by Carson Abrir
Abilene, Texas — Sherman Jeffries knew something was wrong the moment he stepped into the kitchen. Cookie, his loyal wife of 22 years, stood above their 15-year-old Mr. Coffee, staring at the 13” black and white television he’d finally mounted beneath the Brazilian wood cabinet after putting it off for nearly a decade. After mumbling his best, “Good morning, Cookie,” his wife remained locked in a frozen gaze into the screen of the television they’d recently watched together for 18 straight hours after it had miraculously turned on as a full season of Oprah reruns were airing.
“Good morning, Cookie!” Sherman said again, this time louder than his previous mumble.
After a pause that seemed longer than the commercial break before the final Biggest Loser weigh-in, Cookie broke away from the Galaxy set that nearly sent Sherman to the hospital years earlier when he’d rushed into Wal-Mart before dawn on Black Friday morning to snatch up one of just ten units offered for $19.95 in the store’s Thanksgiving Day circular.
“I can’t do it anymore,” Cookie sighed with much less warmth than the untouched cup of Chock Full o’Nuts’ New York Roast that was quickly losing its steam.
“Can’t do what?” Sherman asked in the direction of the blank television screen.
“I never understood until last night,” Cookie replied. “All these years, I couldn’t understand how a Virgo could be so lazy, childish, self-indulgent, stubborn and vain. Now I know you’re not a Virgo. You’ve been living a lie.”
“How could you, Sherman!” Cookie exclaimed.
Sherman himself had been just as surprised the night before when he came home to find the family’s Commodore computer (another Black Friday special) opened to a Huffington Post article announcing the big news: the Zodiac dates were off. He hadn’t looked closely since the screen continued to flicker on and off, but he knew something big had happened.
“You’re a Leo, Sherman,” Cookie seemingly whispered to herself. “I would have never married you if I’d known. How could you, Sherman,” she said again struggling for composure.
After explaining that her mind was made up, the Jeffries contemplated how they’d break the news to 19-year-old Coco, their only daughter who was struggling through her first year at the community college just a mile from their home while clinging to a miserable relationship she’d begun with a boy she’d started dating in middle school.
“It all makes sense, now,” Cookie said as she searched the Internet for advice to prepare for the difficult conversation. “Coco never had the warm, generous, affectionate nature of a Sagittarius,” Cookie said. “Now that I know she’s been a Scorpio all these years, I finally understand her.”