BDO Writing Contest: Glimpses Flash Fiction Entry #5

Handicapped

She knew he’d been having an affair. Of course, she did. They’d been married for twenty-five years. They had two teenaged boys and a mighty German Shepherd dog. She knew him inside and out.

She even knew who it was. That scantily clad girl who jogged by their house every morning with her silly little chihuahua. Not a real dog at all. They would have laughed together over that at one time. Not so very long ago.

She had wept and railed against life and lived in a slump for months. Not knowing what to do. Telling no one. And no one noticing how her light had dimmed. Of course, they hadn’t. As long as she hurried home from work each night, fed them and did their laundry, they paid no attention to her well-being.

But she now sensed that, perhaps, things had started to wane. When little miss jogged by, she often threw a wistful look towards their house. And he had returned to her. In that familiar way of many married years. He reached for her in the night with something of the old longing and passion. She responded eagerly, glad beyond measure that she had turned a blind eye all those months, keeping her own counsel. No acknowledgement, not a whisper. Willingly blinding herself to the certainty of the affair.

She stood at the sink, in their ensuite bathroom, dressing for a neighbourhood barbeque. Fixing her hair in front of the mirror, she thought that she looked, overall, pretty good. She’d lost weight through the worry of the past months. Her red hair gleamed. She smiled at her reflection. He had stretched out on the bed, after his shower, just out of sight behind the bathroom door. Suddenly he started to speak.

She stood stock still, listening.

“I have to tell you something. I’m so sorry. So damned sorry. I had a thing with Gina-you know that girl that jogs by sometimes with the little chihuahua. I don’t know what I was thinking. I must have been out of my mind. It started at that damned Christmas party. Remember, you were so sick with that ear infection? And then you couldn’t hear properly. I just got frustrated. I know that’s a horrible, horrible thing to say. I’m a horrible person. I know that. But you’re not. You’re amazing. I love you and the boys more than anything in this whole world and I swear to you on their lives that this will never happen again. Ever. I’ll do my best to make it up to you. I’m just telling you because she’ll be at this barbeque. You might hear some gossip or something. But she means nothing to me. Nothing. I love you so much.’

I swung the door open fully, hairbrush still in my hand.

“I love you, too. Sorry. I didn’t hear another word you said. My bad ear was facing you.”

Sometimes it helps to turn a blind eye. And a deaf ear.

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