top of page


On Monday morning Patrick came down for coffee and found Dara sitting on the sofa, dressing for work.  He flew into a rage.  “What the hell do you think you’re doing, getting dressed right here in the middle of the living room?”
    “I’m keeping my things downstairs now,” she said in a determined voice.
    “You’ll keep your clothes in the bedroom where clothes are supposed to be kept,” he admonished her.  “And what the hell is your hairbrush and briefcase doing on the dining room table?  What are you, a slob or something?”  She stood shaking before him.  “You know I want everything out of sight.  Get this shit put away.” he ordered, as he cleared everything onto the floor.
    She could never relax.  She could never feel safe here in her own home.  The beautiful bedroom she so lovingly decorated would never be hers.  There was nothing in the entire house that would ever make it feel like hers.

    More than once, and despite her heat for Patrick and the helplessness she felt in the face of it, she had tried leaving.  But her husband made promises and threats that would lure her back home.  The promises she hadn’t expected him to keep, but the threats were too vivid to ignore.  She groaned and walked back up the seven steps to the landing, carrying her open briefcase in both hands.  From the closet, she got out the iron, a box of paper clips and a box of rubber bands.  Then she went up the three steps to the bedroom, plugged in the iron and ironed the sheets.  When she had finished, and the iron was cooling, she sat on the floor arranging the shuffled papers into neat little piles.  Then she put paper clips on each pile, placed the piles into neat stacks, stretched rubber bands around all of them and put them neatly into her briefcase.  

     She went back to the closet and replaced the iron.  Up, up to the top shelf, she reached her hand and felt around.  It was still there.  She brought down the gun and aimed it into the bedroom.  No home should be without a gun.  She looked down the barrel and her heart and mind began to race.  Her body felt suddenly weak, as if her soul was draining out of her and poring onto the floor.
       She sat down in the microscopic puddle of sweat she had made, just long enough to compose herself.  Then she put the gun back on the shelf, picked up her briefcase and went to work.

     Sage was seated in one of the two chairs opposite Kamen’s desk.  Dara was sitting in the other, fiddling with a bunch of spreadsheets.  She chose one from the pile and handed it to Kamen.  He examined one particular column very closely before pointing at the profit-share numbers with his big fat cigar-stained finger.  “Sage, you’ve got to push a little harder to make them bite,” he said.  “Now look at what Dara has done here–three new accounts this week alone!” Kamen was talking to Sage as if she were ten years old. 

     She looked up at Dara with questioning eyes.  Dara returned her look with a smug smile.  She nodded her head up and down like a bobble doll, which made Sage want to step on Kamen, to step on both of them and wipe them out like insects under her feet.

bottom of page