Amy Therriot-Winters sat in the comfortable easy chair in her well-appointed home that featured at the moment fresh flowers at her elbow and a new crystal chandelier over the stairwell. Her hand smoothed her linen slacks over and over while she looked at each table, chair and rug and said good-bye to them. She didn’t know how to do this. She had picked out each painting and drape herself, even the burled wood that stretched across the mantel. Her fireplace! The new house didn’t have one. The closest she and Jack would come would probably be a burn barrel in the back meadow. His dot-com business had failed, it was all gone.
Jack was more easygoing. He would know how to ignore things like the subtle change of attitude when the cashier at the grocery store chatted as she rang up your purchases then stopped when you pulled out your food stamp card. No longer worth my time. Don’t talk to them it might rub off. Amy knew that look, she was guilty of it herself. Now that she would be the recipient she understood that you did what you had to to feed your family.
Amy stood and wandered out the back to the stone-flagged patio and sat in a rattan chair. A few late afternoon sunbeams chanced their way through the portico stretched above. It was heavy with yellow Jasmine in full bloom, the foliage twisting up, around and through the wooden slats. It created a wonderful canopy that teemed with butterflies and bees this time of year. Someone else’s arbor now. The sale was final, was that the movers out front?
Can I do this? She would make the move and give it a try. Without her husband Jack what good was a fancy house? Amy walked back to the house but froze at the back door. A young blonde leaned over the kitchen table with her skirt hiked up. Behind her said husband had his trousers down around his ankles. Amy stared. Had she been outside so long that they had time to come in and do– this? She knew the look on her husband’s face and that was what finally made her angry. It was her look, only for her.
Therriot blood surging forward, Amy let the screen door slam behind her and strolled purposefully in and past them.
“Jack,” she threw over her shoulder as they gaped at her, sliding off the table and grabbing at their clothes, “at least take the girl upstairs, the movers are here.” She continued on, stopping only to pick up her shoulder bag and the keys in the foyer. Jack ran behind her, hopping and stuffing himself into his pants. Amy stopped and turned to face him.
“Amy. Where is your car? Wait, this…” he trailed off. It certainly was what it looked like, in fact if couldn’t get any clearer.
“I parked out back. Oh Jack,” tears threatened to gather, she had to leave now.
He started to speak but Amy turned around and walked out; for the last time. Dodging the movers as they headed inside she got in the car and left. How she managed not to spin out or tear up the fine gravel-lined drive was beyond her. In no time at all her cell phone was ringing. It was Jack.
“You took my GTO…” His voice squawked in disbelief. She had bought that car for him for their fifteenth anniversary. It had been a peace-offering; a hope that he would give up the latest mistress and stay with her. A tawdry bribe.
“Jack, Jack. You said the fooling around was ‘behind you now’ but you were wrong. It was behind her today wasn’t it?”
Amy didn’t bother to hang up, she simply tossed the phone out the window. It was stupid; a childish thing to do. Heaven knew she would need a cell phone in the coming weeks. She watched it smash and fly into a million pieces on the pavement behind her, like her marriage and her life.
Rounding a bend in the canyon road she stopped on the shoulder overlooking the city. The valley glittered in front of her. She walked to the edge and looked down. Rocks, bushes and trash lay down the slope. Trash. Yes, it was time to take out the trash.
Amy picked up the biggest rock she could carry, shocked at its weight. She put the GTO in neutral and set the rock against the gas pedal. The engine raced. Frightening as the sound was she stayed until she had it set securely. The GTO rocked every time she adjusted the rock, engine roaring.
The rest happened quickly. Amy threw her shoulder bag out the door then shoved the car into drive and leaped, landing on her bottom in the dirt. The tires spun, kicking up a ferocious cloud of dust. As it found purchase in the soft dirt the car tore forward and screamed off the edge like the paint-streaked whore that it was. She heard a bang and hoped for a fireball but did not get the satisfaction. Fine. Amy sat in the dirt, in her fine linen trousers and silk blouse, and started to laugh. It really was moving day, wasn’t it?