It was 7:45 pm on a Friday night. Truthfully I got home from work at 7:30. I was just sitting there for 15 minutes, staring at the kitchen light shining through the window on this dark evening and feeling the sense of dread that radiated from that house, Her house. My wife Megan was an amazing girlfriend, cool, laidback, and sexy.
The kind of girl to throw back beers with you at the tailgate. Everything I ever wanted, but everything I never got. From the second I married her ungrateful ass it’s been nagging, jealous, insecure, dead bedroom, and no going out with my friends unless I want to be in the dog house. I looked at the house that I once considered mine, and as I watched the lace curtains in the window I felt my blood boil with resentment knowing that it was now her house.
I took a deep breath and stepped out of the car. I instinctively reached for my pocket to check my phone, and I remembered why I had been waiting in the car for so long. I left my phone at home that day, with Meg. There was no way she didn’t read through my texts, emails, or browser history. Hell, she probably looked through my Amazon purchases. She never trusted me for shit. I sighed and walked to the door, while my mind was screaming at my body to drive away and never come back. I hesitantly turned the doorknob and opened the door to my wife’s house.
As I opened the door and a gust of the scent of my favorite meal wafted into my face, a beef roast in the slow cooker. Meg hasn’t made this since the time she told me she dented my car. I was immediately suspicious. “Hi, honey welcome home.” I hear her sickly sweet voice call me from the kitchen.
I hesitantly walked in and saw her standing next to the slow cooker chopping up some carrots and humming “build me up buttercup.” Softly. Her long brown hair was perfectly curled. She was in a skin-tight pink dress, if I weren’t so cautious I’d have been drooling over her. “Pot roast huh?” I said with a chuckle trying to play it cool. “Mmhmm” she responded with a smile in a sing-Songish tone. “Oh by the way you left this here today.” She said and handed me my phone.
I took it from her hand, not breaking eye contact with her. The look she gives me was unsettling, like the coy expression of someone who knows a secret you don’t. I hid my nerves and open my phone. I go to my messages with Tawny. Just the same as I last saw. “I love you baby” I had messaged her before bed. “I love you more, my dear.” She responded. I glanced up from my screen to my wife, she was just stirring the roast, unaware of the little box of lies I held in my hand.
She glanced up at me. “What?” She said with a chuckle and small smile. “Oh nothing, just admiring my beautiful wife,” I said as I slipped the phone into my pocket. I change my password monthly at this point, so maybe she hadn’t figured it out. “Well dinner is almost done, why don’t you have a seat?” She said with a nod towards the table. I walked over to the head of the table, and that’s when I noticed it, the extra chair. And extra place setting.
“What’s this about baby?” I asked her, pointing a thumb to the extra place. “Oh, we’re having someone for dinner!” She said excitedly as she walked over and set the crockpot gently on the table. She took my plate and puts a heaping helping of roast on it. I was still suspicious of whatever she did that needs such an extravagant apology dinner.
She then took her plate and gives herself a serving and sits down. “Who’s coming for dinner?” I asked her with a confused tone, she just laughed and sat down. I look again at the empty place setting. “Megan. Who’s coming for dinner?” I asked again, a little frustrated at being ignored. She laughed again as she cut her roast and popped a bite into her mouth. She inhaled sharply and looked to the upper left of her vision as if she were thinking. “Why don’t you tell me about tawny?” She asked with a smile as she cut off another mouthful.
My heart drops, and ice water runs through my body, knowing I’ve been caught. “She’s a- I- uh- a colleague.” I sputter out. Meg scoffs at me. “Yeah yeah, a colleague who sends you a picture of her rack?” She asks and stares intently at me. I drink some water by myself some time to think of an answer. “It’s not like that, Meg,” I say sheepishly. I look down at my plate at start cutting aimlessly at the meal, fidgeting makes me feel less anxious. It’s only a matter of time before she flies off the handle.
