The Other Woman

Been a while since I did one of these, and if I do say so my self, this one’s pretty good (are they ever not?). It varies a little from my normal sort of thing, but I think you’ll like it.

The Other Woman

Harold drove the small roads back to his house in an absent minded state. He had a serious situation on his hands here. He was distracted such that he paid no attention to the beautiful budding spring around him, ignored the neighbors working in their front yard who waved to him as he passed, and a few stop signs as well. He’d woken up this morning like any other, read the paper and pondered what the day held for him. His retirement left many of his days empty, the chore he dreaded most being finding an activity with which to fill the hours till evening. On this particular day, with no outstanding household projects requiring attention, he had settled down with a book, planning to read away the day. He fell asleep in the early afternoon and was awoken sometime later by his wife, Sharon.

“Get up old man. I need some things from the store. Here, I made a list because I know you don’t remember a word of what I say to you. Don’t lose it.”

He took the list, feigning mild annoyance, “Alright alright alright, I’m going.” The truth was he was glad to have something to do, though he wouldn’t let Sharon know, he knew she enjoyed playing the bossy housewife, and it was all the better if he put up resistance. It was warm enough that going outside didn’t require a coat, the air was fresh and the sun shone brightly. He got in the car and drove off to the supermarket in the center of town.

He arrived at the store, took a cart and retrieved his list as he walked through the sliding doors. He went first to the fruit section and perused the selection of apples, the list said he needed six, and no bruised ones. After locating satisfactory specimens he moved on the the deli to acquire lunch meats as the list dictated. He went through the list one by one, following instructions exactly until he reached the end. Now he had a stop of his own to make, he headed to the snack food aisle. Sharon wouldn’t approve, but he wanted chips. It was, after all, his prerogative as a man his age to eat what he liked regardless of lists and wives… as long as Sharon didn’t find out.

However, when he reached the snack food aisle, the day took a rather surprising turn. Standing there in front of the potato chip section was the most beautiful woman he’d ever seen. He hair was light brown and straight, it hung a little ways past her shoulders. Her body curved smoothly, occasionally coming to a sharp angle at an elbow or other joint. No feature was over-pronounced or underdeveloped. She carried herself with confidence, and stared intently at the rack of chips in front of her. The area around her seemed to shine, or maybe that was just the polished tile floor under the bright fluorescent light. Either way she was a stunning creature. She picked a bag from the rack, which happened to be his favorite brand, put it into her cart and wheeled her way in the other direction, giving him a bright, friendly smile, the genuine kind, as she passed him which he barely managed to return. His state of shock slowly faded and he found himself in front of the chips where she’d been only moments ago. He picked up a bag, the same ones that she had, and walked off to the checkout. He considered going after her, but what could he do? He was old and married, and she was young and who knows what else. So he had gone up to the counter and placed his groceries on the belt. He forgot all about using his member card, told the cashier debit and then swiped his credit card, and would have left behind one of his bags had the cashier not stopped him on his way out. He was embarrassed that the man must think him a feeble minded old fool, but it was low on his list of worries.

He sat in the car and a realization came over him, he loved this woman. And with this realization came a certain calm. He loved this woman, and nothing could come of it. It bothered him a little, but he had experience in accepting the way things were, and he drove off. His thoughts turned to home and another problem occupied his mind. What would he say to Sharon? Should he tell her? They’d been married for 35 years, she deserved to know that he was in love with another woman. But what if it just upset her, he didn’t want to do that, although he probably should have thought of that before all this. Even though he hadn’t done anything, it felt like cheating. Honesty was the best policy, he decided, he would have to tell her. But when he got home, he said nothing. He brought in the groceries, naturally he had gotten a few of the items wrong, and Sharon scolded him about the potato chips which he had forgotten to conceal.

The evening passed, they ate dinner and watched TV. He suspected that Sharon knew something was up but she didn’t say anything to him. They went to bed and lay next to each other reading, or at least she was reading. He was too distracted to read, he had to tell her, it was now or never, if he didn’t do it now then he never would, and she deserved to know.

“Sharon,” he said to get her attention.

“Hmm?” she said, not turning from her book.

“Something happened at the supermarket today.”

“What’s that, get thrown out for misbehaving?” she said in a flat voice, still deep in her book.

“No, nothing like that. It’s… I’m… I’m in love with another woman.”

At this she put her book down and rolled over to face him. “What?” she said, more curious than angry or offended.

“She was there buying chips, and I… I just fell in love with her.”

“Oh really, what’s her name?”

“I don’t know, I didn’t speak to her.”

“What was she wearing? Something with a lot of cleavage I’ll bet, you men are all the same.”

“No, it wasn’t like that.”

“Oh, it was tight jeans then wasn’t it?”

“No, I told you it wasn’t like that. She was beautiful yes, but that… that wasn’t it.”

“What was it then, her personality? I bet you saw a whole lot of that not speaking to her.”

“I don’t know what it was, I just loved… love her. And I thought you should know.”

“Oh I better watch out then, I could wake up the next morning and you’ll have run off with this woman who’s name you don’t know and I’ll be left with nothing but divorce papers. Go to sleep old man.” she said and turned out the light. But he couldn’t sleep, he was in love, and it felt great.