Friday, May 2, 2008

TwitterlitL I saw this today.

I thought I knew what was coming. I was certain that if I said all the right things, did all the right things then the outcome was guaranteed. But of course, silly me, this wasn’t some sort of science experiment. There is no way to control really any portion of the “experiment.” What can only be assured is that no matter what, the outcome was not going to be what I had anticipated.
It had been twelve years since we had been at the inn. We had come for our three year anniversary and had a lovely time. Peaceful, quiet, the perfect get away for two people so in love, with being in love with each other, nothing else had really mattered. The days it had been rainy we had stayed in bed with the sound of the rain on the roof and a crackling fire in the fireplace to make love by. The days that it wasn’t raining we had walked down the paths of falling autumn leaves to picnic beside the little river about a mile from the inn.
It was my idea to go back there. I was trying to recapture what the day to day of being very successful, busy people had stolen from us. From the very beginning things went badly. The pouring rain and the traffic out of the city put a damper on our moods. We had gotten off to a late start and so found ourselves driving in the dark long before we came anywhere near the inn. Then he missed a turn and wound around and around for almost an hour and a half before we discovered we had to go back the way we had come. He was angry then and said I should have been paying more attention. I knew it was his fault and was angry with him for trying to blame me.
Once at the inn we discovered that the dining room was closed and there was no place nearby that we could drive to in order to get something. We went to bed tired, hungry and more than a little bit grumpy.
When I awoke in the morning the bed was empty and there was a note on the bedside table. Devon had gone off for a morning run and would be back later, he indicated I shouldn’t wait for him for breakfast and so I took my shower, unhappily wondering why we were even there at all. I did take a little extra time with my hair and makeup and put a dab of perfume behind my ears. Pearl studs, a soft pale peach cashmere sweater and black jeans made up my outfit.
When I arrived in the dining room there was a wonderful buffet and the smell of the coffee helped to brighten my mood. I caught a handsome man across the room giving me the once over and he smiled when he saw that I had seen him. I looked away but suddenly there was a bit more of a spring to my step.
Devon came in about 20 minutes later and made a plate and sat down with me. The paper tucked under his arm. After a brief discussion about the weather and terrain around the inn he opened his paper and so ended any further conversation. Back in the room he seemed disinterested in any sort of intimacy and so I suggested a walk. He thought that was a grand idea and said he would see me later when I got back.
I couldn't believe I was alone and walking when I heard footsteps behind me. It was the man from the dining room. Although the conversation was a bit halting at first we soon found we had much in common and in a very short time I found myself relaxing and laughing more then I had in months. I was a bit disappointed when we returned to the inn but I bid him farewell and headed up to my room.
In a much better mood I hoped that once Devon began to unwind things would return to what we had once had. It was in this frame of mind that I practically bumped into a tall, blonde woman getting onto the elevator on our floor. I could feel her watching me as I walked down the hall.
It was when I opened the door to the room that I suddenly became aware of a strange fragrance. The bed was made and the room was straight but the perfume was recognizable and expensive. I doubted that it belonged to the maid. It was at that point that something tripped in my brain, some sort of warning.
Devon was in the shower. I called to him to let him know I was back. When he came out of the bathroom I commented on the second shower in half a day. He said his back was bothering him from the run and he thought another shower might help. He gave me an odd sort of look.
We drove into the little town for lunch. Walked around the shops that can only be found in a place that was part of one of the original thirteen colonies, there was one in particular that had all kinds of antique buttons and things run by the Daughters of the Revolution. It was an enjoyable afternoon and I had almost forgotten my earlier concern until we returned to the hotel. As we walked through the lobby we could see out onto the back veranda. The blonde from the elevator was sitting at one of the tables smoking a thin cigarette. I noticed she looked at Devon and then smiled at him in a manner that can only be described as knowing. I looked at him but he wasn’t thinking of me by his side, rather he was looking at her and he smiled back at her. The exchange lasted only a moment but I had seen something in his eyes that I hadn’t seen directed my way in a very long time.
That’s when I knew. I had been blind to what was going on. But I saw this today, my husband was in love with another woman. I didn’t know her but she was not there by accident. I was certain of it. He must have told her we would be there and while he went off running, I imagined he had gone running after her. When he sent me on my morning walk, she had been in our room. I couldn’t know for sure and yet I did, it was her perfume that I had smelled.
I made a fateful decision then. I would make him want me again, and if not well I would be sure that someone wanted me that night. There was no turning back. I thought perhaps I wanted to make him jealous enough to realize what he might be losing. I didn't recognize that my own heart wanted retribution, to prove that I was desirable and I didn't realize what I would do to gain that retribution.
As we walked through the lobby the sign for the evening's entertainment in the bar was for a popular jazz band and I suggested that we go to hear them play. That evening Devon was ready before me and I told him to go ahead and go on down. I'd be there shortly. When I reached the bar every head turned my way. I was wearing a brown satin blouse that skimmed over my skin like melted chocolate, a brown leather skirt that fell mid thigh, and a pair of 4 inch stiletto heels. I had planned this outfit for one of our intimate evenings together but I knew it would not be wasted this evening.
I saw Devon before he saw me. Apparently he was more of a fool then had previously been suggested because his back was to the door and he was talking to the blonde. I glanced around and saw my friend from the morning walk. I smiled his way and he immediately stood and indicated that I should join him. I walked to his table, as my husband appeared to be otherwise engaged. He held my chair, signaled for the waitress and in short order I found myself having a drink with him. There was no denying what I saw in his face and unfortunately for all of us it was what I wanted. I encouraged him in it, leaning forward as he spoke to me, resting my hand lightly on his sleeve when I was talking to him, looking deeply into his eyes.
Later, after the police investigation was over and it was all deemed a terrible accident, I knew that it was my fault, that if I hadn't been so desperate to prove to a man who didn't love me anymore that I was desirable, two people would not have died that night. But I couldn't have known how drunk she was, I couldn't have known that the man I was sitting with was her husband, and I couldn't have known that Devon despite his betrayal would be willing to sacrifice himself for me.


pierre l said...

"That was a lovely story Gina. I have also just re-read your piece in "your messages", and enjoyed that too (very appropriate since we seem to be having a long winter in the UK this year)."
Apologies for the second-hand comment Gina. While I also liked your post of the 30th April, the comment was really meant to go with this story. I am not sure how I managed to attach my comment to the wrong post.
I have just read this story again, and still love it. Thank you for writing it.

trying to write ... said...

lol ... it happens ... but thanks for clarifying - i don't often get comments on my longer pieces so i appreciate it.