“Coffee’s cold,” said Jemma. “Where were you?”

“Out,” he said. The newspaper covers the lower part of his face.

“Out? Where?” Jemma pulls the mug away from him. It’s too hot, anyway.

“Out,” he repeats.


“Why do you care.” The newspaper turns pages.

“Because it’s six o’clock in the morning,” says Jemma. “What business do you have out at six o’clock in the morning? I didn’t even hear you get up. Heck, I didn’t even feel you get into bed last night!”

“I was in bed last night.”

“Was it mine?”

The words are out too fast, but the damage is done. He lowers the newspaper.


“You heard me!” Jemma stands, picking up both cups of coffee. “I suppose you’ll be gone all day, too? Don’t bother coming back for dinner! In fact, don’t bother coming back at all!”

Her words are spat venomously. “Do you know what day it is?” he asks.


“Go outside,” he says. “In the shed.”

She feels bad. She knows where this is going. On her way out, she looks at the calendar.

February 14.

Of course. Now she feels really bad.

She walks into the shed. Nothing there.

She turns on the light. In the corner, there is a large object covered by a blanket. Her mother’s quilt, sewn for their wedding day. Tears well up in the side of her eyes as she peels back the blanket, expectantly. There is a snap, a crap, and a blood-curling shriek.

“Silly Jemma,” says the man, flipping back to the sports section. “What a tragic accident I’ll have to report.”


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