I wake on Thursday morning to the sound of the dog snoring and rain tapping the gutter outside my window. While waiting for my coffee, I make the call; muttered excuses, remorse, a brief moment of guilt-induced doubt. I hang up, sip my coffee, and stare at the small canvas bag sitting on the floor underneath my worktable.
Leaving my second cup half finished on the counter, I slip a sweater over my head, clip the leash on the dog, and go through the mudroom to the back door. After he’s done his morning business, I fill his bowl and head back upstairs to shower. Just before I step under the hot spray, my cell buzzes. I let it go to voicemail, already knowing what he’ll say, my monotone answers coming without thought.
Dinner? Not really a question or even an invitation for that matter.
We have leftovers that need to be used, I’ll tell him. I may be running late, I add.
I always pull out the late card as a way to stall the inevitable.