I open the door, remove my sloppy shoes. The house is dark, unusually quiet.
"Hi guys!" I set down a few groceries on the floor.
I hear MiniMan upstairs watching reruns of Dinosaur Train on Netflix. My husband eventually walks down the stairs. He wears huge weary circles under his eyes and a look of defeat.
"I was just about to grab MiniMan and start looking for you. I thought you were dead."
I take my husband into my arms and hold him awkwardly, stroking his head. I pull him closer, listening to ragged sobs. He doesn't collapse into my arms. Instead, he just stands there, stiff, alone. I don't know what to do. He almost never cries. I'm blank, empty, somewhere else. I should be more empathetic. He has every reason to lament but it makes me squirm. A better wife would know what to do.
It must be my turn to be the sane one, or at least the strong one, but instead I just want to bolt. How fucked up is that?
"It will be okay. I'll figure this stuff out. We'll figure it out. It will be okay." I say, unconvinced. I rub his back.
I don't know how to comfort him. I don't know if he'll ever stop worrying, if he'll ever trust me. Maybe he shouldn't. Sometimes I wonder if I'm like a contaminated water source, slowly introducing my filth to fester in him.