To My Wife: Does it Matter?

Rain gently tapped against the window and lightening lit up the cloudy sky. Those were the only sounds besides the soft snoring coming from the bed in the middle of the room. The dark stained sheets covered the body of a sleeping female and the man beside her. He leaned back against the head board and lit a cigarette. Inhaling deeply he looked down at the bare woman beside him before pushing himself off the bed and beginning to dress himself.

The clock on the night stand read 11:30. He had promised his wife he’d be home by 10. Blowing out a bit of smoke he looked around the cheap motel room for his shirt. He hoped it wasn’t on the floor of the nasty place, who knew what it was crawling with. Sniffling he walked to a small chair and removed his shirt, smelling it. It didn’t smell like the cheap dollar store perfume the woman in bed wore. With a shrug he pulled it over his head, got his keys, and walked out the door.

Flicking his cigarette to the ground he allowed the rain to drizzle over his head as he walked to his car and drove home. Taking out his phone he looked over his missed calls. He had only one and that was Jenny around 10:30 calling to see where he was. Flipping the phone shut he tossed it into the passenger seat and concentrated on the drive home.

“Where is that man…” she whispered to herself as she poured another glass of wine. Her voice was neither worried nor upset. She was simply curious, however she had a good idea as to where he might be. “Working late…” she chuckled to herself and looked at the number of some random girl she’d found in his pants a while back. Sniffing she sipped at her glass and waited for the familiar sound of the door to unlock.

It didn’t take long. Richard tried his best to quietly unlock the door and shut it. When he turned the corner and caught sight of his wife the muscles in his back tensed. She was waiting for him.

“Where have you been?”

Richard stood there in silence, the lie on the tip of his tongue but it wasn’t coming past his lips. There was something about the look on Jenny’s face. It wasn’t anger, sadness, or anything. She was just looking at him, as if she could see right through him. That look made him more afraid and left him unable to say a word.

“I guess you don’t have to say. What’s her name…?”

Again he was quiet. What could you say when you know you had been caught?

“Her name Richard.”

“Tammy.” he replied.

Jenny nodded and poured him a glass, the last that was in the bottle. Richard took the glass and moved the chair across from her. Unlike his wife he seemed to be very tense. He didn’t know what to think of his wife’s apathy towards the situation. Perhaps this was why he did it, because he knew it wouldn’t matter. That he didn’t matter to his wife.

“A waste of ten years…” she whispered looking at the now empty glass. “Tell me why Richard.”

She wanted a reason? He tried to think of what to tell her. He wanted to tell her how unhappy he was, neglected, and how alone he felt. He wanted to say that it was because of the lack of love. However he didn’t say any of those things. Instead his response was “I don’t know.” Jenny shook her head at the answer and sat her glass down on the table, staring at her husband. This man she had dropped everything for and lived with for ten years. Anger welled up in her chest as she picked up her glass and threw it at his head. He ducked and stared at his wife in wide eyed shock. She never allowed emotion to control her; this was a first in years.

“I want you out of here Richard. Tomorrow get your things and leave.” With that she stood and walked to her bedroom and shut him out. Behind the closed doors she sat on the edge of her bed and stared at the floor. Swallowing she tried to just allow it all to sink in. She knew he had been cheating on her, but to hear it all made her feel so cold.

Taking a deep breath she closed her eyes and buried her face into one of her pillows. She wanted to scream and throw more things. She wanted to slap and kick him, to let him know how much he’d hurt her. Instead she just turned the lights out and buried herself under the covers, hoping for sleep to come.

When morning came Jenny helped him pack up a few of his things. However, she wasn’t speaking to him she seemed a bit more worked up than the night before. Perhaps the alcohol had worn off…he thought to himself. When he tried to help her she would merely look up at him and he backed off. As he loaded his clothes into the car he spotted Jenny watching him from the door way, holding his last bag. Slowly he walked up to her extending his hand for the bag.

Jenny held it out to him, her gaze locking onto his. For a moment he stared back at her. He wanted to tell her that he was sorry if he hurt her, but he didn’t. “Goodbye Jenny.”

Jenny kept her emotions in check, keeping herself from exploding as she listened to him. “Goodbye Richard.”

Richard turned and walked back to his car, simply driving away. Jenny watched him until the car disappeared down the street. A single tear slipped down her cheek before she walked back inside and shut the door.

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