They shot him like a dog, and me they slapped. That’s how it always is—they shoot the men like dogs and the women get slapped. “I don’t have the heart to kill you even though you deserve it,” said their leader who, oddly enough, was the shortest one. “We won’t even rape you,” he added, and from the look in his eyes I could tell that he considered himself a prince, but instead of thanking him for his courtesy, I started to cry. It’s tough being a woman, what with all those slaps and all the men you lose. When you’re a man, they take you out of bed in the middle of the night once, drag you into the street and bam, it’s over. But when you’re a woman, it never ends. “It’s natural to cry,” he said, stroking my head, “it’s the shock.” And then he said again, “We won’t even rape you. Even though you deserve it.” Then they went away. It wasn’t because they were afraid, men aren’t afraid of anything. Maybe I wasn’t grateful enough. I took the shovel out of the tool chest and dug a hole where the ground was soft. It took me three hours and I got calluses on my hands. It’s hard to dig a hole big enough for a person, especially a huge one like my man. I lugged his body to the hole, but I didn’t have the strength left to cover him with sand, so I covered him with our flowered quilt and put the espresso machine we got from the kids for our last anniversary on top so the quilt wouldn’t blow away. It’s an old trick; my mother did the same when my father died. Then I went into the kitchen and took a carton of myth milk out of the refrigerator, drank two glasses and gave a little hiccup, a woman’s hiccup. When he hiccupped, the whole house used to shake. “Don’t be a pig,” I’d tell him, and he’d laugh. I went to bed, but it was hard to fall asleep without a man, even harder without the quilt on such a cold night. When I finally fell asleep, I dreamed they dragged us out of the house in the middle of the night and shot me like a dog, and for once, he was the one who got stuck with the slap and the “we won’t rape you” and the grave and the milk, and it got me so excited that I woke up all wet, the way only a woman can.