A man ponders the accusations of his wife.
| It’s nine fifty in the morning. I’ve been sitting here since eight-thirty going over this morning’s events in my head while staring at a blank computer screen. I can see from my window the sun beaming on the other commuters below scurrying about. Some appear to be late and frustrated. Others, like the kid on the bus bench, appear to be in no hurry at all. He has one of those Ipods, bobbing his head to the rhythm. His orange hood hiding most of his tangled blond hair. I wonder what his plans are for today? I knew what my plans were this morning but now I’m not so sure. My wife, Sarah, why would she think that? Does she really think I’m capable of something like that? She appeared to be on the verge of tears. She must be serious.
The wall clock ticks away loudly, muffling the usual sounds outside my office door. Nine fifty three. Ten years of marriage. We have two kids for God’s sake! She had the coffee ready as usual this morning but she wasn’t her usual cheerful self. She just sat silently with her fiery red hair still wrapped in a royal blue silk sash, sipping and staring into the bouquet on the table. That dry, ragged false yellow tulip bouquet we bought at the flea market that summer so many years ago. We were newly weds then looking forward to the many years we would spend together. We were young and naïve then but the hardships of reality have since aged us and made us wiser. As I grabbed my keys and headed for the door she asked, “Stephen, are you having an affair?”
I smiled, “Only with the hot dog vendor on the corner.” She always made me lunch in the morning but I can’t resist the smell from the cart outside my office window. She knows this. She didn’t respond to my joke. Her blue eyes met mine and began to fill up with tears.
“Please I just need to know.” Her voice barley above a whisper. She appeared to be serious about this inquiry so I answered, “No, Sarah, I’m not.” She didn’t say anything. She just took a deep breath and returned to her coffee. I left quietly. No good-byes this time.
The drive to work seemed unusually short. And now I sit pondering and fuming. How dare she! I should have said yes! Yes, I’m having an affair! I’ve had almost every good looking woman in this building! I may be over thirty but I’ve still got what it takes! I’ve had a couple of them right here on my desk after work Sarah! How do you like that! Kathy likes to hide in the utility closet on the third floor. The smells of ammonia and dirty mop water really get her libido moving! Sometimes the chocolate goddess Sandra and I will take her car to a remote parking lot. It can be a little uncomfortable in the back seat, especially with the baby car seat, but we make due. Of course I’ve thought about it! My God, every ten minutes I think about it! Are you reading my fucking mind now? And even if that’s the case, can I be persecuted for my thoughts alone? I’m entitled to have fantasies!
There’s a knock at the door. The high-pitched voice on the other side says it’s Mary. The door opens and in walks Mary and her breasts. You can barely make out her tanned face and flowing blonde hair behind those perfect circles but who would complain about that? They come closer to my desk. Those creamy white hilltops are peeking at me over the top her deep red blouse as usual. They beckon me to extend my arms and indulge in whatever fantasy my mind can concoct. Mary won’t mind. She might even enjoy it. Just when I think I can no longer restrain myself Mary says something, rolls her blue eyes then quickly exits taking her exhibits with her. What did she say? Was she even really here or was it my imagination? I wish I had imagined what happened this morning.
I wonder if she’ll still want to talk about it when I get home. Of course she will you idiot! You’ll just have to take control. There won’t be any discussion. It’s that simple. I’ll deny it! I’ll deny it till the very end! There’s nothing going on sweetheart! How could you accuse me of something so disgusting after all we’ve been through? I love you dammit!
The stapler falls from the desk and bangs loudly against the wastebasket. The result of me rapping my fist on the desk unknowingly. Now there are staple everywhere. I wonder if anybody heard that. Damn that woman! Everything was fine yesterday. Now I have to deal with this shit! She’ll be sorry. I empty my lungs as I stoop to pick up the staples.
Brad bursts in loudly. “Hey, Steve get your ass to the conference room! They’re waiting on you!”
“The meeting! I sent Mary in here to remind you?”
It’s five minutes after ten. Now I remember what Mary was saying.
“Get your stuff and come on!” Brad barks.
I’ll forget about the staples and Sarah for now. I grab the folder from my desk and as I head out the door I make a mental note to call Stacey and cancel our date for tonight.