Flash Fiction: Three Men and a Lady
After twenty five years, my husband left me for a cute young thing who could just be his daughter. I had no illusions of being able to compete with her.
It’s one of the double-standards of life. Men doubled their market value as they age, while women’s marketability slashed in half as they grew older.
My self-esteem suffered a blow. Being betrayed was like being in love, I could not sleep, I could not eat, I could not focus on anything not because of euphoria, but because of the damned pain in my chest.
I called in sick and stayed home, contemplating which of the two popular brands of roach killer would end my agony but both reeked with intolerable odor that I instantly dropped the idea. Plus, if I die, my husband could marry his young thing and she would become the legal missus. No, my revenge would be to make her the “other woman” for the rest of her usable life.
I avoided my family and friends. I did not answer the phones nor return their calls. I wallowed in my misery.
My husband had real good friends whom I decided to invite into my life.
The first one was Johnnie. He was with me three nights. Every morning, I swore never to touch Johnnie again. I didn’t know what he did to me, I woke up with a splitting headache and an aching body. I would grab a cup of coffee and be back in bed the whole day. Then it would start again, I would get hold of Johnnie. I can’t resist the temptation.
Then Johnnie was gone. All that was left was an empty bottle which reminded me of him. Well, he served me well but Johnnie was just like all men. When they’re done, they leave you alone.
Then my eye fell on Jack. Jack and I had an affair once. I did not like the experience but I was happily married then. I did not need him. But now, I needed him and I needed Philip, an old friend. I had an affair with Philip before I even met my husband. I had to cut the affair short because my husband did not approve.
That night, Jack and Philip sat facing each other while I slipped into comfortable clothes. I put a glass with ice on the table for Jack.
I had a burning desire for Philip so I spent the night with both of them. Though at first, I remembered my husband’s infidelity and I cried but Jack smoothed away my woes while Philip puffed my misery away to a smoky cloud in the air.
The next morning was a mess. I woke up with shooting pain in my head and a bad taste in my mouth. I was fighting nausea as I stumbled into the kitchen to make coffee. I saw Jack sitting quietly on top of my coffee table. I saw the ashtray filled with cigarette butts. “Philip is a mess,” I muttered.
I was sipping coffee when the ringing pierced my head. It startled me and coffee spilled on my lap. I jumped and hit my knee on the edge of the table. I winced in pain and I swore as I’ve never sworn before. I cursed my husband for making my life miserable. I cursed that little thing for taking my husband away. I cursed at my life and I swore at the telephone and whoever was calling me.
“There’s someone who did not get the hint,” I hissed. “I do not want to talk to anybody!” I yelled at the phone and it stopped.
Then I sat motionless, and cried.
The last meal I had rushed up and I dashed to the bathroom to hurl. I came out with my skin smarting from the hot shower. I thought I could clean up my life by washing up the mess with hot water.
I took a deep breath and surveyed the mess I made, the mess I made of my life. The empty bottle of Johnnie Walkers stared at me so I tossed it into the garbage bin. Goodbye Johnnie.
Then I emptied the contents of Jack Daniels into the sink, and dropped the bottle into the bin next to Johnnie. Goodbye, Jack.
I picked up the pack of Phillip Morris and found several sticks of cigarettes still in it. I crumpled the pack in my hands and tossed it into the garbage. Goodbye, Phillip.
I thought they could help ease the pain but they did not, they could not. I would have to live with the pain until I could finally move on and get my life back.
© 2015 Norma