“Jerry, when are we going to get to meet your wife? You say such lovely things about her.” Samantha stapled papers without looking and maintained eye contact with Jerry.

“I’d love for you to meet her, but as a matter of fact, she just called me this morning to tell me that she missed her train.”

“Oh no! From where?”

“London.” Jerry fished around in his pockets for his phone and then placed his delicate wire glasses on the tip of his nose. “Yep! Seems my wife keeps hittin’ a streak of bad luck. Her ticket got stolen with her wallet. She needed me to send her more money to buy another ticket.”

Samantha stopped stapling to stare in disbelief at Jerry. “That seems a little far-fetched. How many times is this, now, that she hasn’t been able to make it back because of some sort of ‘bad luck’?”

“Oh, hush, Sammie.” Jerry put his glasses back in his front pocket. “She’s a busy lady. Now, what else do I need to sign?”

Samantha pushed some papers forward which Jerry signed, barely bending at the waste before groaning in discomfort. He finished his signature with a shaking flourish before he wished all of the office a good day.

Samantha waited until Jerry had closed the door before she said, “His wife’s got a boyfriend, there’s no doubt about it.”

The other women murmured an agreement before returning to their work.

Jerry was not deterred by thoughts of pessimism, though. He couldn’t wait to see his wife after her two year adventure in Europe and have her all to himself. He stopped by QuickMart on his short drive home and purchased some aftershave and a new razor. He also bought Martha’s favorite candy: cherry Twizzlers.

He hummed as he left the store, tipping his hat to the cashier. After one more block of walking, he arrived at his front porch.

Opening the door sent a wave of bleach smell into his nose, he sniffed appreciatively, knowing his wife would want a clean house. He hung his cane on a knob by the door and brought his treasures to the kitchen.

“Enchiladas with sour cream sauce, dear. Your favorite!” He chuckled to himself, loading the counter with ingredients, hearing the “tick, tick, tick” of the gas stove as he lit it under a pot of water. “The perfect night with my honey.”

The aroma of onions and boiled chicken soon overwhelmed the stinking cloud of bleach. It took an hour and some hobbling around the kitchen, but he managed to put a decent meal together and he couldn’t wait to enjoy it in the presence of his wife. “I’ll show that Sammie. My wife loves chicken enchiladas. She wouldn’t miss it for the world.”

As the final timer went off, he prepared a plate of enchiladas and poured himself a tall glass of ice tea. He brought it to the table in the dining room with the Twizzlers he bought and began to eat.

“Oh, dear me!” he said as he got up from the table. “How thoughtless of me!”

He approached the linen closet and threw the doors open. “I didn’t consider that you might like to see me, too!” He picked up the Twizzlers off the table and placed them on the unmoving bosom of Martha. He wiped a stray hair out of her glazed eyes and kissed her sallow cheek.

“It’s so good to have you home for dinner.”