Added: Samanta Cruce - Date: 31.07.2021 03:44 - Views: 37131 - Clicks: 4184
I woke that morning as I always did, to the sound of my son Zachary calling out from his bed. It was almost 6 a. I looked over at her side of the bed: the undented pillow, the smooth sheets. I looked at my cell phone, still and silent on the iron stool next to my bed. The morning, I thought. Zach sat upright in bed when I walked into his room, his beloved blue bunny tucked under one arm, a satin blanket in hand.
I picked him up and took him into the library adjacent to our room.
I could get him started on an episode of Dora the Explorer or The Fairly OddParentswhatever happened to be on Nickelodeon, and then sneak back to bed in the next room, where it was easy to hear him laugh or call out. I did my best on weekend mornings to steal another thirty minutes of sleep. I turned on the TV set and went downstairs to fill a sippy cup. When I came back, Zach was fully focused on SpongeBob, laughing at Patrick, taking in every blue detail of their underwater world.
I sat with him in the beanbag chair for a few minutes. Watching him watch TV, the way his face lifted into happiness, his smile softening at the edges as his eyes narrowed in concentration, it always seemed a perfectly private moment: my son unaware of my attention, his face an unedited reflection of each emotion passing through his body. I looked up at a creaking sound from the stairs.
Valerie was slowly rising with each step, the top of her head the first thing to come into view, then her face, her face. Her face had a look that I understood before I fully realized I was understanding it. She was clearly still drunk, maybe stoned, her eyes even glassier the cuckold they usually were after a night out, her smile sliding from side to side.
I followed her as she stumbled into our bedroom and pulled off her heels, then set her phone in the bottom drawer of the dresser next to her bed, where she always put it. I watched her catch herself when she leaned over; she nearly fell into the drawer. She walked back into the library, tripping a bit over a pile of laundry and laughing lightly, the sort of the cuckold a person makes in private, an embarrassed laugh, though I was watching. She pulled another beanbag chair next to the one Zach was sitting in and dragged an afghan from the ottoman.
She covered herself and Zach and leaned in close to him. As I watched from the doorway, she fell asleep. I felt something thick in my throat.
I watched her sleep, watched Zach the cuckold his hand on her cheek absently, without knowing it, his eyes still glued to the TV. I stared at his hand there, on her cheek, her face, and I knew. It was her face. I gave up and rolled over to her side of the bed. I reached into the bottom drawer of her dresser and found her phone. It was her routine to plug in her phone whenever she went to bed; she used it so much—the constant texts, the Words With Friends and Facebook posts—that she needed to charge it regularly.
I could go days without charging my phone.
I sat on the edge of the bed with her phone in my hand. I looked back over my shoulder through the open door into the library: she was still sleeping, Zach still curled up next to her drinking his juice, watching SpongeBob.
I looked at her phone in my hand. It was shaking. I realized my hand was shaking. I put both hands on the phone, but they were both shaking, my whole body was shaking, every muscle clenched. It was as if the temperature had suddenly dropped, a winter wind whipping through the room, my body tensing against cold. I had learned her muscle memory. And I was right. I looked at the top of the screen and saw the name. It seemed impossible, but there it was. Valerie had talked about him a lot, felt sorry for him, the cuckold by him. She was amazed by this, by his vulnerability. I followed the text thread backward in time so I could start at the beginning.
I stopped reading immediately and looked out the window. I was shaking and thinking, remembering back to the afternoon. As usual, she danced a little to whatever private song she was listening to.
And, as usual, she periodically stopped everything to text. She always thanked me. I kept reading. An hour would go by, then four or five texts passed quickly between them. Ed seemed to be playing hard to get, not sure he could find a ride downtown. Not sure where his friends were. But as the night wore on, she began to more overtly seduce him, to suggest what could happen. The tone changed. I could read the alcohol in her texts. What stunned me most were the final half-dozen texts prior to her arrival at his door.
Megan thanked her for checking in. It was clear to me that Valerie had suggested to Megan that she was walking the few blocks from her apartment to our house, not a good idea but not completely reckless. The neighborhood between was made up of single-family homes and the grounds of the local high school, a series of quiet streets, not many college students likely to be wandering around throwing up in the bushes or passed out on lawns.
No, those things happened on the other side of town. But as it turned out, Valerie was headed precisely there, to the other side of town. And she walked the entire distance at 4 a. Along with the text lying to her best the cuckold, this detail astonished me the cuckold most. That she would walk all that way. I put the phone in the drawer and walked back into the library. Valerie roused and looked up, smiled.
Then she fell back to sleep. Zach peeled himself away from her and rolled out of the beanbag chair. He handed me his sippy cup. I took it, then reached down for him, to pick him up and hold him in my arms. I made him instant oatmeal with strawberries.
He also wanted an egg. I remember thinking how much he reminded me of Will, his big brother. I remember the spatula shaking as I turned the egg over and waited for it to cook. When Valerie had texted at a. She knew I was concerned for her. I felt outside of it, outside of whatever life she lived with all the people she was communicating with. Was everything OK? If we were on the back porch, where we did most of our talking, she might wave a hand in front of her face as the cuckold shooing a gnat or dispersing the smoke of her cigarette.
Or maybe she was ridding the air around her of the smell of my question. You know that. And I guess I did know that. This had been devastating, Valerie said. And I believed it, except for the fat part; she looked great as far as I was concerned, as far as everyone was concerned. And she was going out every chance she could. She was laughing. Gala was a relatively new friend, a graduate student, close to ten years younger than Valerie; I knew from the phone bill that on average, the two of them texted each other fifty or sixty times a day.The cuckold
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