Stoic to the last

There was one rule for a happy marriage. Just say yes. Jason had given up on disagreement. Besides, he was usually wrong. Better to have Ellen happily with him, than to argue all the time.

She walked in, threw her bag and jacket on the floor, kissed him and disappeared towards the pantry.

‘Busy day?’ said Jason, picking up her things.

‘As usual.’ She flopped onto the couch with a glass of wine.

‘Might have one myself,’ he said. He didn’t really want it. But it would be nice to have been asked.

‘Why not? You must be out on your feet.’

That sarcastic tone again. Jason held his tongue. He pulled a casserole from the oven. ‘Dinner’s up.’

‘Oh, I forgot to tell you, I ate at work.’

His stomach rumbled. He’d have eaten hours ago if he’d known. ‘Never mind.’

He’d wanted dinner together. He needed to talk to her about the diagnosis. But it didn’t seem the time now. Not while she was angry. She’d ask him eventually.

But he came in from hanging washing to find her already in bed and the light out.

She woke the next morning to silence. ‘Jase, you up?’ she called. ‘A cuppa would be nice.’


A note beside the kettle read Dear Ellen, Don’t worry. Everything’s fine.

2011-Richard Holt / small stories about love (