His gun was cold. Hadn’t fired the pistol in a long time. It’d been tucked away in a safe box for a number of years. He wasn’t sure what the combination was, had it written down somewhere, maybe the back of his desk; perhaps written on the pages of Moby Dick. Maybe Ulysses.

Wherever it was it was loaded. Always kept the thing packed. Wrote a note to himself one day reading, use in case of emergency. That note was tucked in the safe box as well along with her ring. He took it off his wife ‘fore she was buried.

She knew about the gun. Followed him one night into town. Watched as he climbed the back fire escape. Saw the piece sticking out of his pants on the right side from streetlights looking down on him. The black metal shined.

And then he was gone. Crawled through the side window. Thought she heard two shots. Wasn’t sure. Just saw him climbing down quickly. She moved fast back to the house. Somehow it wasn’t fast enough, he was sitting there waiting on her in the kitchen with a pot of coffee percolating.

Where’d you go to? he asked. She shook her head no and went to the cupboard to grab a cup.

Said…where’d you go to? he asked again. She remained quiet. Sometimes men have to take care of business, he said. ‘Cause if they don’t then things fall apart. Understand? she nodded yes.

Did you see me take care of my business tonight?

I did not.

Why’d you follow me tonight?

Curious I guess.

How ’bout no more curiosity? Let me tend to my affairs. Comprende?, she bit her lip and nodded her head. He walked over and kissed her. Strolled down the hallway. Replaced the two bullets. And placed the gun in the safe. It was never talked about again.

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