North Nevada Ave never seemed to disappoint when looking for a good time and a stiff drink.
“Life as a lawyer’s assistant was anything but glamorous, and I always entered the building feeling as if a huge weight was pressing into my chest. Leaving felt the exact opposite. It was exhilarating.
The bar door was heavy, and as I stepped through; my Jimmy Choo heels caught on the riveted metal frame.
Stumbling forward, my auburn ponytail whipped into my eyes, emitting a ‘oof’ from my lips .
“Damn, girl! You are always a hot mess. Take my arm boo, I got you,” Marco said, his ‘s ’ as sharp as a tack.
I laughed and pulled him into a quick hug.
“Good thing you’re a hot little ticket,” Marcus continued, not missing a beat.
“Hello, doll.” My voice trailed behind him as he led the way to the table he had already secured.
“Another day in paradise?” He waggled his eyebrows and took a sip of his fruity drink, pursing his lips around the straws shaft.
“Not everyone gets to lounge around in a robe all day and drink mimosas.” I mocked him, taking in his designer clothes and manicured hands.
I mean, I could have if I wanted to, but I made my paycheck regardless of my new financial status.
“Girl, please. It is difficult trying to find things to occupy yourself with when you’re a bona fide sugar baby.” He gestured emphatically with his hands.
Marco leaned in and whispered, “Even better when your sugar daddy is a closet gay who lives with his wife.” He giggled and took a sip of his drink.
We both stared at each other in silence and burst out laughing at the same time.
“You are like a breath of fresh air, my friend.” I opened the drink menu and ordered a Jameson on the rocks.
Marco’s eyes dart to the dark liquid in my glass, and then to me.
I roll my eyes, “Don’t say it, please.”
“I will not say anything… but that is not the drink of a straight white woman.” His snarky comment ended in a whisper.
I rolled my eyes dramatically and took a sip anyway. The liquid burned the back of my throat and the warmth flushed the stress from the day down my throat to the ends of my fingertips.
“How long has it been since you and Travis… ahem, did the dirty?” He leaned in close, eagerly awaiting the response to his daring question.
“You never fail to shock me. I don’t know…” I stared into my glass, as if the answer swam inside.
Since the honeymoon, that’s when.
At that very moment, as if the universe required the answer, an athletic blonde around my age bounced past us and flung her arms around the man before her. Her cropped crew-top lifted slightly, exposing her back, the long curve disappearing into tightly fitting leggings. I found my eyes drawn down to the perfect roundness of her ass cheeks, taut with just the right amount of jiggle. I stared, licking my lips.
“Cyn. Hello. Hyacinth!” Marco’s shriek broke my trance, and my eyes darted back down to my drink.
My cheeks burned, and the moisture that suddenly wicked my panties made me swallow hard.
Marco reached for my hand and squeezed.
“Honey, I love men. I just don’t think we share that in common.” His eyes waited for mine to meet his.
He already knows, but I’m not ready to admit anything out loud just yet.
I walked alone down the dark street from the bar, turning onto the private road where my husband and I shared a home. Freshly married about four months ago on a beautiful summer day in Monument Valley Park .
I grew up in Colorado, yet never had the courage to move away from my father. He needed me, so I sacrificed my dream of travelling and stayed so I could tend to him every day. Every excuse I could find, I would be at my Dad’s house, the home I grew up in. Anything to get away from Travis and his constantly wandering hands.
You would think Travis and I would screw like rabbits, eager to taste one another, fill and swell with each other’s every desire.
Well, he was. Me, not so much.
Not only did he fail to get my knickers in a twist, the thought of having children turned my stomach. Nothing ruined our rare copulation more than his mention of ‘making a baby’.
I stood in front of the grey-stucco two story. My feet felt as though they were cemented to the ground. I groaned but pulled myself towards the door.
The foyer was quiet besides the echo of my heels on the stone floor. The air smelled of freshly washed laundry, with a faint hint of lavender. The housekeeper came every Monday and Friday, set up by Travis’ waspy mother, Tricia.
“Every house needs a housekeeper, a wife can’t possibly live without one.” Tracy’s voice was high and condescending, a constant echo in my mind.
I should be thankful, but I always took care of my father growing up, cooking and cleaning after school. I didn’t see it necessary, but considering this house was four thousand square feet, perhaps I was wrong. And probably unappreciative.
“Hello my love.” Travis appeared in front of me, taking my bag and placing a kiss on my forehead.
Our massive kitchen was polished with chrome and black marble countertops, spotless as always.
“What smells so delicious?” I asked, taking off my jacket and kicking off my heels.
“Parmesan garlic shrimp, leeks with organic wild rice. Chef Travis at your service, mon amour.” Travis bowed, draping the kitchen towel he carried over his arm.
My stomach rumbled, happy to have dinner ready and waiting for me. The perks of being married to a gourmet chef. He really was good to me, I knew that.
Travis led me into the dining room, complete with two formal place settings and lit tapers. Pulling out the chair, he motioned for me to sit and took the jacket I haphazardly draped on the chair.
Making his way back into the kitchen, he picked up the heels I kicked off in the middle of the kitchen ; he neatly placed them in the foyer and grabbed a bottle of chardonnay from the wine fridge.
Finally seated, we eat in silence.
“How was work?’’ Travis ventured.
I wonder sometimes if he can sense my unrest and boredom.
“Oh, the usual. Lawyers who act like I don’t exist unless they want a coffee or lunch.” I down the rest of my wineglass, feeling blissfully buzzed now. I eye the bottle and see it’s about half full.
Yeah, that will be my companion for the evening. Tucked into bed with me next to some Oreos.
“I don’t know why you won’t just quit, you don’t need to work. We are perfectly fine without your nine-to-five.” He chews his food loudly, shoveling rice into his mouth so fast that I make a face.
I stand from the table with a plate in hand, ready to soak into a hot bath and call it a day.
“Where are you going? You don’t want to sit and chat for longer?” His face is soft and childlike, blue eyes shining. Waiting for me, like he always has.
“I’m tired, Trav. Maybe another night?” At this point, I am already walking to the kitchen sink.
“Well, alright. There’s a great documentary on Netflix about a killer whale. I thought you would enjoy it.” He remained seated, his words disembodied and disregarded.
I hate seafood and anything to do with fish. I preferred horror movies and rom-coms.
“Goodnight,” I call, already halfway up the sprawling staircase, wine bottle in hand.
Available Valentines Day 2021