It was late when Marge pulled the garage doors down and made her way back to the singlewide. Ernest was still awake.
“Marge. Who won?”
“Who do you think?”
“You, of course.”
“Ah, Ernest, that’s why I love you, you always- ”
Marge, standing at the sink, paused in washing the nacho platter, her sentence unfinished. Ernest pulled the lever on his recliner, came to a sitting position with an abrupt creak and a bang. On the TV Mike Wolff from American Pickers waxed eloquent about a rusty old motorcycle gas tank. From the bedroom the window AC unit could be heard rattling and wheezing as it battled the humidity. Having suddenly developed a tickle in his throat, Ernest coughed lightly.
“Well, goddamn Nard won the pot tonight, and he was being a peckerhead too…”
Ernest stood with Marge at the sink and she again fell silent. He reached around her and turned the faucet off. Marge looked at the faucet, at the cheese ringed nacho platter, at Ernest. A lot had passed between Ernest and Marge over the past few months; a lot hadn’t yet been spoken. Ernest’s throat still tickled.
“I love you, you know Marge.”
“I know. Me too.”
This wasn’t the first time they’d gone to bed with the dishes left undone, but tonight it felt different.
This is the latest in the ongoing story of Ernest and Marge, a not so young couple who are finding their way.