Snakes and Pills

117 - trumpet

I quit my job," Marco announced proudly.

That was not quite the response his wife Trisha had expected when she asked him how his day had went. "What?" she said, earnestly believing that perhaps her lack of focus on the conversation had caused her to mishear something.

"I quit my job," he repeated. There was no mistaking it this time.

"Are you serious?" she asked. Her voice suggested an air of nonchalance but apparently her facial expression displayed something different. Marco turned off the faucet and put down the carrots he had been washing. He moved over and took Trisha by her hands.

"Yes, I am. What's the matter? I thought you would be happy," he said, trying to comfort her. Trisha was shellshocked, and there was silence in the kitchen for a few moments. She regained her senses, and realized her husband was rubbing her hands gently and staring into her eyes.

He looked very worried over this unexpected reaction in his wife. She felt the same way about his own unexpected declaration. He was still staring. She knew she had to say something.

"Yeah, I suppose I should be happy. Oh, Marco, you know I worried about you everyday, whether or not you'd come home or if I'd just hear about it on the evening news." Just saying those last few words brought up enough of the fear that her voice cracked a little.

Trisha did not exaggerate. Being a police wife was hard enough. It was even worse to be married to the state's top bomb defusal officer. If there was a suspicious package, Marco and his squad would inevitably be called in. Ninety-nine times out of a hundred, it turned out to be nothing at all. Just an ordinary bag or box that was left in a suspicious spot. But that didn't stop her heart from racing every time he went out on a call. All of this on top of the standard fear that police wives had of their husbands being gunned down by some random lowlife throughout the day.

Not having this fear in her life anymore would be wonderful. But, she couldn't lie to herself: another fear was already creeping in. How would they pay the bills? No, that wasn't really it. Sure, he was the breadwinner in the relationship, but they would always find a way to scrape on by. No, there was something else.

Unexpectedness. Marco never did something just out of the blue like this. So, she continued on, still looking back into her husband's eyes.

"But Marco, why? I never loved your line of work, but lord knows that never stopped you before. It was your passion, why quit now?"

He had no quick response for her. Sighing heavily, carefully searching for the right words, he spoke slowly. "I was coming to realize that my entire job was focused around making things not happen."

He laughed slightly, as if he was self-conscious about how silly his words would sound. But Trisha's face was simply one of concern, and it gave him the courage to go on.

"Every time, hoping that a suspicious article is just nothing. And if it is something, well, I'm just working at trying to make sure it gets turned back into nothing."

Marco got frustrated at his own inability to express what he wanted to say. "It's just, god, I realized I couldn't lead a life like that, even if it was all about keeping people safe and stopping bad guys. In a way, every defusal was so anticlimactic, I started to worry that one day I might snip the wrong wire on purpose. You know, just to have it happen. And that's why I had to quit. Geeze, that probably sounds so crazy, doesn't it?" Marco said, nervously laughing once again.

Trisha didn't laugh back. She was rubbing his hands now, trying to comfort him.


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