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Annie:

She waits beside the car and watches the plane leave. It rises into the sky over a light fog warmed by the rising sun.

She shields her eyes as she looks through the pink clouds at the glimmering reflection off clean metal. The sight becomes a blur as the tears well in her eyes.

This was how it always is, he might stay for a while and she would be happy for those short-lived moments. She waits so long for them.

They had cool Sunday afternoons sipping tea while they sat hip to hip in her wide, luxurious hammock out back, the sound of a distant dog barking framing the memory with smiles.

The week was filled with dinners out, or cookouts with chicken breasts and wine as they sat at her redwood picnic table. His hand rested on hers as he smoked a cigarette and listened to the wind blow through the tall trees. They would make love slowly with the TV light flickering and she would look up to see the shape of his face, with a halo of light around his hair, and pull him down to kiss him. She had to get some sleep sometime - it was so late, so fucking late.

Saturday they would wander the streets, or find some old trail and hike for hours. He always had a knack for finding some perfect place just off a path, some rock outcropping, or his ears would catch the sound of a babbling stream nearby.

Sometimes he would just sit with her, reading aloud, while absently running his fingers up and down her legs. She could listen to the sound of his voice for days.

The plane vanishes into the sky, leaving a hollow longing in her that will last for so long - every time… every time. Nothing quenches this pain in her - save the sight of a landing plane and his face as he emerges. He has to stay, this emptiness has to end - she knows it.

It is a clear morning and she doesn’t think it’s possible for her to miss him any more.


Marilyn:

She stands by the car and watches the sunset. The sun is a fat red orb lounging behind the tall buildings and spreading generous portions of orange and red across the clouds. His plane flies off again.

She blinks the last tear away; there have been too many tears. She knows this. Long nights in their apartment waiting for his fucking calls, waiting for him to show up late to a show. She’s waited for so long.

She spent Sunday afternoon sipping tea downtown with her friends. They would whisper at each other and slide hip to hip as they recounted the latest gossip. Sometimes they hounded her like dogs over his absence. She would just let their mocking voices fade like a memory and smile.

Her weeks were filled with dinners out - meals without him. When he was there he tried pointless cookouts or dirty little grills - she hated them. It was like everything else, she’d spent so long wanting his touch, and not getting it, that didn’t even feel like holding his goddamned hand anymore.

The clothes in his bag smelled like smoke- when did he start smoking? He started leaving on the TV, watching it in bed. The flickering light kept her awake all night. When she complained he looked mystified, as if he were some kind of goddamned angel - NO she did not want to kiss him! She wanted to sleep and it was too late… well, it was too fucking late.

He always meandered off, or wandered the street. He talked about trails and nature as if he saw it all the time. She tuned out when he babbled on about the silly rocks he brought home or the color of the sky’s reflection in the bay.

Sometimes she just sat, reading her magazine, and ignored him as he read some boring passage from some obscure book. She didn’t know how he could be so successful and still be such a spoiled dreamer. All he did was listen to the childish voices in his head.

The plane vanishes into the sky, leaving her alone in the dwindling light. She’s felt hollowness in her for a very long time now. Nothing gives relief to this feeling in her - save the sight of the plane as he leaves. He has to go away, this empty marriage has to end - she knows it.

It is a clear evening and she doesn’t think it’s possible for her to miss him anymore.

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