After every box had been packed in the back of her truck, every tied garbage bag squeezed into its cab, they had a moment together and he offered her a beer. He had pulled out a loveseat they had kept in their office.
She was standing against the refrigerator, beer, half-empty. She wore a tank top and shorts, another shirt tied around her waist. She angled her head to catch the breeze coming from the air-vent.
I want the dog, too, she said.
As if knowing it was being talked about, Manny, the dog, came through the pet-door from the back yard and jumped into the recliner. Manny was a galgo, a Spanish greyhound and in need of a home five years ago when their relationship was still new and her Uncle Pipes had briefly gotten into breeding animals.
Did you hear me? She asked.
Oh, sure sure. He said. But no.
I'm taking the dog, she said. The dog's always been mine. You never wanted him.
I didn't at first, he said. But he sleeps on my side of the bed. I take him for walks.
And I don't? She emptied the rest of the beer into the sink, turned the faucet on to chase the liquid down. I'm taking the fucking dog.
Manny was asleep, his head burrowed. His breath was high and tight.
Well, I want the dog, too, he told her.
She smiled, wiped the sweat off her forehead and walked over to the television that every piece of remaining furniture was now angled towards. She unplugged the cord and gave it a slight lift, but couldn't get it up entirely.
What the fuck are you doing? He asked.
She tried again, this time successful, but holding it partly on her knees. She waddled back into the kitchen, hefted the black box one more time and threw it onto the linoleum. The television took a hard bounce, but it seemed as if only the casing had cracked.
He sat stunned. Manny craned his neck around, gave a slight bark, but with his master having not moved, lay his head back down.
Should have dropped it on the screen part, she said. She tried again and was successful. Black glass shot everywhere. Manny sat up and barked loudly, but to no one in particular.
I want the dog, she said.
Are you crazy?
She took the satellite receiver next, then the DVD player and his stereo. She burned his Incredible Hulk #180 and an autographed set of Man of Steel. She smashed his plates. He never got up from the loveseat and when Manny tried to run off, held him close.
The dog, she said.
No! he spat at her.
She chucked the laptop through an open window, dropped his toothbrush and comb into the toilet, broke his bookshelf apart with a baseball bat, splitting it in the process. She went through every room, systematically destroying everything that he was keeping, destroying everything they once shared.
The dog, she said.
Give it to me.
Burn this fucker down if you have to.
I might, she said. But I want you to imagine what I might do to the dog, instead, if we keep this up. I want you to imagine the toolbox out in my truck and what I might do to the dog. I want you to imagine what I can do with what's left of your baseball bat.
The air compressor kicked off and the apartment was suddenly very silent.
Maybe you should imagine what I might do, he said. He took a firmer grasp of Manny's neck and the dog tried to kick out of the headlock, whimpering.
I already have, she said. It will never be enough.
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