By Isla Cordell
The moment Harold came through the door, food was on the table waiting for him. But Sheryl was nowhere in sight. She had cooked before disappearing off into the night. She’d been doing that a lot lately, thought Harold, sitting down to a lukewarm bowl of rice with Spam chunks. It was simple, disgusting, and his absolute favorite. A home-cooked meal with meat was a rarity, so every bite would be savoured. He counted how many chews it took to turn the food to mush in a futile attempt to distract himself.
One. Two. Three. Four. I wonder what she’s doing? Five. Six. Huh, I know damn well what she’s doing! Seven. Eight. Ni—she’s probably having a better time than me out there riding that scumbag executive. Probably enjoying every minute of it, too.
Skrrrck. The scratching sound at the door was enough to finally derail his train of thought. Harold got up from the table, bowl in hand, and opened the door. It was the local alley cat making the usual run of the ground floor apartments, pawing at doors for food. Today, the cat had the misfortune of having to eat rice with spam. Harold had lost his appetite.
Leaving the cat to enjoy the meal in private, Harold stepped back inside, slamming the door shut. The thin walls vibrated so hard from the aftershock a jar fell off the shelf. Harold sighed bending over to stuff the contents back in the jar, placing it back on the shelf. Still in a funk, he threw himself onto the couch, causing the jar to fall over again.
A few hours later, Harold was still planted on the sofa watching one of those late night shows through static. The door swung open. Sheryl walked in, runs through her pantyhose. Hair strewn about. Harold looked her in the eyes. They looked dead. He turned back to the TV.
Sheryl, noticing the jar still on the floor, picked it up delicately, placed it back on the shelf, and shifted it slightly so that the label “House” faced outward. She rummaged through her purse before taking out a wad of cash and placing it in the jar with wads from previous nights. With everything in its place, she strolled over to Harold, kissed him on the head, and went to the room.