I’ve been sitting here people watching for a little while now. Earlier, I had a drink with my friend, Carmen, who works at the bar in this hotel. Considering she spends most of her time here, I understood when she wanted to leave after one drink. Since I wasn’t ready to go home, I found a secluded place in the lobby to sit and relax, not wanting to sit alone at the bar.
I browse through the magazine for a while before my phone vibrates, alerting me of an email from my boss.
This time next week I need you to pick somebody up from the airport. This is an important person to me, and one who will hopefully be working with us soon. Once I have flight information, I'll pass it on, but clear your schedule for next Friday.
Scott A. Monroe
Great. I get to play chauffeur to the newbie. I don't bother sending a response, choosing to drop my phone in my purse instead. Scott already knows I'll do it, because I don't exactly have a choice since he’s my boss, and honestly, I really like the man. I'm sure he'll confirm with me on Monday, anyway.
Having a new person in the office isn't a bad thing, though. With JoAnn quitting like she did last week, we need help at the receptionist desk of the private practice we work in. I wonder why this person is so special though, and why they're flying in for this job. I’m sure there are plenty people in Anchorage who could work as a receptionist.
I don't have time to think about it further, because the redheaded woman is back, catching my attention once again. She exits the elevator, looking almost exactly the way she did when she went in. I expected messed up hair and smeared makeup, but I guess even though she's only been gone for nearly thirty minutes, she had time to freshen up before leaving the room. She either didn’t have sex or it wasn’t that good and didn’t last too long. My gaze stays on her as she walks towards me.
When she sits down on the couch across from me, I go back to pretending to read my magazine. The scent of her perfume invades my nostrils, and based on the strength of it, it would appear she bathed herself in it. The scent is floral and sweet, smelling like one of those Victoria Secret body sprays. I glance over my magazine at her and notice she’s keeping her eye on the elevators. Waiting. Her thick, red hair falls over her shoulders, covering up some of the major cleavage she’s sporting.
I place the magazine back on the table and gather my purse, figuring it’s time to go. She gives me a friendly smile as our eyes meet, and I return it with a quick, tight grin before walking to the other side of the lobby where they sell refreshments. I buy a bottle of water and a muffin, and while I’m waiting for the cashier to give me my change, I look back at the redhead.
The elevator door dings, and I watch as she stands and begins to walk in that direction, her hips swaying with every step. A man comes strutting out, his bright blue tie is loose around his neck, and his black suit jacket looks a little wrinkled. It appears that the dirty blonde hair on his head has been pulled on, evidence of a romp in the sack. Almost as if he can hear my thoughts, he runs his hands through it, trying to get each hair in place.
The woman approaches him, and he looks a little surprised to see her, but she smiles and shimmies her body up next to him. He smirks down at her and says something that makes her laugh fill the lobby.
“Here you go,” the cashier says, grabbing my attention.
“Thanks,” I respond distractedly, getting my change.
When I look back in the direction of the couple, I find that they’re already stepping outside. I put my change in my purse, take a few bites of my muffin before deciding I don’t really want it after all. After tossing it in the trash and taking a few sips of my water, I exit the hotel and take a deep breath of the fresh air. I need to get home before it gets too late, so I hurry to my car and begin my journey.
The drive from the Embassy Suites to my house takes between fifteen and twenty minutes depending on traffic. At the end of July in Anchorage, the weather is just about as perfect as you can ask for. On some days it’s sixty-seven degrees, on others it’s seventy-five. Believe me when I tell you, sixty anything degrees is extremely warm in Alaska. When you hit negative temps in the winter, anything above forty is pretty good.
Right now, even at six-thirty at night, the sun is shining like it’s midday. It won’t begin to go down until sometime between ten-thirty and eleven. Gotta love Alaska.
When I pull up to my two-story home and into the garage, I’m not surprised to see that my husband isn’t home yet. He’s always late coming home from work, telling me his job as an architectural and engineering manager is never done. Aaron is constantly having to finish up plans before certain deadlines, and when he comes home, he’s usually back to work in his office soon after.
