If she was in the bathroom crying, well that was fine with him. The sound of the shower running was a soothing, almost complete one. It allowed him to concentrate on watching the eggs boil.
What had he said wrong, anyway? That it was just as well. It was. The child had been … wrong. Who could love such a thing, with its furred belly and spined back. Its mewling, animal noises.
He could not bear to see it suckling at her breast. Or trundling after her through the park, stopping every now and then to sniff at the air like a dog.
That kind of thing was all very well in fairytales. A cursed child. A starred brow. A fortune buried in a kiss. But they lived in a two-bedroom apartment with electric lights and stainless-steel appliances. They had a mortgage, credit cards and university degrees. The only magic trick he knew was one his father had taught him. It was the kind of trick you performed with a handkerchief and a coin.
He scooped the eggs out of the pot. Heard her turn off the taps and step onto the tiles. Her bare feet heavy; wet with grief.