Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Suspicion

She doesn't lie; never has, not in her own mind anyway, other than a little lie of omission or one to make someone feel good. She sits, looking at the left over cereal bowls. He's' gone, all that remains is the evidence of him being there but she remember, she may have misled him slightly.  "Wasn't me!" were the last words she'd said before he left as he raised his nose to the air in acknowledgement of an errant fluff, leaving its odoriferous evidence; so familiar were they that comment on such things was left unuttered.

She has suspicions, despite such intimacy, that something isn't right. He doesn't touch her the way he used to; there's a coolness about him that makes her not want to ask the question for fear she might already know the answer - Is he cheating?

They'd been to the Dawn Service together then on to the pub for a game of two-up when she noticed him glancing sideways, not at her, but at HER. Tall, curvy, tanned, bedroom eyes and  paying him obvious attention with a 42inch chest and 34 inch 'come hither' hips. They seemed to recognise each other but barely passed a knowing glance; he's at that wondering age, she guesses, 43 in June and looking for some excitement outside the safety of their marriage.

He'd been self-centred lately, forgot her birthday, no flowers on Friday, preening in front of the mirror before he left the house but not for her; for her he remained unshaven and unkempt. The suspicion begins to grow and she regales past conversations, imagination running wild as she tries to find evidence of white lies or little points of omission.
He blushed when she quizzed him about coming home late from the office, knowing full well he hadn't been there when she called at 8pm.  He left the house on Saturday, dressed like James Bond, suited and handsome for a 'business appointment' but she wasn't convinced.   Perhaps it was her driving him away with a little extra weight or being a bitch about his long hours.  She'd tried hard to keep in shape but hard exercise wasn't her thing and yoga simply didn't help the pounds recede, just made her fart in some positions, not quite the relaxation and contemplation she'd anticipated.

Long gone were the halcyon days of their  honeymoon, riding in teacups and yellow submarines at Disneyland, lounging on beaches at Big Sur, these days she can't fit into her bikini but apart from a little dash of grey, he looks the same; is she driving him away?

Still staring at empty breakfast bowls, she remembers hot nights in hot places and the prolonged love-making in La Paz. The effect at altitude heady and euphoric. Sex as adventurous as the Andes. Her eyes glance sideways towards the his home-office door, he's left his cell phone. The iPhone, garish in its orange cover, companion to the other items on his anally organised desk; a three hole punch, a role of invisible tape and a blotter, smattered with scribbled phone numbers.

She's sure he's doing more than monkeying around and the ludicrous 70's riff from that band start playing in her head in time to stem the welling tears. She remember seeing them at Festival Hall as a child, screaming wildly whilst standing on her chair, unaware that they too were cheating, lip sinking to padded drums and useless guitars.  Her mind moves to more sinister thoughts - what would she do if she found out, confront him, leave him, kill him? She remembers the syringes, pre-filled and packed with calming green fluid, once used to euthanase pets, now sitting in her veterinary surgeon's bag, dust-covered in the garage.  She rises and walks outside to check its contents, warm rain frizzing her hair and cooling her skin as the neighbour's TV blares strains from "My Fair Lady." She was fair once she thinks and twirls, holding out her skirt, an unlikely Audrey Hepburn now contemplating the worst.

She stops short of the garage door and glances at the orange phone in her hand and begins to scroll the 'recent' messages as contemplation turns to confirmation and the text messages spill into her heart, piercing and stinging like a thousand tiny daggers, she feels nauseus and disgusted.

There on the garage shelf is the trusty bag surrounded by boxes full of magazines and books, neatly hung tools on a pegboard when her eyes cast down towards a fallen Lonely Planet guide knocked from it's perch, "Melbourne!" She remembers, he'd extended his last trip, one of many and with little explanation.  Its pages stained by water leached from the roof onto a Ratsak cube, streaming slowly along its spine like a trail of blue urine.

Melbourne was the key, she harks back on the woman travelling with him, the one with sensible shoes. He'd said she was gay but now the doubt is seeping in; perhaps it was a ruse to avoid lipstick on the collar, put her mind at rest.

The phone still on, the message tone sounds and there it is, "Missed you the other day Rob, see you at the Windsor at 3, I've something special for you, very romantic." The letters followed by emoticon lips in passionate purple, this was no lesbian or business colleague, this was HER.  She can't resist the urge and dial's the return number, "Hello, Paradise Travel, this is Heather speaking?" She's confused and the fragments of a hasty conclusion begin to split, "Er, I had a message on my husband's phone about a meeting at the Windsor and a surprise, was that you?"

"Oh Mrs Carter, yes but the message was intended for your husband"

"Forget it! I know about you, the Windsor, everything!"

"No, no, Mrs Carter, you have the wrong end of the stick?"

"No, I don't! He's my husband!

"I'm well aware of that Mrs Carter, I'm his travel agent. He's arranging a surprise second honeymoon for you. I've just confirmed the itinerary for Tahiti but I don't think you were supposed to know."

She drops the book. Embarrassed by the blackness of her thoughts, the suspicion in her mind and dusts off the treadmill.

Written for the Tenth Daughter of  Memory "White Lies belie a Darker Truth"

10 comments:

  1. I got the "All of your minds are muscle-bound from jumping to conclusions!" hit. -from Walter Mitty. How do you do that? -J

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  2. I like it. It works. I know you thought it was cheesy, but so what?

    Regarding 36-inch "come hither" hips... er, not sure about that one. Then again, with a 42-inch bust... forget I said anything.

    Typos, damn you!

    (Exclamation mark sponsored by PattiKen and the Muses)

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  3. Yeh it's cheesy. OK I've made her less 'curvy' - baby's got back OK?

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  4. Gah. Any woman with a 42" bust atop a 34" hips probably has a running account with her plastic surgeon, and she'd best be looking into opening one with her orthopedist.

    I like this, Baino. And I suspect the story line could be all too true (well, except for the bust thing...).

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  5. Noooo. Not the planning a trip for her twist! I liked it :). Damn the treadmill to hell, though!

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  6. First. Would not "relives" be a better choice of words than "regales"?

    Second. I always thought cup size was the true measure of a bust - band size of 42 over hips of 34 would make her a very barrel-chested woman. Now 36DD over 34 inch hips makes for a much better visualization.

    Other than that - it works very nicely.

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  7. figured there was a (happy) ending coming, but you still set it up well...always ahead of the curve in creating atmosphere and feeling!

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  8. nice little gotcha there at the end...well writ though...

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  9. For some reason, I'm still suspicious.

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  10. Not too cheesy. I liked it and a nice little bit of suspense.

    edit? 8th paragraph - should it be 'lip syncing' instead of 'lip sinking' ?

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