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That Really Was The Last Straw - Short Story
Cheryl glanced up at the clock, 10.50pm. With a sigh she shut down the computer and turned off the desk lamp. Going to the kitchen she rinsed her coffee cup and tidied the kitchen before heading off to bed.
Just then she heard Stuart’s key turning slowly in the lock.
He looked surprised to see her. “You didn’t have to wait up. Didn’t get my text to say I would be working late?”
It was typical of him to assume that, one she had been waiting up for him, and two that she would believe his text that he was working late as word, especially as he reeked of perfume.
“Did you have a productive evening?” she asked, but he obviously didn’t hear the sarcasm in her tone.
“Yes the meeting went well, in fact very well indeed”
“They take you for granted; this is the third night this week that you’ve had to work late”
Stuart poured himself a coffee
“I have to make good impression, you know show willing. Sometimes I wish I was as lucky as you are, staying at home all day doing nothing but look after the kids and the house, you have the easy life.”
Cheryl was livid; it took all her concentration to keep her tongue still. He had no idea what it was like taking care of three , running back and forth to school and sports events, and taking his Mother shopping twice a week, and keeping the home clean and tidy. It was definitely not the relaxed lifestyle that he seemed to imagine. boisterous children
“Oh guess what” he grinned not noticing how she was glaring at him. “Brian is leaving, that means there is a promotion in the offing, and I’m sure they’ll offer it to me”
“Won’t they advertise the job outside of the company?” She asked.
“Well yes but that doesn’t mean anything, I’m certain they will give me the promotion and that will mean a huge pay rise. Even more reason for you to sit back and relax, have long lunches with your friends and pamper yourself at the beauty salon.”
“Is that what you think? That I spend my days having long lunches and going to the beauty salon?” Replied Cheryl clenching her jaw.
“Well OK, maybe not the beauty salon” he shrugged his shoulders “But maybe you should, and sign up for a gym too, you have let yourself go lately and I noticed you are putting on weight, getting plump”
That was it, she’d put up with his affairs and his attitude for the sake of the kids, but to stand there and complain about her looks when she was run ragged all day long, that was the last straw.
“That’s it we are through, pack your things and get out! GET OUT!” she yelled.
Over the next week Cheryl ignored his calls, text messages and emails but she couldn’t do that forever.
'I’ll meet you in your office tomorrow morning 9am sharp.' She emailed him.
Stuart's face lit up when she walked into his office next morning.
“I’m glad you’re here” he said “We need to talk, I miss you, I really want to come home. We can sort things out; I want things to go back the way they were”
“If you want a home life then I suggest you move in with your girlfriend”
His face went visibly pale “Oh… did you know about that? It’s over I promise, it was nothing, she meant nothing to me, it’s over I swear”
Cheryl smiled “Yes I heard she dumped you when you didn’t get that promotion you were so sure of. Actually Stuart I’m here to tell you that things are going to change from now on”
He looked at her puzzled, as if seeing her for the first time. “What’s with the power suit and the briefcase?” he frowned.
“All those years that you thought I was just relaxing and pampering myself and having an easy life, in my spare time I’ve been doing an online degree. It was a struggle and it meant I often had to work and study late at night but I achieved it. You never noticed because you were always with your mistress instead of being at home”
Cheryl turned and walked away but Stuart followed her down the corridor. “Can we get back together?” he almost whimpered. “At least can I call you?’ he pleaded.
Instead of heading for the elevator Cheryl walked into a large spacious office with big picture windows and views over the city. She sat down behind the mahogany desk… the one ready for the new head of department.
“Oh yes you can call me… from now on you can call me ‘Boss’. Oh and your mother wants you to take her shopping tomorrow”
© Rosemary Sadler Feb 2012
I am suffering a little with RSI so please don’t think I’ve forgotten you if I don’t respond to your comments for a couple of days.
- Swept Away on the Tide
Life is like the sea. Everything can be washed away on the tide. Take care of how you live it