She was home. 

He moved into the living room and his little electric heater. He preferred warm air. She (she claimed) liked it ‘normal’. It exasperated the hell out of him. Wasn’t like he was choosing to prefer hot. His need for heat (he’d probably never see that on a movie poster) was derived from injuries, illnesses, and diseases. Life demanded a harsh toll from him.

Hurrying to the heater, he turned it up from low to med. Then, with silent swiftness, he settled into his recliner, grabbed his book, and pretended like her arrival was a surprise.

“Oh, you’re home.”

“Yes.” She talked about things going on outside as she removed her coat. Then, as he turned away, he watched her reflection in the television screen out of the corner of his eye. Soon as she saw his back was turned, she took two long fast steps to the heater and bent over it. A soft click followed.

She bustled away as he turned back. Smiling to himself, he glanced at the heater. On low, just as he preferred.

A happy marriage sometimes required a little guile.

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