They sat on the couch. She read a book while he watched television. The book was a romance, complete with the muscular male holding onto the bosom bulging woman in some Western gear. He was watching Columbo with Peter Falk. That week’s guest star was Jackie Cooper. He laughed out loud as she salivated through pages.
The older couple sat at opposite ends. A lamp was on, the room was dim. He said it made it easier to watch. These sacrifices she made for him. Decaf coffee was served.
These two used to sit closer in the evening. Used to hold hands. He’d put his arm around her. She would kiss him on the cheek. Place her hand on his knee. Now it seemed they were miles apart. She slept in the bedroom, he in the recliner. The older woman would throw a blanket on him each night as soon as she heard him snoring. Every night the same. There were no surprises.
Mornings, the smell of eggs and bacon would wake him. A pot of coffee, buttered toast, and the sound of the all news station on the A.M. dial. They did not talk. He read the morning paper and she listened to the weather report.
The announcer said it was going to be cloudy with rain all day. A high of 47. Good day to stay inside, she thought. Why should anything change?