the baby in the bottle

Topics: Glass Pages: 3 (1422 words) Published: October 10, 2013
The truth was, Mr. Libre felt sorry for his wife. He was very careful to hide it from her, of course, but day by day, through the years, as he saw her watching the shriveled half-black baby in the bottle, he felt more and more sorry for her. She would touch the bottle gently, once in a while, and run her hands fondly over the cold glass; inside, the stiff, skinless body of a four-inch boy now dead for five years, would bob up and down in the green alcohol. And then sometimes, slowly, to herself, she would smile. Mr. Libre‘s wife was a plain woman with high cheekbones and a sad mouth, who was only twenty-nine years old but whose eyes were no longer young. Mr. Libre himself was thirty-three but graying hair and some thick corded veins on his hands made him look older. He was a small man and thin, and long hours of bending over receipts had given him a stooped posture and made him appear even smaller and thinner. Very often, whenever he could, Mr. Libre would try to walk to his wife to get her to start talking too, but it became harder and harder for them to find things to talk about. The talk always turned to the past and how different it might have been if they‘d had children. Mr. Libre didn‘t want to talk about those things but his wife did, and gradually, the pauses stretched longer and made them both uneasy. But he was always patient with her; even if he was tired or irritable he never showed it in any way. By now he had learned to put up with many good things. He was married when he was twenty-two and just out of high school. He had been alone in the city for four months when he met her. She understood his dialect and they got along well together. At first he wanted to go on to college but when he thought it over again, he felt that it wasn‘t fair. That would be asking too much from his wife. They moved into a rented room which the owner said was the ground floor of a two-story building, but it was just a room actually, with thick cardboard walls to divide it...
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