Separation

A loud bang echoed in the front hall at eight in the night.

With a yawn, the Russian Blue raised her head with a flick of her ears and gazed indifferently at the small brunette who stormed into the living room, followed by a contrastingly tall man in a sharp black tuxedo trying to calm her down. She had worn a brilliant red dress that sparkled in the light to the party, but the feline spotted a horrible stain on the smooth material as she threw her high heels at a wall, startling the Brazilian Mastiff awake on the couch.

"I'm sorry, Laura, I–"

The woman turned to her husband and flung her purse at him, and the man winced as she hissed in his face, "I was utterly humiliated, Simon! There is no room for apologies!" She then whipped around and stomped into the kitchen, flicking the light on and dropping her keys loudly on the counter as she went to rummage through the fridge. The blue-furred cat stood up, stretched and gave another yawn, and then followed the man into the room where Laura was pulling out things like a carton of milk and the last slice of strawberry cheesecake and piling them onto the old wooden table. He looked afraid to talk to her with that furious look in her eyes, and the cat leapt onto the chair to sit and watch the drama unfold.

"Laura . . ." Simon sighed, watching the food continue to pile up on the counter. "I said I'm sorry."

"I know, Simon." She didn't look at him; she seemed to busy with the groceries to do so. "You did."

"But it's not enough, is it?"

Putting one last thing onto the table, she closed the fridge with a slam of the door and turned to him, crossing her arms and pinning him with a glare. "No. It isn't. And do you know why?" He stayed silent, and she threw her arms to either side of her. "Because, no matter how hard I try, you never seem to get it right!"

"But, honey–"

"No buts!" She made a cutting movement with her arm. "I've had it up to here with you and your–your novel!" She started to pace in the small room, moving her arms as she spoke like an Italian. "I can't even have a nice night out, because while I'm sitting in the spotlight, my husband's off talking to his buddies about his writing! You've been ignoring me the entire evening while I've been covering for your ass!" He looked like he wanted to say something, but he was always too passive to interrupt and let the woman go on with her angry ranting. "I can't go out with my friends because I'm the one that's working since you can't seem to get a real job!"

When it seemed that she had paused, Simon took a step towards her and murmured, "Laura, I didn't mean to make you feel–"

"Feel?" She stopped with her pacing and turned to him, putting a clenched hand on her chest. "Do you know what this makes me feel? How can you possibly know what it makes me feel if you're never around?"

"But, whenever you come home I–"

"Oh, you cook for me, and you clean for me, but do you want to know what I really want?" Her face was twisted with a mix of hatred and incredibility as she snarled, "I want to have a husband, not a maid that gives me a kiss goodnight!"

"I will, Laura, I will. I just need–"

"Need what? A pen? A notebook on your desk? All you ever care about is that novel. The book is your life–I'm just a secondary task. You'd rather write than spend time with me." She closed her eyes and sighed before she choked, "How long has it been since we've made love?"

"But you said that doesn't matter."

Her chocolate eyes seemed dark even with the kitchen light shining in them. "It doesn't. But you haven't even looked at me like that since . . . I don't even remember when!"

Simon seemed to have a lump in his throat for he didn't speak, and at that she wiped away the tears in her eyes and turned to grab a plastic bag to start stuffing the food items into it. As the tension in the room thickened, a tabby Abyssinian padded into the room as if just now realizing his owners were home. He jumped into the chair beside the Blue and glanced over to her, asking, "What's going on?"

"They're having a lover's tiff," she replied coolly, and he gave a small mew of confusion as he joined in watching the humans.

Simon finally couldn't take the silence and asked her shakily, "What are you doing?" She had gotten several bags and filled them all with the food she had earlier put on the table, and now she stood tying the bags closed as if to keep herself busy.

She didn't turn to face him, her tone becoming cold and apathetic. "I want a divorce."

That stunned him into silence as he dropped the hat he had been holding, and she grabbed a few of the bags and handed them to him, informing him, "I want you to take all of your things and get out of this house. I don't want to see anything of yours–not even those animals! Get them out, all of them, just–get out!" Her voice rose to shout at him, and when he just stood there in shock she shoved his chest and screamed, "Get out!" He finally left the room, possibly to get his things, and she went to stare out the window into the darkness outside. Tonight was the new moon, and only the few working streetlights outside could shed orange beams onto the pavement as the nighttime seemed to suffocate the neighborhood.

Not wanting to stay in the same room as the enraged woman, the cats both left to look for Simon in the dark halls of the quiet house. They found him in his study, standing at his desk with a bag in hand and staring at the notebook as if lost in his thoughts. The Abyssinian brushed against his leg and mrowred to get his attention, and he snapped his head down to look at him before continuing to grab and stuff things into the bag. The felines watched him intently, tails flicking to the sound of the grandfather clock in the corner, and eventually he had everything of importance in his backpack that would fit. He would ship the other things to his mother's house later. Turning and walking out of the room, the cats followed once more as he stepped into the living room to see Laura sitting on the couch, watching the news at a low volume. Silently, he crossed the room and opened the front door, whistling to the Mastiff on the other sofa to call him over. As the dog leapt off of it and ran out the door, Simon took one last look around the house he had shared with his wife for the past year. Then he shut the door.

Without a word to the animals standing loyally beside him, he walked up to his truck and unlocked it, and the harsh yellow light illuminated the torn seats as the dog jumped inside and sat in the middle to leave room for the cats. He shut the door after them and walked around to get in the driver's side, and as he turned the key and waited for the car to heat up he stared at the Mercedes Benz sitting in the driveway in front of it. She had always called for the expensive and finer things in life, and he had always been glad to provide her with whatever she wanted. Where had it all gone wrong?

Going into reverse, he puttered out of the driveway and, crammed in the car with his pets, drove down the street and turned the corner, away from what had been his entire life for the last twelve months.