Any Given Saturday

They fought all the time. Gail and Henry. Little things, big things, things that turned out the next day to not matter at all. Sometimes they couldn't even remember what they'd been fighting about.

Arguing and bickering defined their relationship. Sure, to their friends, they were the perfect couple. The friends didn't see the weekends, the late nights, the war raging in their home.

Long after most of the fights, when she'd calmed down, Gail felt the remorse that comes to someone who's essentially a nice person. Henry doesn't deserve this, she'd think, and I'm pushing him away. Then what will I do? What will I do?

There'd been a particularly bad one Friday night, and Gail was deep in the remorse next day as she drove in to work her shift.

Waiting for her computer to boot, Gail realized she needed coffee, really needed it. There was a coffee machine in the breakroom.

She noticed a paperback book on the breakroom table. Picking it up, she saw a bookmark in it about halfway through. When she opened the book to the mark, her eyes fell immediately upon these words on the page:

Those things you do over and over again ... realize that they're only tapes. Tapes you play in your mind, constantly. You don't have to play them. You don't have to live them. Flip the switch, turn them off. Turn them off! Take the tapes out, and throw them away.

She read the words a few more times, then the click in her mind caused Gail to stare into space for a moment. Picking up her cup, she walked out of the breakroom, clutching the book to her breast.