chilly blast of air blew through the slatted stairs, whistling with
melancholy as a marriage unravelled.
The couple, leaning on opposite railings of the stairway,
glared at one another, fighting to be heard over the gusts. They
sparred that night as they ascended the creaky, metal stairs of
They'd had seats on the third-base line. First row.
For free. It had been a pleasure to enjoy the ballgame from such
a perfect angle. While the sun shone, it was a marvelous mid-April
day in New York. But the sun had set and the husband received a
call on his cell phone. Friends, who were supposed to be at the
game hours before, had just arrived and were seated in the third
tier. Far away from the front-row seats.
For reasons unknown to the wife, the husband demanded
that they give up their coveted seats and ascend the stadium stairs
to meet the tardy friends. The wife inquired and the husband, instead
of discussing the matter, sharply commanded her to stand up and
With each floor the air felt colder, the wind more cruel, the gusts
louder. The wife couldn't decide if the tears in her eyes were from
the stinging cold air or from the disappointment of giving up her
perfect stadium seat.
Or, was it yet another matter a very large
decision that had been placed on her shoulders only hours before?
Four hours prior to the game, the wife had received a job offer
in Portland, Ore. It was not only a step up in her career
she had longed for a managerial job but it was, perhaps,
a solution to the nagging sensation that her three-year-old marriage
had become so unfulfilling and downright painful when her husband
would berate her to remove the tensions of his workday.
As the two grabbed onto opposing sides of the railing
and ascended the 10th flight of stairs, the wife's chest heaved
with desperate breaths. The air was too cold for her lungs to comfortably
The wife looked across the stairway, observing her husband. Amid
the sea of strangers, some holding popcorn, others clutching plastic
tumblers of beer, the wife saw that the man she had committed her
life to had become camouflaged by the sea of unknown faces.
She called his name. "Jack."
"Relax already, we're almost there!" he snapped impatiently.
"No, it's not about the new seats."
"Well, speak up, because I can't hear you over
this damn wind."
She hesitated. "Oh, never mind. I'll tell you
Her heart pounded with excitement and fear. She knew his reaction
to her announcement would not be pleasant. For the moment, she focused
on the ballgame far below.