10 am found Sybil in front of the television packing a Kool cigarette exactly fifteen times on the shiny walnut table set before her. She breathed it in deep and got lost in the motivational speaker’s smooth words and his very sharp blue suit.
When it was over she decided that today her back would not hurt and she would not magnify every imperfection in herself and others and she would brim with self esteem for all of her unrecognized efforts. After a bit ,as she began to rap another Kool against the table ,she decided that she was in fact the historian’s wife and was not at liberty to decide much of anything. The day passed with magazine smiles and a growing numbness and soon it was time for the ceremony.
When they called her husband’s name and he rose to receive his award he paused and gave to her the strangest smile. Bill had thought that he should ask her to go with him but he had kept this secret so long and so carefully that he shouldn’t want to spoil it now. She slid out of her seat and made her way to ladies room unnoticed.
“Ladies and gentlemen Mr. Rochester has made it clear to the board that he would only accept this award on one condition. Bill has asked that this award would read ” to Sybil and Bill Rochester for their meticulous work and major discoveries in the world of ancient medicine.” Sybil would you please come forward.”
During this long awkward silence a single gunshot rang out from the direction of the ladies room.