A man and a woman sit in the middle of a sun room, at a high mahogany table. The walls are covered with various paintings, Van Gough’s Starry Night hangs in the corner opposite the plasma screen television, above the mantle of the fireplace. Sunlight shines in from the frigid air outside through the window, beating down onto the already heated floor. The couple are sharing a dinner together, sitting at the table.
It is the man who speaks first.
“I think a king would be good. No, a king is too much, a queen should do”
“I want a small bed so that even when we fight you can’t get away from me” The woman interjects.
“We get along, we won’t fight” says the man starring at his mashed potatoes which are being shoveled onto his fork.
“That’s what I thought about me and John” the woman’s potatoes sit untouched, the view of which is being blocked out by the long brown hair hanging down in her face.
“Wouldn’t a small bed be the most romantic thing Mark?” Maggie’s green eyes open wide, and pushing her food aside she moves closer to Mark.
Mark, looking up makes eye contact with Maggie as he brushes away the strands of greasy black hair.
“I have to make a run back to the store after dinner, we forgot milk” he says
“I remember the first time you looked in my eyes” Maggie says. A smile widens across her face
“You thought they were so beautiful. Then when you kissed me -”
“That was a long time ago”
“Do you remember when you met me at Stacy’s wedding? You had only just met me, but still you snuck into my room. John could have come back any moment, but you didn’t care. I knew then how much you loved me”
“That was a foolish thing for me to do, if I was your husband and it were me you were cheating on I would have shot you and him both” Mark who has finished his dinner, now stands up.
“Don’t be silly darling. I never loved John, he was not like you. Oh you look so manly, so commanding”
“Don’t be ridiculous Maggie, he was still your husband. Will you do the dishes while I’m gone?”
“Of course, there’s nothing I wouldn’t do for you my love.”
By the time I recognize this moment, this moment will be gone, I will bend the light pretending that it somehow lingered on… The smooth tone of male vocals can be heard floating on the air from the surround sound speakers.
Mark opens the door and without acknowledging Maggie’s expression of love, walks out.
Maggie did not move, she was watching the shadows overcome the brightness of the light dancing off the well decorated walls. A phrase her mother had always said was now sticking out in her mind.
“The grass is always greener on the other side”
Indeed it was. Sometimes in the Spring the grass would seem so green and unreal after a long winter, almost as though it were a dream. Inevitably time goes on and the heat builds, until finally nothing is left but the hard dirt where the now scorched grass once sat. Then autumn would roll along and one morning you would wake up to the scent of freshly mowed grass seeping in through your open window, and you wouldn’t believe that it had returned. But alas winter comes with no particular wonder and the harsh cold takes all the grass with it, covering everything in white. It was in the bitterness of winter that you realized the grass would never remain green.
There is silence except for the song now coming to an end in the background.
The rock candy’s melted only diamonds now remain..
She thought of John and she thought of Mark. Outside the sun sank down below the horizon and the light that remained was now gone, leaving nothing but darkness and a cold uneaten dinner. The snow was coming down silently, covering the grass.