She'd started swimming early in the morning, when the kids were asleep, when she thought he was asleep. She didn't know her absence woke him, that the shift in the bed was an earthquake. When she climbed back in, she smelled like salt and seaweed. Sometimes her hair would still be knotted on top of her head. She tried to keep it dry. She didn't want him to know. The problem with marrying the mermaid girl from the carnival was knowing that one day she'd swim away.
The problem with stealing the magician's assistant from a carnival was that you were always waiting for her to disappear. He expected her to vanish. She had in fact, multiple times, before Simon was born, and just after, too. ...Daniel wanted to be worried for, wanted to be missed without doing any of the leaving that missing demanded. When Paulina left, he counted breaths, and thought constantly of the disappearing box. The reappearing was the most important part of the trick. Eventually he stopped living in fear that she wouldn't come back. The more pressing concern was that she was cutting herself in two.
Sometimes you made love to a man because you wanted your body to feel something other than the aches and pains of use. Sometimes you made love to man because he looked so good that you wanted to try him on. Sometimes you made love to a man because he fathered your children, he made you a home, he loved you, and he staunched the parts of you that were always bleeding. Sometimes you made love to a man because you felt split in two, and joining with him pulled you back together.
Why the hell don't people understand there are some things you don't talk about? You keep it to yourself so you hurt fewer people. You're supposed to pay with guilt. Guilt is penance.