The Pendulum (Henry)

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The Pendulum
Summary of the Short Story
from the Collection «The Trimmed Lamp»
Microsummary: A man realized the importance of his wife's presence after she left for a short trip, but when she returned unexpectedly, he fell back into his old habits of neglect.

John Perkins lived a monotonous life with his wife, Katy, in their small flat. Every day followed the same routine, and John would often spend his evenings playing pool with his friends at McCloskey's. One day, John returned home to find a note from Katy saying that she had to leave suddenly to visit her sick mother. For the first time in their two years of marriage, they would be separated for a night.

John Perkins — husband; remorseful, realizing the importance of his wife's presence; fond of playing pool.
Katy Perkins — John's wife; caring, attentive to household duties; concerned about her mother's health.

As John spent the evening alone in their flat, he realized how much he missed Katy and how much he had taken her for granted. He decided that when she returned, he would make it up to her by spending more time with her and cutting out his nights at McCloskey's.

John Perkins, you’re the worst kind of a shine. I’m going to make it up for the little girl.

To his surprise, Katy returned home that same night, as her mother's illness turned out to be minor. John was overjoyed to see her, but when she asked where he was going, he found himself falling back into old habits and replied that he was going to McCloskey's to play pool with his friends.

Now, where are you going, I’d like to know, John Perkins?

Thought I’d drop up to McCloskey’s and play a game or two of pool with the fellows.