by Reggie Mills
I say: “I am getting tired, June.”
June is on the couch and I am at the desk and this is where we are. The air is wet and like a sweater. The window behind the desk has the parking lot below, and now it is black and fuzzy.
“I have been building this house for us June, the house for us both. I build and build and build and you do not work the same amount. I am becoming tired.”
It is dark behind the window. The lamp in here is gold like sunset and fall trees. It hits her in the face, an arm’s-reach away.
“This is back-breaking labour,” I say. I say, “I am breaking my back.”
Her face gone gold and gone upturned and tight.
“I am no longer strong enough to keep this together on my own.”
You have had all the times of you and her except you know the fact that now she will be gone. Her knees are pulled in close and you see her arms clenched and tight. You can see it in her eyes that she hears. She is looking straight ahead and she is listening and there.
“You know there have been times when I am not okay with the balance,” I say, “and yet I still keep building on. This is the house for you and for I and I know that it is good.”
Her eyes become watery. Eyes distant and focused far.
“I am an old man now, June. I am no longer strong enough to hold the bricks together on my own.”
You have changed each other the whole time. She has shown that she has preferences and you have changed yourself to fit.
“However I know you June and I know you cannot help.”
Her face becomes covered in tears.
But she is now a person who she was not at the start. She is now not the her the house was for. The times remembered of her are sealed. The past has been gone for long.
I do not cry. I say: “June it is not sad.” I say: “June it is reality. It is just the way things are.”No matter what old June is now far gone. I am not a time-traveller. I could not effect the old reality if I tried.
Reggie’s short fiction has appeared in The Feathertale Review, Hobart, Bourbon Penn, and other venues. He lives in Toronto.