They are lovers. He told me last night at 3 a.m., after we had taken several long walks, talking and coming to no resolution. After weeks of fighting, absolutely at cross-purposes, as though we were speaking entirely different languages. He absolutely abstract on the subject of “wanting to try other lovers,” so that I thought it was some academic question, something he’d picked up out of Penthouse. And I absolutely abstract on the doctrine of Christian marriage. And both of us as suspicious of each other as though we had just met, as though we had never been through those winters and summers, as though we hadn’t lived for four years the life of each other’s bodies. “Trust me,” he said — an expression he has never used with me before, and which is discredited by being spoken at all.
My mother wanted to flush our pet goldfish down the toilet. My brother and I thought we at least ought to look after its death since we hadn’t done much for its short life.
One Sunday morning, instead of going to the church, I went into the park near it. Just as I was about to climb an oak tree, I saw a friend of mine walk down the path from behind a partisan monument. One dark bronze-alloy partisan was perpetually about to throw a hand grenade at the town; another was shoving his rifle into the air in his right hand, clenching his left fist and shouting a most terrifying metal silence.
The seniors lean on their baseball bats and watch us file in from track. I keep my head down, hoping to pass unnoticed. But still, he sees me. “Christ killer,” he says, low under his breath like he is grinding a cigarette into the pavement. Then he smiles at the blond cheerleader next to me. His teeth are crisp, his eyes the color of dreams. He is captain of every team.