Morning Confessions
Kathleen Listman

Marianne stared at the pink sunrise creeping around Vesuvius and the wisp of dancing clouds that would not survive the day time cooker in the heat of Naples. Pausing to take in every detail, that helped her cope with the shock. Eventually, she must look back into Angelo’s guilt-ridden eyes.

“Now you know. All this time--exploring the ruins, on the beach at night, dancing until dawn--it was something I was simply paid to do.” He confessed, refusing to look at her.

“I wondered sometimes. That trick you played on the sergeant--convincing him that your dog couldn’t walk because he nicked her with the jeep. Suspected you might be turning into a grifter.” Marianne sighed.

“I’ve been one for a while. After the allied bombing, our place was a rubble heap. I figured your soldiers would pity a dog that drags her back legs.”

The paraplegic German shepherd slid close to Angelo, sensing his discomfort. He gathered the courage to look at her. “Peter wanted a divorce, but he wanted a chunk of your money, too. I was supposed to vanish after the whole affair was exposed.”

“So why are you telling me this?”

“You weren’t at all like the picture Peter painted of you. And it didn’t seem decent just to disappear.” He murmured, “Good-bye. Someone else will come along to play my part. I thought I’d warn you.”

Marianne touched Angelo’s hand. “Is that what you want?” she asked.

“Not really.”

“Neither do I.”

First published: August 2018
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