A Season of Firsts

A Season of Firsts

First time they fight over nothing. Pitcher of sangria, empty ice cube tray. It’s hot, late-June, a sweat bead on her forehead. First time he says, “I’m not doing it, simple as that,” and she says, “Well fuck you then,” wiping her forehead with the back of her hand.


First time they try sex on the deck. He leans to kiss her, she doesn’t want to be kissed. First time he can’t climax; she bangs her shin climbing out of the zero-gravity chair.


First time she holds it over his head afterward. “I bet your dick wouldn’t go soft for Cheryl.” He knocks over the garbage, flipflops out the door. (But when he comes back it’s still not cleaned up.)


Premiere episode of Wife comes home to find husband drunk on the couch, crying over a photo album. Swim trunks, no shirt, fan blowing full blast into his face.


Preliminary attempts at reconciliation. He makes her iced coffee. “I’m sorry, I’m sorry, let’s make this work”—a note on the counter in his shaky hand.


Debut performance of “Stop talking about it or I’ll smash another fucking plate.” First utterance of “It’s too hot, I’m sleeping downstairs.”


Introduction of Frozen Dinner Fridays, when she goes out with friends, and he stays home with a pitcher of bourbon iced tea. She comes home not drunk at all. But happy, elated in fact. Though calm. So inwardly peaceful to have spent time the fuck away from him.


Launch of Saturday Night Free for All’s. Husband typically goes to his friend’s garage, if anywhere, where they drink beer, tinker with a ‘74 Challenger; he cries on his way home, singing along with radio love songs. Wife comes home smelling of alcohol and pizza sauce and someone else’s cologne.


First mention of “Terrance,” as in, “I’m going out with my work friend, Terrance.”


First week, and then weeks, with the husband living in the house alone while the wife “figures it out.” The maple trees in the yard show their first touches of red.


First mention of an attorney. The husband sits on the deck with a Sam Adams Octoberfest, watches the leaves pile up in the yard, doesn’t look for the rake.


Entrance in the house of “Ms. Miller, my attorney,” and “Sheriff McMann,” and fucking work friend Terrance, who track in dead leaves while they help the wife move the last of her things and give the husband the sad eye when he tries to tell her goodbye.


About the Author

Timothy Boudreau lives and works in northern New Hampshire. His recent work has been nominated for Best of the Net, Best Microfiction and a Pushcart Prize. His collection Saturday Night and other Short Stories is available through Hobblebush Books. Find him on Twitter at @tcboudreau or at timothyboudreau.com.


Photo by Joy Memon on Unsplash