Dr. Leslie would understand when I explained that I had lost Sugar’s Ketamine pills. When I took Sugar in last week, Dr. Leslie and I laughed about how absent minded I was getting. I couldn’t find my glasses, even though they were pushed up on my forehead. And, Sugar, well, she would be fine as long as I took her back to the vet’s office tomorrow for a refill.
I keep dabbing my cheeks and chin, but the sweat keeps coming. My stomach is churning, but I continue to move my food around on my plate. When I checked the menu for the luncheon, I knew the fates had aligned to give me the opportunity I needed. I had been so angry with Agnes and Daniel when I found out. Damn them and their smiles and hugs and gentle pats on the forearm. They think I don’t know. They think I can’t see them and what they are doing behind my back. Even now, Daniel can’t keep his eyes off of Agnes. And, I see that she is wearing her new gray skirt, the one she just bought at the close out sale at Price Mart. She doesn’t think I remember. I can feel him looking at her.
They think they are being so clever, sitting across from each other, a part. But, I see what they’ve done. Every time she turns to sip her coffee, her and her damn sipping, they make eye contact. And, all through dinner, they looked at each other. I’m no fool. I see it. I saw you looking at each other over your cranberry sauce and dinner rolls.
I had been suspicious. I knew something was wrong with Daniel. He had been so chipper lately, even smiling at me while he did his crossword puzzles over toast in the mornings. He had never been a morning person, not in fifty years of marriage, and now he was smiling each morning. I wasn’t falling for it.
But then, when I saw them together after our church Christmas pageant, I knew. Daniel was smiling, and Agnes, that witch, was giggling. Giggling. At our age, giggling. Ridiculous.
Memories of all the times since Daniel started smiling in the mornings pieced themselves together, them talking quietly during the library fundraising brunch, smiling when we ran into each other while walking Sugar. They probably planned to see each other then and I ruined their plans. But, when we were at the market and they laughed over some shared joke, that was all the proof I needed. Laughing together, with me on the outside. I wouldn’t live that way, and neither would Daniel.
Daniel yawned again. He was eating less and less and starting to sweat. Agnes is pretending not to notice, but I am going to sit here until I see her look at him with concern in her eyes. Only then will I suggest to Daniel that we go home, that I will help him get ready for bed, that I will take care of him so that he will feel better. But, he won’t feel better.
And, in the morning, I will call the doctor. I won’t even call Agnes. I won’t even tell her. She will have to hear about Daniel from someone else.
Daniel’s hands are starting to shake. It’s time to take Daniel home.