He kisses me with closed lips. Was it my imagination? I felt the genuine lack of warmth in his kiss.
Two years together, and lately he always followed me around. Yet, it's not like in the beginning when I loved his attention. Maybe I should leave him. We are predicable, me working and paying the bills, he is tinkering in the basement since he stopped working three months ago. Long ago we did everything together, from going to the grocery store, to weekends on wine tours. It happened to be lovely. Now, I doubted he'd glance up from the computer when I entered the room.
I go upstairs, like usual, when I got home from the hospital after my shift.
I jump in the shower. The warmth of the water washes away my doubt. I put on a robe and wrap my hair in a towel, which makes me look like a mummy.
I walk down the stairs and I hear a faucet left running. I go to the sink and turn the handle to close it. What's he up to now?
I see the back door is open a crack and I look outside and Dewy is moving the wood to the wood pile with his scarf flying in the wind. I shut the door and then I hear a sound. It's not a usual one, like the T.V. switching between programming and paid commercials, or the bark of a dog outside, or even the sound of the wind bellowing through the wooden frame of the house and down the fireplace. No, it's a gurgling.
I feel paralyzed as I listen. The I hear a banging. It's coming from the basement. Do I go down? I glance at Dewy and he is half way through the wood pile. Then I hear a loud boom. Is it the furnace? Maybe the water heater? My feet stick to the tile as I move to open the door to the basement. I flick on the light and I move down the stairs with a fast gallop.
I get to the water heater and I see nothing amiss. Then I turn to the furnace and I take a flashlight from Dewy's tool box and flash it to the back of the furnace. I hear another bang as the furnace grinds to a halt. The coolness of the cement floor and the grinding halt of the furnace make me shiver. It will never give us warmth again.
I flash the light to the very back of the machine, and as I peer through the spider webs, I see an adult skull set carefully behind the tubes. My heart flutters and skips wildly and I feel faint. The blood rushes from my face to my heart.
I must escape and I must go before he knows I've seen it. I turn to go and he's next to me. Dewy's long nails dig into my arm.