“I have something to tell you,” Emily said.
“Not right now, honey, I’m trying to remember if the toilet seat was circular or oval.”
“Are you sure?”
“Yes, I’m sure. I’m the one who cleans it,” Emily said sarcastically.
Jay could feel his wife’s wrath. It was like a pre-volcanic eruption boiling under the surface with the ground shaking from her resentment. Times like these, Jay thought, it was best to keep quiet and focus on the job at hand.
“This marriage isn’t working,” Emily blurted out just as Jay was deciding which toilet seat was the most reasonably priced.
“Please, Emily. Not right now,” Jay said.
Out of the corner of his eye, he could see his wife’s face slowly turn red with anger.
Jay didn’t think it was the place to talk about their marriage. It was Home Depot, for Christ sakes. You build homes here. Not tear them down.
“I found an apartment,” Emily continued.
Jay didn’t speak. It was like his whole body was in a brain freeze. He dropped the toilet seat into the cart and wheeled it to the check-out lane, hoping that her anger would subside by the time they got to the car.
“I’m leaving the first of the month.”
“Then why are you buying stuff for the house?” Jay asked, breaking his silence.
“That’s for my new place,” she said, putting the tissue holder, bath mats, and towels on the counter.
The female cashier asked how Jay’s day was going, trying to be friendly. He was honest in his reply. He told the cashier that his wife was leaving him in a few weeks and feared that his marriage was over.
The checkout lady was caught off guard and didn’t know what to say. “ Oh, will you be paying separately?”
There was a part of Jay that wanted to say ‘yes,' to start the process of dividing up everything equitably and go their separate ways. But he was still married, and they were in Home Depot, and he didn’t want to change anything just yet.