Ashley Burnett’s last piece for The Toast was about a superhero breakup.
My husband was too far away to hear me, but I said it anyway: “I don’t think we should knock.”
I watched him as he stumbled through the tall grass, past the gilded gates that led up to the mansion. I hurried after him, but didn’t run, and kept near the lime trees that lined the path. My nose stung with their scent.
“It’ll be fine. I’m sure this happens all the time,” Joe slurred as he made his way to the door. He ran his fingers along the parked cars in the driveway, his hands leaving oily marks, then jolted up the steps and knocked. He couldn’t keep completely still and was swaying a little, his legs just a bit folded underneath him.
My fingers found my hair and I brushed out my bangs and fixed my collar. “What’s taking them so damn long?” Joe said and pounded on the door. “Hello? Hello?”
“Stop that. It’s a big house, give them some time.”
“This isn’t a house. This is a mansion.” He said it slowly, like I couldn’t pick up the distinction.
We waited a few more minutes in silence, but Joe grew impatient and started walking back towards the car. “These damn rich people,” he yelled, kicking the trunk of one of the lime trees. I could’ve sworn a lime plopped to the ground, but perhaps I added that. “I mean, they can’t even call a truck for us?” He stuck his hand in their fountain next and started splashing the green water out onto the grass.
While he was halfway back to the car, I was still standing by the door. Something kept me on their steps, my hand poised to knock once more—maybe they’d know my knock was different from his.
Joe was sitting in the car when the door swung open. A middle-aged woman stood in its frame, her eyes heavy-lidded and fixed on me....Read More