Some quiet time

Written by , on 2015-11-25, genre romantic

She had her head leaned against the wainscoting, the bathwater was only lukewarm, and she was crying. Her body was submerged in her claw-foot tub from the breasts down and the soap had left traces floating along the surface of the water, turning it milky. The world was so quiet, just a tiny drip from the tub faucet, her sobs, and a quiet whir from the air conditioning through the vents. It had been a stressful week at work and then the bombshell. This tub time was giving her the sort of peace and quiet and cry-time that she needed.

She wiped her face, trying to gather herself, and looked around her bathroom, seeing the new pedestal sink, the black and white tiles and then her bathrobe, crumpled on the floor, with the letter, the cause of her pain, sticking out of the pocket. When she saw it in the mail yesterday, the name, the postmark address, her heart thudded into her chest, but she left it in the pile then, ignored it, and went about her business. This morning, while sipping her coffee she remembered it, and against her better judgment, she tore it open. She knew the letter would be confirmation of her finding out and she was ready for whatever was coming, or she thought she was. When she finished reading it, the tears already forming, she shoved it with her fist into her bathrobe. It was worse than she could have ever imagined. Now the letter was mocking her again, popping itself of her bathrobe and name calling “You’re the slut!”

She slid forward and submerged her whole body, feeling the coolness of the water on her face. She blew bubbles and then held her breath, maybe for longer than she should have and she lurched up out of the water, coughing. She pulled the plug on the tub and watched the water swirl its way down the drain. As she stood up, she could feel the slight breeze from the air conditioner blowing on her breasts and her nipples got harder, goosebumps breaking out over her body. The bathrobe felt cool to her touch and she put it on, tying the strap in front. The letter, the strap disrupting it, flipped out of her pocket and fell to the ground, unfurling itself open as if by invisible hands. The first sentence, written in big dark strokes as if the writer was pressing down hard, glared up at her. “I know what you did.”

She knew what she did too and now she was ashamed of it. The letter had been written with a pen, a fine scrawl, only two paragraphs long but its content was like being stabbed with a knife. Who knew that words could cut so deeply. She picked up the letter and continued, “I can imagine you two slipping away to that cheap motel, whose receipt I found in his wallet. I picture him fucking you like I never would, in the ass, or did he come on your face? I hope so. One thing is clear, he will never love you like he loves me or love you the way he loves the family we’ve worked so hard to create. Those children mean the world to him and for you to think that he would give that all up for someone like you, defies all logic. You were a cheap thrill, nothing more. I will heal and we’ll move on but that is not for you to learn about or comprehend. Please listen to my final words and put them into your heart, if I catch you with him again, I will kill you.”

She crumpled the letter up and put it back into her bathrobe, went into her bedroom, and got dressed.

Later, the doorbell rang and she strode into the living room to answer it. “Coming!”, she said.

The door opened and he was there.

“Go away.” she said.

“I won’t. I had to see you.”

“She knows.”

“I know.”

“And yet you’re here. I loved you but I can’t do it anymore. I’m picturing your wife, writing that letter, crying, like I cried today. It ripped her fucking heart out. We did that. I did that. I was a fool.”

“I love you, don’t say that.”

“I already did. Please go Matt. I can’t, just, go. No more.” She stood there, the door wide open and she stared at him for a long time. He was wearing the shoes she had bought him. He smelled great. He walked past her into the apartment and she closed the door.

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