As soon as I enter the house, I take off my shoes and leave them in the mudroom before walking straight upstairs. The large and numerous windows in the house let in the natural sunlight, and give you a beautiful view of mountains and trees in every room.
My achy feet take me to my dresser where I pull out something to change into. As I strip out of my work clothes, I take a minute to look over my reflection in the mirror. My blonde hair is tied up into a ponytail, and my nurse’s scrubs are the least flattering things I can wear. Once everything is off, my green eyes look over every inch of my body.
I like to think I’m still in pretty good shape. I’m not curvy like the lady at the hotel, but I’m happy with my body. I don’t have huge boobs or a lot of ass, but I think I’m well-proportioned.
I often have to tell myself I’m good enough, but you know, self-doubt always creeps in. I try not to compare myself to other women. There were times where I’d see one woman and think to myself, “Oh, I wish I had her toned legs.” Then another woman would walk by and I’d think, “Oh, I’d love to have her boobs.” Now my thought process is: Fuck it. I am who I am. There are still times when I think I’m not good enough, but I’ll get to the why of that later.
I put on some yoga pants and a tank top, opting to take a bubble bath later, and choosing to eat dinner first. I’m not in the kitchen too long before I have a large bowl of grilled chicken salad prepared. As I’m scooping the mixture onto make my plate, I hear the garage door open.
Aaron strolls into the kitchen a minute later and drops his briefcase on the island.
“Hey. Want some food?” I ask him.
He eyes the bowl of salad and makes a face. “No. I’m gonna grab a shower real quick.”
“Okay. How was work?”
“Work was,” he pauses and lets out a long sigh, “work.”
I give him a small smile and nod.
I’ve been married to Aaron for three years, but we’ve been together for nearly seven. I was just twenty-one when we began dating, and he was twenty-five. Aaron was charming, handsome, funny, and a romantic. He was so easy to fall for.
I was working at a coffee shop while going to college, and he was one of my regulars. Every time he came in, he flirted with me, and eventually began bringing me a single flower with each visit. He didn’t ask me out right away, though.
Every day I anticipated his visit, hoping that that day would be the day he’d ask me out. One of my co-workers kept telling me to just ask him out, but my pride wouldn’t let me do that. I thought I was giving him enough signals without throwing myself at him completely.
Aaron looked like he stepped straight out of a magazine every time he walked into the shop. His perfect smile melted me, his dazzling hazel eyes hypnotized me, his blonde hair was strategically in place, and he was always dressed immaculately.
After about a month and a half, he finally asked me out. I fell hard and fast. We were the happiest, most affectionate couple, and our friends gave us shit about it all time. Sickeningly sweet is what they called us. My girlfriends were mad that at such a young age, I was already “tied down” and not wanting to go out with them anymore. I didn’t even care. I didn’t miss the single lifestyle. I had Aaron, and we were happy.
Janna would always tell me I should think twice about settling down so fast, and reminded me constantly that I had only had one boyfriend before him. My co-worker, Mel, would always try to convince me to stay single like her so we could go out together.
I figured they were jealous. Everybody wanted an Aaron, if not Aaron himself, and I had him. I wasn’t going to let my happily ever after slip through my fingers.
Perhaps, I should have thought twice, because like the saying goes, all good things must come to an end.
I walk around the kitchen island and towards my husband. I remove his already loose, bright blue tie, and then his wrinkled black suit jacket.
“I’ll put these in the laundry room,” I tell him. “Bring me the rest after your shower.”
He gives me a hasty kiss on my cheek. “Thanks.”
I watch him disappear upstairs and I’m left alone with the smell of the redheaded woman’s perfume on his clothes.
He thinks I don't know.
He thinks he's getting away with it.
He thinks karma won't come back to get him.
He needs to think again.
Men think women are vindictive, and maybe they're right. But when we get to the point of being cold, calculating, and vindictive, it's because they pushed us there.
Not only is my husband unaware that he's pushing me too far, he also doesn't realize that I just met a man who's ready to catch me.
I think he's just my new co-worker.
I think it's just innocent flirting.
I think I'll be able to keep my morals.
I need to think again.
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