256 Words

For Whose Sake

Vanitha Sankaran

"I did it for your sake," I cried as he rushed out of my bedroom.

He feigned not to hear, or drowned me out as he stomped down my wooden staircase. That he'd left me in the first place was a fact he'd tossed aside. Now that he'd returned to make a fresh start, all past sins must be forgiven.

Till he saw the shining circle of gold at the bottom of my commode.

"I did it for your sake," I said again, though this time softly. And truly I did, tossing his ring in the lily-fresh toilet bowl upstairs. For if I'd dumped it in the downstairs john, think of all the people who might have seen its sparkling glint as they watched their remnants swirl away.

And if they did they might have asked me, whyever would I have hurled such a treasure into the dregs of sewage and offal?

Would I have answered with the truth or a lie? That he left me for some strumpet, pederast, or fool. Or the magic was missing, his wand broken, no longer functioning.

They'd shake their head at whatever I said, then whisper about us in bedrooms and corners. Philanderer, they'd accuse. Or poor dope. Either way. Thank God there were no children, they'd add. Maybe he couldn't have any. The snickers would abound.

"Surely you must see, the ring in the toilet was for your sake, not for mine," I summed up with quiet aplomb.

He glared back and slammed the door shut behind him.

Copyright ©2002 Vanitha Sankaran. All Rights Reserved.

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April, 2002
Issue #72

256 Words