Slim fingers tapped against a wine glass impatiently. The owner of the extremities sat otherwise motionless at her kitchen counter. She was a lone figure in her silent, dark home. The only light that exposed her existence came from a lamp on an end table. She sat in its glow, staring blankly at the crimson liquid as if she would find some answers inside it.
Nadine's face may have been expressionless, but her thoughts were far from lacking in activity. She couldn't understand why it happened to her. She was a good wife. She cooked, cleaned, and cared for her husband. Not only did she do it, she did it well. Anger welled up inside at her husband's transgressions. How could he do this?
She had known about his little mistress for quite some time. At first she was crushed. Any faithful and loving woman would be, but then, from the betrayal blossomed hate and fury. She had never felt so many bitter feelings at once. Her mind conjured up images of her husband and a faceless woman's figure in the throes of passion, writhing against each other in carnal bliss.
She wanted to hurt him, to make him suffer the way she did, but she rose above those wants to keep her station as the better person. It made her feel better that she didn't sink to his level and even the score. It would have accomplished nothing, and would only make the situation worse. She continued on as if nothing was out of the ordinary while trying to sort out her love life. Every kiss she gave him lacked any of the warmth it used to. It wasn't like he noticed, or if he did, he never mentioned it.
When his back was turned, her gaze drilled into him with resentment. He had the audacity to tell her he loved her, to shower her with affection. Maybe it was his way of dealing with guilt, or maybe it was his way of keeping her from getting suspicious. Her grip tightened on the wine glass. In the beginning Nadine was the weak wife.
She didn't know what she was going to do or how to fix it, but then she picked herself back up. There were too many of those wives and she refused to be one of them. She rose from her inner turmoil and insecurities stronger. As her anger continued to simmer, headlights shined bright through the living room's sheer curtains, illuminating the darkened space. Its light didn't last long before they were shut off.
He was home. She brought the glass up to her lips and gulped down the remaining drops as a key was inserted in the lock. She remained seated when her husband entered the home. He closed the door as quietly as he could, probably in an effort to keep from waking his sleeping wife. The effort would be in vain.
"How was she?" The man swung around with his hand covering his chest.
"You scared me. I didn't know you were still up. What the hell are you doing sitting in the dark?"
"You didn't answer my question. How was she?" She peered at his shadowed form. Though she couldn't distinguish it, his brows scrunched together and a frown marred his face.
"How was who?" he asked.
"Your mistress. Do you have more than one?" She watched as he tensed up. The sadistic side of her was enjoying it.
"You're crazy," he said defensively. "I'm going to bed."
He walked towards the hallway.
"I won't be here when you wake up, so we can deal with this now or never." He stopped and turned to face her as she stood from her seat.
"It would be better if we talk about this in the morning." He tone was tight. Nadine shrugged in response and turned to fetch the suitcase sitting in the living room.
"It would be better for you. Not for me. I've had plenty of time to think this over. I've known for a while. I'm leaving, Leo."
"You can't leave me, Nadine." She looked at him in disbelief.
"I can and I am. You can't possibly think after what you've done, I would stay." He approached her, but she stood her ground. Leo's strong hands grasped her shoulders.
"Don't go," he stated. There was something underneath the simple statement that made Nadine pause. There was a hint of pleading in his voice. Nadine shrugged off his hands.
"Goodbye Leo." Her heels clicked against the hardwood floor with every step she took. She felt as if a part of her was being left behind. There was a part of her gone. The years she spent with him and the love she poured into their relationship blew away like dust in the wind. Leo rushed to block the door. Nadine stopped.
"Don't make this process harder. Please move." His eyes gleamed with unshed tears. Leo dropped to his knees in front of her and embraced her waist. Nadine dropped her suitcase.
"We can work this out," he pleaded frantically.
"I made a mistake." His shoulders shook as he sobbed against her. The part that still loved him shattered at his behavior, but the part that had been harmed expressed itself louder.
"Leo," she murmured. Nadine's hand tangled itself in his locks.
"Stand up right now. You know I won't accept this. You hurt me. You broke our marriage vows. Own up to what you did." She grabbed his shoulder and pulled him up. Her hand wiped away his tears. Leo leaned into her touch, savoring its warmth.
"I'll be in touch." She leaned in and kissed his cheek.
"We need to go our separate ways. Do not grovel at my feet. Don't plead with me. Be stronger than that." Nadine picked up her suitcase and maneuvered around Leo. As she drove off she waved. She felt stronger, but scared. It had been a long time since she was alone. All she could hope for was a better future, free from the pain.