Officer Ramirez slid open the heavy oak door. His heart immediately sank. As an Officer of the Law, he was no stranger to the smell of burning marijuana, but it always broke his heart when it greeted him at his own front door.
“Honey, I’m home!” he announced. Maybe she’ll have the decency to try to hide it this time. Or maybe they’ll just fight about it again. Why does he let it bother him so much?
He followed the trail of smoke to the upstairs bathroom. The door was closed. He knocked, a few gentle raps. “Honey, you in there?” On the job he had a reputation for being fearless and ferocious. Not at home. No, that little woman he married terrified him. Her empty suitcase thrown open on the bed was enough to make him fall to his knees and beg forgiveness.
Through the door, he heard faint snickering, much like his little sister used to make when he was about to uncover her hiding place.
He turned the knob and gently opened the bathroom door. Billows of stream mixed with smoke hit him like a wall. He opened the door wide while fumbling for the exhaust fan switch.
“Awwwwww,” she pouted in her best little-girl voice. “Now why did the big bad man have to let out all the good smoke?” Te he he.
She was so beautiful, lying there in the bathtub among mounds of scented bubbles. Her knees jutted out of the water like two pearl islands. He grew hard thinking of the soft valley between them. Its been so long since she let him satisfy himself there. The image was shattered by a small joint in her hand. She brought it to her lips and gave it a good pull.
“Oh Maria,” he lamented, “you gotta stop doing that! Don’t you know how much it hurts me to see you doing that?”
She held her breath a moment. After a loud exhale she replied, “You need to accept me for who I am. I started getting high long before we met. I’m sure as hell not going to stop now.”
He became dumbfounded every time she said that. “You hid it from me! I never knew about this, this terrible little secret of yours until months after we were married. You hid it from me!”
“Oh, come on, it’s not like I’m a serial killer. And besides, what good is a cop who doesn’t know how to do a background check? It’s your own damn fault.”
She had a point. All his friends told him he was rushing into it. “I suppose you could look at it that way, but please, think of what will happen if my boss finds out! I’d be brought before the IAS. I could lose my job. Don’t you even care?”
“Don’t be so paranoid!” she began, “Besides, your boss already kno…” she tried to suck the words back in, but it was too late. She shut her mouth tight.
Silence. He stared at her. She stared at the wall. A single drip of water echoed in the tiny bathroom.
He couldn’t believe what she just said. They both began talking at once. “What do you mean by that? What are you hiding from me? Are you sleeping with my boss?” he demanded as she strained to talk over him, “Oh come on you know I didn’t mean anything it just slipped out you shouldn’t be so damn paranoid I didn’t fuck him now get out of here leave me alone!”
More silence. He felt dizzy. He rubbed his face with his right hand while blindly patting the wall with his left, searching for the towel rack to steady himself. He missed it, and slid down hard onto the toilet seat.
The grey cat slunk into the bathroom unnoticed and lept up onto his lap. Absently he stroked it. How could he be so blind?
“I risk my neck to get that shit off the street. He takes it out of the locker, doesn’t he? Then you two smoke it. Then you fuck.”
She lowered her eyes guiltily.
He slowly stood up, gazed at her for a long moment, then walked out of the bathroom, cat under one arm.
“Where you going?” she asked, concern crossing her face. He ignored her.
She quickly slipped into her robe went searching for him. She found him in the bedroom, sitting on the bed, staring at the floor. Next to him was her suitcase, lying open on the bed. She stood speechless.
He looked up at her, then gestured with his chin toward the suitcase. “Take what you need,” he said sadly. The his voice turned hard, “…and get out.”