Caught up with the reflection of his handsome face, almost-black hair, and blue eyes, she refused to deal with the reality of her life because it was much easier to keep pretending that things were different. Helene’s voice stuck in her throat. There were so many questions she wanted to ask. Why do you cheat and lie? Who is she this time? Why do I put up with it? Even with those questions blasting in her mind, she took a deep breath and spoke in even tones that belied the tension building at her temples. “Will you be home for dinner?”
Bill didn’t glance in her direction as the lies flowed smoothly through his lips. “No, I’ve got to work late on a case that’s going to court next week. I’ll probably work most of the night.”
Helene furiously grabbed the tassel on the corner of the pillow. How did you get so good at lying? As she listened to his words, she remembered the smell of the familiar perfume that had assaulted her nose, and the ever-so-light smudge of red lipstick on the collar of his shirt that she had taken to the cleaners yesterday. Her heart pinched in agony as the man at the cleaners smiled and winked at her, teasing her that she might want to change the color of her lipstick—red, he had said, was hard to remove.
Bill moved away from the mirror and continued talking about his heavy workload. Helene’s demeanor didn’t change as she quietly maimed the pillow with her pulls and tugs. Shut up, Bill, shut up, she wanted to scream. Don’t you know I’ve known about all of them throughout the years? I’ve given them names. Can you beat that? I name your mistresses! The turmoil inside of her was at a full boil today, but she held it in tightly, not letting it erupt or even seep through her calm exterior. A divorce would be much more traumatic and expensive than replacing decorative pillows.
She gazed at Bill through the mirror and said, “I’ll leave you something to eat in the fridge.” He walked out of the bathroom, straightening his shirt. Her hands clenched firmly around the small pillow in front of her as she pasted a smile on her face. She raised her lips to accept his quick kiss.
Click Follow to receive emails when this author adds content on Bublish