Claire watched as Frank deftly picked muffin crumbs off the table with his large fingers. It seemed like every morning for the last twenty years, she had watched his large hands moving over the table like birds of prey erradicating any tid bit left. She would have liked to think that it was because her muffins were so delicious, but since he did it with embarrassing regularity with virtually every food and in any circumstance, she had long since dimissed this notion.
“Busy day today?” Claire asked as she cleared Frank’s plate and coffee cup.
Frank got up and stretched, nearly touching the ceiling. He caused a momentary eclipse of the morning light streaming in the kitchen window, throwing Claire into shadow. She had always loved how big he was, it made her feel safe, even if he did take up a lot of room.
“I have the normal classes, then office hours. I also have another meeting tonight with the grad students, so I’ll be home late.”
“Another one? Should I keep dinner for you?”
“No, don’t bother. We’ll grab something close to campus.”
Frank was backlit, surrounded by a bright line of light all around, so Claire couldn’t see his face very clearly. She wondered what she would see there. He had been keeping an awful lot of weird hours lately.
“OK. I’ll be in the dark room today, so I may not answer the phone. I took a roll of film of the garden. I’m excited to see how they came out.”
Frank bent and quickly kissed Claire on the cheek. “Have fun making like a photographer. I probably won’t call. I’ve got a pretty packed schedule. I’ll see you tonight.”
After Frank left, Claire sat down with her own breakfast. As she cradled the cup of coffee in her hands, she thought about his odd schedule and how it had cropped up on and off through out their marriage starting when Anna was a baby. She had never wanted to prove it, but she could swear he had been having affairs. Did it matter more now than it did in the past? Did the gold band on her left hand represent less of her commitment now that Anna was in college? If he was having an affair, what would she do anyway? Leave? And do what? Starve?
Claire frowned as she put the dishes in the dishwasher. Then she resolved to put it out of her mind. Regardless of what Frank was doing, she loved him. It was almost a reflex. She wasn’t going anywhere. She looked at the clock. She wanted to get the household chores done so she could get into the dark room.
1) Describe their relationship? Who is the dominant partner?
2) What does Claire think about the relationship? Of Frank?
3) Even though this scene is from Claire's point of view, is there any indication of how Frank feels about Claire?
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