A Short Story by Steve Stanton
Copyright Steve Stanton
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by Steve Stanton
Shyla Cleary looked up from a pot of lentil beans as her husband Ryin entered their tiny apartment. She studied him carefully, searching for any glimmer of hope. She could always tell how his day had gone within seconds of his return home. Ryin was devoid of artifice, unschooled in subterfuge, a man too honest for his own good. His thick lips were grim, his forehead downcast, another bad day. His skin was dark, even for a black man, and his long hair camouflaged his expression, but his posture told all, his stance slouched and defensive. In her mind’s eye she could see his perfect body beneath the ratty shirt and dingy dungarees—an ebony statue of hard muscle built for pleasure, her midnight angel. She held on to that imagined vision like a talisman.
“Did you see what they’re bidding for kidneys now?” he called out. He rattled a newsfax printout for emphasis, holding it up like courtroom evidence for a jury who might never read the fine print. “I wish I’d kept my spare like you. We’d be rich by now.” He shook tangled dreadlocks sadly and dropped into a stuffed easy chair that was covered with a torn gray blanket. He wiped at his sweat-pebbled cheeks with a burly arm.