by W.L. Elliott
I look up from my manuscript with a frustrated sigh. This is the fourth time I’ve sat down here today and, at seventeen minutes and some seconds, the longest I’ve been allowed to stay at my desk so far. I get up and walk into the living room, which looks as though the latest tropical storm has detoured two thousand miles to invade us. Pillows and couch cushions are strewn everywhere, cat toys littered among them, and my new begonia has barely escaped with its life.
“I CAN’T FIND THE REMOTE CONTROL!”
“I’m standing right behind you, darling.”
“Oh.” Another cushion flies. “Have you seen the remote?”
“You had it last, honey. Where’d you leave it?”
“Right there on the side table.”
He is now on his hands and knees trying to fit under the sofa. The kitten thinks this is great fun, now he has a playmate.
“Dangit.” Out from under the couch he comes, his baseball cap askew. “You don’t think the cat took it somewhere, do ya?” The kitten purrs up against him.
“I don’t think he could,” I try not to laugh. “He’s not a lot bigger than the remote.”
A cushion goes airborne, but at least this time it’s headed in the right direction. Cat toys fly to the corner, the kitten barreling after them like he’s been thrown, too. A few more throws puts the rest of the pillows back where they belong, if not neatly, and my poor, frustrated man flops onto the couch.
“I give up!”
“Sorry.” I offer, “Would you like me to turn on the TV for you?”
“Nah,” he says. “Thanks anyway.” I prefer to sit here and sulk. He may not have said it out loud, but I’ve been married to him for eight years, I can translate.
There’s a Sports Illustrated on the side table, I notice, with a strange lump under it. I pick up the magazine and there, for all the world to see, is a little black box that might just be the center of the universe.
“You found it!” He lunges for it like a dying man for a bit of food. “Thanks honey, you’re the greatest!”
“I know,” I smile and walk out of the room as the television blinks on. I don’t bother to try to explain how I mysteriously find all the things that go missing in this house. Let him have an illusion or two. Now maybe I’ll get that chapter done in peace.
Back to my desk I go, fluttering paper notes and trying to figure out where I left off when the crisis struck.
“Yes?” Hubby saunters in, shrugging his shoulders.
“There’s nothin’ on TV. Wanna go for a drive?”
“Sure,” I say. My writing goal is officially shot for the day anyway, why not? I stand up and grab my purse, following him to the door. He stops, patting his pockets.
“Honey, where’s the car key?”