"Lover" by Miri Aung
You know, the couples in romcoms always have their conversations lying on a grassy field somewhere, probably braiding daisies into each other’s hair. That’s what they do in books or in films, but not in real life.
In real life, the conversations don’t appear all lined up like dominoes, or neat pages in a book. They’re smaller, squeezed in the spaces between the fridge and the wall, in the gap under the next step on the stairs.
Jonny was hanging his clothes up again. Kim thought he did it periodically, like a reflex when he had nothing else to do with his hands.
“Did you pick up the washing?”
Kim shook her head. The walk-in closet was big enough for the both of them, so she was getting dressed as they spoke.
“I thought it was your turn.”
“Hmm,” he replied. Jonny was always going, hmm. When he was frustrated. When he was upset. A quick, tangy hmm when he was about to laugh.
“What about the newspaper? You know Noomi loves it in the morning.”
“I got it,” Kim answered, tying the edges of her shoelace.
“Ok, then. Thanks.”
“Okay,” said Kim.
These days, maybe their conversations weren’t even big enough to fill the space between the fridge and the wall. More like the beat between their breaths.