Hesitation

“Are you still alive?”

She watched.

She waited.

Nothing.

“I mean, there’s no way you’re alive, right? He wouldn’t have left you here if you were alive.” She wondered, not for the first time, why her husband did the things he did. She shook her head. “This is silly. I’m being silly. I shouldn’t be this freaked out.” Still she hesitated. Her heartbeat accelerated, a frenetic pounding in her ears. Her breaths grew slow and shallow. This was a deep, primal fear, and logic alone wasn’t enough to overcome it, not when she could see the thing in front of her.

She watched.

She waited.

Would it really be so bad to make it all disappear? Then she could go on with her life without this anguished uncertainty.

“No!” she asserted. “I’m not going to let some silly fear run my life. I’m an adult, and you’re just an insect. A dead one at that.” No reply came from the curled up wasp floating in the toilet bowl. She nodded and began unbuckling her belt. But before sitting, there came one final moment of hesitation. “I know you’re dead, but . . . just don’t sting me down there okay?”

The wasp twitched.

* * *

Story by Gregory M. Fox