linda mcmullen

roommates

CONTENT WARNING: CHILD DEATH, ALLUSION TO MISCARRIAGE

     What I want to say is to stop bringing your dead baby into the argument, of course I feel for you, I’m not a monster, but it has nothing to do with whether or not you’ve paid the electric bill.  That’s the deal we made when we signed the lease: you do the electric, I do the gas, you make me open windows, I make you put on sweaters.  You forgot last month.  Oh God, I’m a complete idiot, I didn’t remember that the anniversary was… today.  I’m sorry.  I – the Kleenex box is right behind you.  Do you want me to go with you to the – Oh.  Already.  Right. I imagine it’s very peaceful, in the early morning.  

     Do you want a cup of tea or something?  I’m out of Earl Grey, but I have some chamomile.  

     There.  Sugar?  Milk?  OK.  

     But… you did pay the bill, right?

24 March, 2021

Linda McMullen is a wife, mother, diplomat, and homesick Wisconsinite. Her short stories and the occasional poem have appeared in over ninety literary magazines. She received Pushcart and Best of the Net nominations in 2020. She may be found on Twitter: @LindaCMcMullen.