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Three is a crowd: What is Diane up to, now?

(Continued from last issue)

David and Diane have been married for years; then there is Julie, the young secretary whose axis collides with the couple’s in ways none of them saw coming.

JULIE

A part of me knew that those glorious days when David and I practically lived together at the apartment could not last, but I had not allowed myself to think of that; instead, focusing on enjoying each stolen moment.

So, I was caught by surprise when he got back from work on Friday evening and announced that he would not be spending the night and was returning to the house he shared with his wife.

“Why?” was all I was able to answer, my voice sounding annoyingly broken and desperate, even to myself.
“I’ve been gone from the children for a while, and they start school on Monday; so, I promised I’d spend the weekend with them.”

“But I’d already prepared dinner! Why don’t you go tomorrow?” I pleaded.
“I’ll stay for dinner, but I can’t spend the night,” he insisted firmly, his tone set in a way that told me his mind was made up, and it would be pointless to continue pleading.

“Alright,” I acquiesced quietly.
“Don’t look so sad; it’s not like I’m going forever; I’ll see you on Monday,” he promised.

His tone was no doubt meant to be comforting, but it did little to make me feel any better. Although my brain told me that was his home, and those were his children too, so of course he needed to spend time with them as well, my heart felt like his leaving was some sort of punishment, a reflection on myself and our relationship; like these past few days had been a test of some sort that I had failed, and I could not help but take his announcement personally and feel hurt.

Not wanting to irk him and ruin the evening we had left, I tried my best to act like everything was fine, and when shortly after dinner, he stood up with an exaggerated stretch, and said it was time for him to go, I forced a smile as I kissed him goodbye and wished him a nice weekend.

DAVID

It was almost ten when I got to the house, and found Diane in the living room, her attention divided between the TV and her phone.

“Hi,” I greeted her quietly.
I did not really expect her to respond; so, I was taken by surprise when she did.

“Hi,” she answered calmly, her tone even and hard to read.
“Are the kids sleeping?” I asked pointlessly, for not only was it almost an hour after their bedtime, but if they were awake, the girls would have come running down to see me; so, obviously they were not, but having been gone for three days, I had walked in prepared for either the furious, or the ice-cold Diane. She was being neither at the moment; and thrown for a loop, I was not too sure how to act.

“Yes,” she replied in that same even tone, then turned back to her phone.
“Uhm…alright, I’ll just go shower and go to bed then,” I mumbled.

“Okay,” she nodded, though she did not look up from her phone this time.

For a few seconds I just stood there awkwardly, still expecting her to make a snide or rude comment, but she did not, and so with a puzzled frown, I eventually turned and went upstairs.

Past experience with Diane had taught me that she never let any affront slide, and me staying away for three nights more than qualified as one of those; so, despite her cool and calm demeanor, I was kept on edge, certain that she was privately plotting her revenge.

She was still downstairs by the time I emerged from the bathroom a short while later and for a minute, I paused and contemplated my next move; did she expect me to sleep in the guest room, or, since she was being civil, if she found me in our bed, would she let me stay?

And if she did, with how out of character she was acting, would I actually be able to get any sleep, or would I have to sleep with one eye open? In the end, I decided not to put it to the test, and headed for the guest room.

DIANE

Being back at the boutique was great for keeping me too busy to think about David during the day, but once I got back home in the evenings, it was impossible not to feel his absence, especially after the children went to bed, when there was nothing to organize or supervise, and no-one to distract me from the large empty silence of the house.

It was then that I would walk round the house, crosschecking for the umpteenth time that all the doors were locked and the windows properly closed – things David normally did.

Although he had told the children that he was on a business trip and would be back for the weekend, he had not specified what day or time he would be returning, and did not say anything to me; so, I was not expecting him when he eventually showed up late on Friday night.

Thankfully, he at least had the grace to look sheepish and embarrassed at having been gone for the past few days, like a child caught in the act of doing something they know they are not meant to be doing.

While he had only been gone for three days, and had been away on longer business trips than that before, because I knew he had been with that whore, I was filled with mixed emotions at his return.

Part of me was glad that he was back so I no longer had to worry about being home alone with the children, and that he had kept his word to them about being back for the weekend; another part of me wanted to scream at and throttle him for having been gone in the first place.

I could not welcome him back with joy, knowing he had been with another woman, but I did not want to chase him off with my rage either; so, in the end, I did neither and forced myself to feel nothing.  
 
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Comments

0 #1 Joan 2024-04-21 12:26
Thank you Margaret for the story kindly update us on lsat weeks part. Thank you
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