Stained Glass by Laura Brennan

She wanted to die alone right there on the smooth white bathroom floor and she thought she might.  Her face on the cool ceramic of the toilet, she drifted in and out of consciousness and pictured her head falling back and cracking against the tile.

Her body was slumped over the toilet for some time now, and her nose was inches from the water.  The sound of shattering glass reverberated in the high ceilings of the kitchen and hallway.   Her head pounded and she thought she might get sick.  She was cold. How long had she been in the bathroom?   Her body felt like it belonged to someone else; she had no control over her limbs, her fingers, her neck. Her head floated.  It took a moment of gazing, unfocused, into the toilet bowl before the image of him heaving her thin body against the shower door flickered in her head.  

She tried to call out to him.  Her mouth was dry and no words came.   He needed to stop. Calm down.   His cell phone was on the edge of the sink.  She reached for it and clumsily pecked at the buttons. The phone slipped from her hand and plunked into the toilet.  Everything glittered and snapped to black.

In their bright blue and yellow kitchen, red wine dripped slowly down a wall and puddled.  Glass from broken bottles littered the counter, the sink, the floor.  Kitchen cabinets gaped open.  Apples, which minutes ago were in a basket on the table, rolled about the uneven floor.

He wasn't finished.  One by one he removed champagne flutes and martini glasses from their shelves and flung them at the wall.   Most were wedding gifts.  The cards attached had read things like, "To a bright future together" and "Much love and happiness".  

He wiped the back of his wet hand across his forehead and leaned his torso against the counter. Frustration, drunkenness and anger were fading into exhaustion that rolled in beads of sweat down his temples.

He tottered down the narrow hallway and peered into the bathroom.  There she was, a heap on the floor, her colorful scarf splayed around her head, her boots still on.

He drew his arm back by the tight muscles in his shoulder and thrust his fist through the light plaster of the wall. Blood trickled over his knuckles. She woke to his cry. 

"Take me home," she murmured, confused. 

"You are home" he said. 


Laura Brennan is a writer and librarian living in MA.