and wrapped them around his neck. She leaned onto his body and kissed his neck, moving her lips up to his cheeks.
He opened his eyes. Emma caught his gaze and stared back. As short as it had come to become, she treasured that instance of the two meeting again. He pressed his hand against her chest and she sighed. He pushed her off and rolled over. Emma sat on the floor in front of the couch waiting for a touch, a gaze, a word. But he didn’t move. She got up and left.
It was a Tuesday night that Emma folded the laundry on the kitchen table. She had a half empty glass of wine by her side. The soft sound of the fabric as it fell over itself entranced her. She focused on each crease as she made it, making sure they were perfect.
A snore came from the living room and startled Emma. She jumped back and knocked over the wine. The red liquid spread over the table like an overflowing river. Emma lifted the glass and rushed to grab a napkin. She turned back to the laundry and stopped. The red color had found its way to his white shirts. They stained the fabric’s edge and disappeared into the white of its center.
Emma ran the napkin through the table but she did not take her eyes off that piece of clothing. She thought it beautiful the way the red penetrated into the white and became a part of it. She didn’t want to wash it again for it looked so nice and perfect just like that.
She lifted the shirt from the shoulders. Red wine dripped from it onto the kitchen floor. She walked over to the living room. He was sleeping on the couch just like every other day. Shoes on, mouth hanging open, and a white shirt on. Emma stepped to the edge of the couch. She had grown so used to running her hands over his chest that not doing it felt off. But she didn’t want to.
She lifted the stained shirt over his chest and let the wine drip onto his chest. How pretty it looked as the red penetrated into him. She thought he could wear a shirt like that more often.
It was a Wednesday night that Emma decided to make steak. She washed the raw meat under a stream of cold water and watched the blood fall into the sink. She had grown to love the color red. She placed the steak on the counter and grabbed a knife.
A snore came from the living room and she dug her fingers into the wooden grasp of the knife. She stabbed the knife into the red meat and heard a thud from the counter. She sighed and her grasp trembled. She ran her fingers through the cut. The raw meat felt soft like skin. She passed her hands through it until they were covered in blood. She liked the cool feeling of the liquid.
Emma lifted the knife and stabbed into the meat again. She could not keep a sigh from escaping her lips. She stabbed it again and again, sighing and moaning with each thud on the counter.
A snore came from the living room and she stopped. She looked at the red knife. The feeling of it between her fingers drowned out the snores.
It was a Thursday night that Emma ate her dinner alone in the kitchen. She didn’t dare make a single noise. She heard every snore that came from the living room and toasted to it with a glass full of wine. Her cheeks were red for she was holding back a laugh. She tried to remember every inflection of every snore and keep a mental note of it. She knew that she would eventually miss that sound and wanted something to remember. But it would be a while before she began to miss it.
She finished up her dinner and placed her plate in the sink. She grabbed her glass of wine and ran her right hand through the cabinets. She stopped and opened a drawer. Inside, her sight fixated on a single thing, a large, silver knife.
She stepped to the edge of the couch. Her fingers trembled from the wine she drank. There he was again, sleeping like always. She placed the cup and the knife on the floor next to her. She knelt down and ran her fingers through his chest. Giggles escaped her lips. She kissed his neck and slid her way up to his cheek. He opened his eyes. She caught his gaze and laughed. He pushed on her chest and threw her into the floor. She grasped at her hair with a smile on her face.
Emma was ready to get him back. As short as that instant would be, she would treasure it. She grabbed the knife. She pressed her hand on his shoulder ever so gently. He didn’t open his eyes as he pushed her hand away. Emma kissed his lips and stabbed the knife into his torso.
His eyes flew open. She pressed her hand against his lips so he couldn’t scream as she drew the knife down his stomach. His face turned pale and gaze never left Emma’s eyes. She loved looking into his eyes. She felt warmth run through her body. The softness of his blood made her shiver. Warm, soft, that was how she remembered his voice.
He stopped moving and Emma knew that the brief moment of their encounter was over. She looked at his shirt and gasped. The red mixed with the white in such a way that Emma didn’t think anything could be more beautiful. If only it weren’t for that knife hole in the middle, it would be perfect.
Emma undid the buttons and slid the shirt off him. She lifted it up from the shoulders and watched the blood drip into the carpet. She listened to the silence as she walked back to the kitchen to patch up the shirt.
It was a Friday night that Emma had cut the telephone cords. She enjoyed the silence too much for it to be disturbed. Her suitcase fell open over her bed as she folded each one of her dresses and placed them inside. She had always wanted to see the world, and she thought no time would have been more perfect.
She looked through her closet until she was sure it was empty. She only had one last thing to pack and she would never let herself forget it. The bloodied shirt laid face up next to her suitcase. A bold threat mended the hole. The seams were so thick and uneven, they seemed to be tearing the fabric apart. Emma had never been much of a seamstress, but she thought that crooked stitching would do the job just fine. She folded the shirt and placed it on top of all her clothes. She smiled at it. Nothing could ruin how beautiful it looked to her.