“I’m sure it’s not. She’s cute, I can’t blame you. A hot little blonde is 22 years old. I’m sure she has no dad since she’s such a slut, that’s why you’re willing to be her daddy, yeah?” She grills me as she punctures her roast with her fork and has another slice. The sound of her fork scraping her teeth was worse than nails on a chalkboard.
I take a bite of my dinner as I mull over my next move. I chewed slowly to milk as much time as I can and come up with a way out of this. I begin the speech every person who’s been in my situation tells. “Meg. Listen, I’m sorry it didn’t mean-.” “No.” She cut me off as she stabs her fork into her roast and pointed at me. “No. You’re not gonna do that. I’m not fucking stupid. It wasn’t an accident. You did it, and now you’re gonna face what you did.” She says to me. This statement catches me off guard.
“Why, what do you mean?” I ask her, feeling like I’m finally getting to the bottom of her antics. “Tawny didn’t know you’re married, did she?” She asks me with an evil smile. “N- No. she didn’t,” I say as I stare down at my place and slowly chew another mouthful. Anything to stall the shame of admitting what I did. Truthfully I don’t feel bad for lying to Meg. I feel bad for lying to tawny. I know Meg would never let me leave. So I’m just leading that sweet girl on.
“Yeah, I figured as much. Your birthday isn’t a good phone password, you know.” She says to me before taking a sip of her merlot. “It was so easy to text her and ask her if she wanted to have dinner with her sweet, sweet lover, Isaac.” She says, still holding the glass to her lip and smiling. She isn’t even looking at me, just looking off into the distance, like she’s reveling in her genius plan to get me caught. “That’s who’s coming? Meg come on. You’re mad at me, not her.
Why would you want to embarrass her like this? I lied. That doesn’t make her a homewrecker.” I said quickly as I stomp towards the window and look out it. Our street is pretty quiet, but she hasn’t arrived yet and I can’t see cars coming. I didn’t want her to find out and have her leave me. Tawny is the last bit of love I have left in this pathetic existence I’m living. I don’t want to lose her. I peered around the neighborhood as quickly as I could for any hint she was arriving.
“Isaac sit down.” She said sternly. “No this is bullshit I really can’t fucking believe you’d stoop this-“ “sit the FUCK. DOWN.” She yells as she thrusts the carving knife into the table. Not wanting to piss her off further I oblige. “Here’s how it’s going to be. I don’t want a divorce. We’re going to be together forever like you promised me. Her getting cut loose is the only way. I’m not going to share my man. Not with a little whore like her.” She says. “Okay well, we can talk about this. But she’s not fucking coming here for dinner.” I say as I pick up my phone and begin calling her number in hopes to come up with an excuse fast enough as to why she can’t come home. Looking for another excuse to fidget I hold my phone on my shoulder and begin cutting the meat for another bite.
That’s when I hear it. The muffled ringing coming from the drawer under the sink. “What the fuck? Was she already here Meg?” I ask. Meg starts laughing to herself. I open the drawer to see Tawny’s phone, and the ring I got her for our valentines date, one of her birthstone earrings, and worst of all, a little clump of wheat-colored hair, tied up in a black ribbon. I looked at my wife, seething with rage and hatred. “Meg. What the fuck did you do?” I ask her. She gets up and puts a firm and painful grip on the back of my neck and quickly guides me to the table. She sharply lurches my upper body forward so I’m parallel with the table hovering over the crockpot.
She removed the lid, and when the steam cleared from my face, on the roast I see the vague shape I am very familiar with. A little butterfly on the roast. The one I’ve ran my hands over many times. My stomach turns and I feel lightheaded, hot tears ran down my face and into the dish. It feels like all the air has been sucked out of my body. I could die right now. This can’t be real. It can’t be real.
My wife leans so her lips almost touch my ear and with that sickening, syrup sweet voice whispered “I told you, we were having her for dinner.”