With a jolt, I realize there is a gun between us. She is as surprised as I, and we stare, first at it, then at each other.
That the gun exists is no surprise; we bought it years ago, in case of an emergency. That it is not safely locked in the drawer of her study is another matter entirely. We consider each other, silent. The silence is always so maddening.
"Have we really come to this?" I ask, indicating the gun. She stares at me as though she can't decide if the answer is yes or no. Finally she locks eyes with me.
"Have we? I hope not." Her eyes are as icy as ever. I clench my fists a little and she flinches, and we both look at the gun again.
"You hope not? Not yes, but just, 'I hope not.'" My voice is cold. My fists clench a bit more and she takes an involuntary step forward.
Another look at the gun, and she chews her bottom lip, her face thoughtful. "We always said we had this in case of emergency. Does not speaking for three weeks qualify? No, I don't think we've come to this. I want to work things out." And then, “I still love you.”
"Good," I say. The gun goes off. She screams, but I'm relieved as the floor rushes up to meet me. I was worried she didn't love me any more.