Rayford looked out on the bright sunshine pouring out on the lawn as he sat poolside, a bowl of cut fruit near to hand. It was a happy scene, the flowers and Christmas cactus blossoming and spring green, but it brought no cheer to his heart. All he could think about was better days.
His wife Claire came stomping out of the house with her iPad. “Do you see this garbage? Angelina Jolie is no longer a Pitt. Who cares?? Why don’t I get actual news on my newsfeed anymore?”
Their marriage wasn’t what it used to be; money and comfort had changed them both. Rayford was more complacent now, and Claire more angry and domineering.
“I don’t know, dear,” Rayford mumbled, already tuning her out. He was losing himself in reminiscence. Back when they were a happy couple, back when they had less money.
“I think I’ll go back to that computer repair guy today,” Claire’s voice was growing fainter in Rayford’s ears. “He really seemed to…”
Her laughter sparkled like glitter on the wind. Rayford could lie here and listen to her laugh for hours. He loved her laugh. The smile broadened on his face as he reached to caress her shoulder.
Claire flipped around to look him in the eyes. “Pretty please, with sugar on top?” she asked in her sweetest voice.
“Your wish is my command, my darling,” replied Rayford. “My heart is a slave to your own.”
She slapped at him, playfully. “I love you, Ray. Your soul is a twin to mine. Promise me we’ll always be this happy?”
He leaned in to kiss her neck, and murmured the words into the hollow beneath her ear. “Always.”
Sometimes down and out is better than up and in.