This is an old story I posted up back in 2007. It was unfinished, and I gave it to one of the guards at my job to read. (They are such fans of my stories, lol). So everytime I see him now, I hear "Hey girl, you need to finish that story!" I keep telling him it was a minor writing prompt, and had no real finish, but he insisted on it. So I did... or at least tried to.
Turns out very interesting.
So, here's a little something for you to ponder over the holiday weekend.
In this one, you are confused, not knowing what to do or where to turn.
You were just running downstairs to the laundry room to get fresh towels from the dryer. You passed by the answering machine sitting askew under the large oval mirror on the mahogany table in the foyer and noticed the red light blinking. You don’t remember hearing the phone ring or you would have quickly answered it.
You press play to see who it is.
It’s your husband. He’s on his way home, he says. He has a bad cough, feels like he’s getting sick, like he's coming down with something. He thinks its best that he gets home early while there’s no traffic, because traffic will make whatever he has much, much worse.
You look down at the answering machine. You think you are dreaming, but you're not. The hardwood floor is cold beneath your feet and the breeze dancing through the open windows is giving you goosebumps.
You squint hard at the clock on the wall, and see that it’s one-thirty in the afternoon. The machine says the message was left at one. Around that time, you were sleeping in the arms of your lover. You were very sure you had the day to just lay away, because your husband never walked through the door until seven at night, sometimes as late as eight if the workload's heavy. You knew it was enough time to make love and fall asleep in your lovers arms several times over. You were sure that you could get your lover out of there and even have dinner on the table for your husband when he got in.
In this one, you are scared after you listen to the message for the third time. You hear your lover’s voice float over the sound of the water of the shower. He sings along with Peabo Bryson, crooning his undying love and desire for you. He yells for you to hurry up with that towel.
In this one, you stand stark still as you hear the jiggle of the key in the front door, the clicking of the turning doorknob, and the scrub of the door against the doorjamb…
You close your eyes tight, hoping it’s all a dream, but it isn’t. Your husband is walking in, half stumbling through the front door, tissues pressed to his face, blowing his nose, looking as sick as he sounded on the answering machine.
You do your best to twist your mouth into the smile of a concerned wife. But your actions are interrupted by your lover hollering for you to hurry up with that towel.
Your husband looks up the stairs from whence the plea came.
Then he looks at you.
Then back up the stairs.
Then back at you.
“Who is that? What’s going on?” your husband asks.
You say what you’ve heard so many times in so many ways on so many silly shows.
“Honey, let me explain!”
But you realize your words come too little too late. Your husband is running up the stairs skipping one, sometimes two at a time, to get up there faster.
Your heart is beating fast, threatening to jump out of your chest. Your feet feel like they are stuck in mud, but you force yourself, you find the strength to run up the stairs after your husband.
“Boo, I’m dripping wet. Hurry up with that towel,” your lover yells as he exits the bedroom wrapped in the rumpled blue satin sheets that were just on the bed you loved the morning away in.
You are midway up the stairs. You clutch your hand to your chest. You feel faint.
Your husband and lover are face to face.
Your husband laughs. Your lover eyes are wide, his mouth is wide open.
Your husband looks at you.
Then back at your lover.
Then back at you.
“Why didn’t you tell me your cousin was in town?” he asks.
You are silent at first, but you breathe a sigh of relief. You remember a day at Starbucks a year ago.
In that one, you were in Starbucks with your lover, enjoying strong cups of coffee and danish on your birthday. The two of you had just shared a kiss, as you hadn’t seen each other in awhile. You were planning to check into a local hotel for the afternoon, and if you could get away with it, you were going to spend the night together.
You’d just wiped your red lipstick from your lover’s lips when your husband walked in with your Mother.
“What the fuck is going on?” your husband yelled. “Who the hell is this?”
He wasn’t waiting for an explanation. He’d picked up a chair and was about to throw it when your mother hollered “Nephew, almost didn’t recognize you with the mustache. You in town for Nicole’s birthday, too?”
Your startled lover had already jumped from the table, ready to defend himself. “Yes Auntie, it’s me, Eric.”
Your mother goes on to explain that she was in town as a surprise for your birthday. Your husband picked her up from the airport, and on the way to your home, she wanted to stop for her favorite latte.
Your husband’s face flushed red, and he apologized to all.
Your mother asks your lover how his Mama, her sister Esther, is doing. Your lover says that his mama is fine, and had just gotten over a cold.
Your mother made eye contact with you, but didn’t discuss the incident ever again. You and she know that all your cousins were girls, and Eric wasn’t her nephew, and she’d never seen him before that day.
But your mother was fast on her feet.
For she herself had done much dirt.
Kicked up her share of fine dust.
Caused far too much hurt.
You’re grateful for your mother’s quick thinking, her fast lie.
Because now you sit on the steps of your home, watching as your husband laughs it up with your lover. Your husband apologizes for the plumbing problems in your guest bathroom, and is sorry that your lover had to use the shower in the master bedroom.
And he apologizes for you not coming fast enough with that towel.
In this one, you let out a sigh of relief.
Then you are startled by the ringing of the doorbell.
You look down the stairs, the door is ajar.
You hear a familiar voice say “Yoooo-hoooo! Is anyone home?”
You turn your head.
It’s your favorite Auntie, your Aunt Esther.
The end? Hmmm....
Have a happy 4th!
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