(This is a work of fiction.)
She had a habit of leaving her Bible open. He assumed that it was on purpose given his lifelong atheism but it wasn’t like her to be petty. Then again nothing was for certain anymore. And the fact that it was a Bible she was reading again – something holy and untouchable – made him laugh out loud.
He never paid too close attention to the page or passage she left visible. Or were they called verses? Really, he couldn’t care less what the snippets of text were called and cared even less about the contents. She had no business owning that book let alone reading it. For a brief moment, he considered grabbing it and chucking it out the open kitchen window into the light rain. It was then he realized that it wouldn’t have been the first moisture to touch the pages. They were already warped and stained with countless tiny discolorations. Teardrops? Maybe. From regret? Not damn likely. From the truth of having been found out? More likely, but it wasn’t by him. Perhaps it was the invisible man she talked to who had finally made her realize the utter shit she was putting him through. But really, did it matter? Would anything change? Did anything ever change?
No. The answer was no. It was always no. But the only word he would or could muster was Yes. Yes, I forgive you for lying. Yes, I forgive you for cheating. Yes, I forgive you for stealing. Yes, I’ll take you back. Yes, I know I’m a glutton for punishment. Yes, I know you’re the punishment and punisher. Yes, ma’am, please may I have some more of you and everything you wrought? Thank you, ma’am. Yes, that was great. Yes, we can start again from zero.
This had to stop. The time was more than right and most would argue well past. But like all things worth changing the acceptance was going to all but kill him.
Turning his attention back to the book had saw the word “version” in its title. How could the inerrant word of a savior of all mankind have any more than one version? He shook his head as he turned the book to see the spine and read aloud, “N. I. V.” He said each letter slowly as though pained from somewhere deep within to even breathe the syllables. He continued aloud, to no one, and flipped back to the page she had left open. “24. 26. Proverbs.” He ran a finger over the underlined words. “An honest answer is like a kiss on the lips.”
He almost collapsed from the irony. While honesty was far from his forte she was downright bad at it. Even when he caught her in the lie that led to this exact moment she would not come clean. She stammered and tried to redirect the conversation but he wouldn’t allow it. She cheated and had been cheating for some time. He didn’t know how long, and even now wasn’t totally sure, but he knew it was longer than he realized at first.
He placed the Bible back on the table and pulled out his phone. He tapped the browser icon and searched for a certain verse he recalled from childhood. He didn’t know any passages verbatim off the top of his head but this particular one came screaming back at him in a flash of physical and mental pain. The phone gave its answer and he let a slim smile make itself known. He picked the book up again and thumbed to Luke. Still smiling, a little broader now as another idea popped into his head, he picked up the red pen she had left on the table.
He dog-eared the page containing chapter 8. He circled verse 17 several times in ever thicker and deeper red lines. Then he added his own words to those of the infallible Creator:
Let there be light.