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Put away your swords—

don’t you know that it’s all over,

it was nice but now it’s gone.

Why are you obsessed with fighting—

stick to fishing from now on.

-from Jesus Christ Superstar

 

It hadn’t been a good night, she could tell. Peter had that look. He probably did a guy walks in, she thought. Too soon. It’s too soon.

It ended the way it was supposed to. But only a fortnight had passed. It was still in the air. So, so sad. Even if it was all according to plan. The air was just as heavy.

He sat down, and ran his hands through his hair. A fisherman by trade, Peter was away for long stretches. He always came home with stories; he told them well. He enjoyed making other people laugh. Sometimes to a fault.

They stared at one another. She smiled, and it hurt and broke the silence.

Let me get you something to—

No.

But I made some—

No. Ask me.

Peter.

Ask me.

She sighed.

Very well. How did it go.

Ah. You know how, when I bring home fish, I clean them. Skin them. Gut them.

I’ve seen you. You’re very skilled. Very quick.

Yes. Well. Thank you. My point is, tonight up there, I was a fish. Cleaned, skinned. Gutted. I was fileted, is how it went.

He did a guy walks in, she thought. He told it well. In another time it might’ve gone over. Another place. Probably would have. It was just too soon.

I started with a guy walks in. I ended with a guy walks in.

You tell it well.

She lifted her apron, pretending to wipe her upper lip, and hurried to the kitchen. Too soon, she thought, and stood on her toes to reach the small clay jar. A sharp herb smell tickled her nose, and made her eyes water.

I do tell it well, don’t I, he asked. Here now, don’t cry.

He brushed away a tear.

You are a good woman. You have made me a fine wife. You know what I think?

No. What do you think.

She took the clay pot, and pushed his hair away from his eyes. She had imagined it many times. The coins in the air, and the frightened doves. The angry men and the whip that snapped and lashed.

It’s only been a fortnight. I think it’s too soon, he said, for a guy walks in.

She watched her fingertips make tiny circles and figure eights. Pale green and cool.

It was sad, and she wondered what it changed.

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