by Laura Isaacman
I woke up early on Melanie’s thirty-seventh birthday. I hadn’t planned it, but once I was up with nothing else to do, I cut up fresh strawberries and placed them neatly on top of hot pancakes. When I came into the bedroom, balancing a tray, she shuffled slightly. Her body was sprawled across the bed, and her mouth hung open in a way that had never before made me nauseous until this very moment, on her birthday. I placed the tray on its legs over her torso, and said her name softly. She stirred violently, knocking the hot coffee onto the thin sheet that covered her thigh, and screamed, but I hadn’t meant for her to get hurt; I thought this could be one of our nicer days.
Laura Isaacman's work has been featured in Metazen and decomP. She is the editor of fourpaperletters.