The Extra Pillow



“The solution to the puzzle. The Roman goddess of love was Venus.”

“I knew that.”

“Then why were you staring into space instead of writing it down.”

“Lost interest I guess. I wondered when you would be coming to bed.”

“Well, here I am. Am I everything you expected?”

“Fifteen years. You’re still as handsome as the day I met you.”

“I suppose we should get some sleep if we want to make it to the airport on time.”

“I can’t believe we’re finally going to Italy. I’ve wanted to go for a long time.”

“I know. I’m sorry we didn’t get to do this on our tenth anniversary like we had planned.”

“Well, things came up. It couldn’t be helped.”

“That’s the excuse we’ve always used, isn’t it?”

“Well, it was an important deal for your company.”

“And you don’t blame me for that?”

“No. As I recall we still had a lovely dinner that night.”

“All expenses paid by the Huffman Group.”

“Seattle was still beautiful.”

“Even if it was a business trip.”

“I had you. That’s all that matters to me, now.”

“I meant to take you to Italy the next year.”

“We’re going now. Why talk about the past?”

“Because as much as I love you, I feel like I haven’t always been the best husband.”

“What are you talking about? I’ve never complained.”

“No. You’ve always been understanding.”

“Then shut up so we can get some sleep.”

“Okay. I’m sorry.”

“For what?”

“I’m sorry we never had children.”

“That wasn’t your fault.”

“We could have started earlier. Before the cancer.’

“Yes, but we both agreed to wait. I suppose if we had taken more interest in a family than our jobs things would have been different. Anyway, I’m as much to blame as you.”

“But you don’t regret it?”

“No. I’ve always loved you and we always said for better or for worse.”

“Until death do us part?”

“And beyond.”

“I don’t remember that being in the vows.”

“I added it when you weren’t looking.”

“You mean eighteen months ago?”

“Why do you keep bringing up the past?”

“Because it’s the reason we can never go to Italy.”

“Of course we are. It’s our fifteenth anniversary.”

“Not really. We never got to celebrate the fourteenth.”

“I don’t know why you dwell on the past.”

“Because you won’t let yourself forget. How many years will you bring me here for these impossible anniversaries?”

“I don’t want to forget what we were together.”

“We were beautiful together. But it has been eighteen months since I died. It’s time to move on. I’d rather you find someone else to hold you instead of clinging to the extra pillow.”

“Don’t say another word. I won’t let you go.”  

© Natalie Goodwin, 2020