His wife, Beth, replies while panting, making her own sledgehammer dents in the wall, “It’s supposed … to ….reduce …. stress.”
Joe stops his arm in mid-hammer and stares at his wife. “Are you stressed?”
Beth drops her wrecking tool and looks at her husband of five years as if he’s just asked her if she’s purple, or an alien, or a Republican.
“I am,” she finally whispers. Then she runs out of the kitchen, out the back door, and toward their back yard, where their dog Gee Gee is digging a hole.
Now where’d that come from? Joe asks himself. Women. He thought he knew Beth well before they married. They lived together for two years, had a blockbuster of a wedding, but their relationship has gone downhill since then.
He figures his work load is the culprit, since he’s rarely home before 9 every night. Beth has become more and more distant. So a month ago Joe suggested, “Let’s redo our kitchen. You can design it any way you want.”
Beth had looked at him much the same way she just looked at him now when he asked if she was stressed.
As if he is as clueless as a monkey trying to climb up a giraffe.
Perhaps he has overreached with his idea that they can renovate this 30-year-old kitchen in the 100-year-old house themselves, but he thought it was a project that could bring them together again.
Instead, he feels Beth sliding further and further away.
WHAM. As Joe returns to banging on the old wall, something flutters out from between the battered sheetrock.
“Hey Beth,” Joe yells. She should be here doing this with him anyway. That was the point.
“Beth!” Joe yells again, even louder. When she returns to the kitchen, he shoots her a resentful glance. “Where’d Gee Gee get this… bone?” he asks.
“That’s why you called me?” she answers, as annoyed as he’s angry.
Joe reaches down to the floor and picks up the yellow-stained envelope that had been stuck behind the kitchen wall. “Look at this. Maybe there are hundred dollar bills in here, or a treasure map, or a….”
Husband and wife huddle together as Beth reads the sentence out loud:
“I couldn’t take it anymore.”
Gee Gee growls at that instant, the long bone quivering between her teeth.