Break A Leg

by Shcomu

I know I shouldn't be eavesdropping, but I can't help it. My favorite uncle is asking his wife a question.

I lean onto the wall next to their room and cross my legs against the urge to pee in case I get frightened about meddling in grown-ups' business.

"Where were you last night?"

His voice sounds strained. I smell pipe tobacco and hear his rocking chair keeping time with my heartbeat.

My mother's sister will probably concoct something believable. She is an expert.

He and I wait for her answer.

She clears her throat several times before she speaks.

"I worked overtime last night. Just when I got ready to leave, the attorney upstairs called down to our department about billing matters. I needed the extra money.

The rocker paused between beats then resumed its syncopation.

"Susie, don't lie to me! I saw you last night on the Avenue! And your ass was not alone!"

I wrap my arms around my thumping chest and wonder how I will untangle if one of them moves toward the door.

"There is no way in hell you saw me when I was working downtown last night. Had no damn questions about that dinner I brought in for you!"

Silence in the bedroom until the scrapping sound on the hardwood floor signaled movement. He is getting up; a large man with a disability.

"Don't talk back to me! And don't lie to me. I told you I saw you and if I saw you, I saw you!"

An eerie moment of foreboding. Then laughter.

"You did that well, Sam. Really well."

I hear the smile in his response.

"I'm learning, but you are the pro."

How could I have forgotten that the community theater had contracted them for husband-wife parts in a play?

They were rehearsing. This time.

Break A Leg by Shcomu

© Copyright 2006. All rights reserved. No portion of this work may be duplicated or copied without the expressed written consent of the author.

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