Outside the window the rats struggle in the grass, squealing like an unhappy tennis match. My wife smiles at the sound; she figures it’s nature.
She gets up to put her cake plate in the sink but stops halfway there to inspect something in the carpet.
“Is that a bloodstain?” she says.
I don’t look at her, pretend I’m enjoying this Smithsonian.
She sets the cake plate next to the lamp and approaches. “Bleeding?” she wants to know. “All over again?”
“It’s nothing,” I say, and my fingers reach for my nose. “It’s just the weather’s so dry.”
She drops to a knee and puts her chin in my lap. Her nails pinch the seam in my pant leg. “You’re ok,” she says, to reassure not her nor me.
I don’t tell her what I couldn’t know, and the rats play tennis. My wife grins, the lamps burn.