what happens when a lonely women circumvents her husbands attempt at an affair
Elsa woke up alone, the other side of the bed rumpled but cold. She was relieved yet disappointed. When she slept alone, which happened more often than not, she was unnaturally still. It was a trick she taught herself to save time making the bed when she got up. She woke up alone but she had not gone to bed alone. The evening had taken several unexpected turns. All of which led to the unexpected rumpling of Richard's side of the bed.
She laid there a moment longer, unsure of how it all happened, unsure of what her next move should be. She got up and started making up the bed. When she reached Richard's side, her hands slowed, almost of their own volition. She picked up the pillow to fluff it up, and brought it to her nose. The light scent of amber and sandalwood that was Jaime lingered there. She made herself put the pillow down and finish the task at hand, thus avoiding the thoughts that scent would arouse.
She changed out of her nightgown into running shorts and a sweatshirt and proceeded to the master bath. She brushed her teeth, washed her face and studied her reflection in the mirror. Outwardly she was unchanged. No matter what, she would always need the minor waxing between and around her eyebrows. Inwardly she was permanently, irrevocably altered. She ran a comb through her hair and headed downstairs.
Waiting at the kitchen door was Walter, an anxious, wiggling, extremely excited dog. She grabbed his leash out of the closet, then bent down to hook it to his collar. As she did so, she ruffled his ears, looked deeply into his eyes and mused that this was the only uncomplicated love she had. They walked out of the house into the dimly lit world of the early autumn morning. She allowed Walter his sniff and pee at the end of the driveway then got to the business of running.
Her feet beat out one rhythm, her heart another, and her mind tried sorting through the events of her recent past. Her only goal had been to stop Richard this one time in his pursuit of this one affair. Richard wasn't a bad husband, he just wasn't faithful. Never had been, never will. She had spent their entire marriage reacting to his affairs, crying, begging, and demanding fidelity all to no avail. This time she had been proactive. She thought subtle yet direct intervention might help her save her marriage.
Her pace slowed as she approached Highland Hill Road. Her body knew what to do, she didn't have to think about it so her mind continued down its own rough path.
The moment Elsa met Jaime she knew this was to be Richard's next attempt at another affair. Rather than wait for it to happen, Elsa decided to pursue a friendship with Jaime. She strongly believed that no woman would enter into an affair with her new friend's husband.
Elsa courted Jaime as enthusiastically as Richard did and was experiencing greater success. They had coffee together, shared lunches, dinners, and brunches on Sundays. On days they didn't see each other, they either spoke on the phone or communicated via email. Before she knew it, the very thought of Jaime made Elsa smile. Before she knew it she stopped concerning herself with Richard and his extramarital affairs. Elsa had fallen into an emotional affair with Jaime without knowing it.
Highland Hill Road marked the beginning of the end of her run. She picked up her pace a little and rounded the corner into a park near her house like a woman being chased. Then she slowed first to a jog, then to a walk. This part of the run was for Walter. This was his opportunity to sniff and pee almost at will. Elsa allowed him this for about ten minutes before heading home. Her body responded to the run in its usual fashion. The release of endorphins left her feeling loose and relaxed. Her mind remained lost in the past.
Home again, in the master bath she fine tuned the shower, removed her sweaty clothes and stepped in. She stood completely under the running water, allowing her hair to get thoroughly soaked. She stood there a long moment wishing the water could wash away her confusion. The only thing running down the drain with the sweat and grime from her run was any sense of who she really was. Last night her emotional affair very nearly became something else. She wanted it to become something else, at least her body did, her mind didn't know what she wanted.
She stepped out of the shower, dried off and dressed for work. While gathering materials for work, briefcase, papers, car keys, she paused in the doorway of her bedroom and stared at her bed. Last night in that very bed she and Jaime laughed and giggled like schoolgirls at a slumber party. They talked and played and wound up entangled in each others arms. It was then that she realized what she wanted. It was then that Jaime kissed her forehead, her cheeks, her lips before getting up and walking away.
What was this pull Jaime had on her? What was this feeling, desire, love, both? Was this love she felt for Jaime, or was she so desperately lonely that she would latch onto anyone who paid her the slightest bit of attention? She didn't know, wasn't sure she wanted to know.
She turned away from her bedroom, ready to confront the work world but not ready to confront either Richard or Jaime but knowing ready or not she would have to.