From Reality

Kathryn wondered when she would know. When? When would she know more than she did now? When would reality begin to shape itself for her … quite apart from any shaping or forming that might be required of her? A phone call would do it. An accident. Cold, informative, impersonal words from a hospital representative would easily delineate reality for her, would define his absence and the reason for it. "I'm sorry to tell you, but there has been an automobile accident." That would do it. There was nothing strange, in Kathryn's mind, about the thought that even an accident would be preferable to this bothersome not knowing. How often, in that third week after he had left, had she actually pictured an accident, pictured him dead. Or lost. Perhaps wandering around or hiding somewhere. Self-exiled, temporarily, by some professional failure or anxiety, some male ego problem that could be explained in terms of promotional plateaus or declining libido. Occasionally, when she permitted herself the whimsy of it, she pictured him choosing an unaffordable mink or sable to accompany his penitent return. She preferred the sable.


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