The afair

The affair – Chapter 4

                 
Lea was holding Lori’s little body closed to her as she sat in the rocking chair in Lori’s bedroom. She  barely managed to keep the tears away that threatend to spill over. He lied about where he has been and it was hurting her in a way she never knew posible.
Why was he doing this to them she wondered. How was she going to confront him with what she has found?
He would probably deny it and say she was dillusional and imagining things or perhaps not. After all she had the letter and the contents was anything but innocent.
“Lea are you sleeping?” Mark asked, peeking around Lori’s bedroom door in the darkness.
“No I’m not,” Lea anwered softly although she felt like screaming.
“That’s good because I want to talk to you,”

“Really Mark?” Lea asked sarcastically, feeling iritated and moody.
“Do you mind?” Mark asked.
“I supose not,” Lea said as she stood up and gently put Lori into her bed.
“What’s that supose to mean?” Mark asked, barely able to contain the anger that was welling up inside of him.
“It means I don’t really feel like talking to you,”
Lea was standing so close to Mark that she could smell the scent of his shower gel mixed with his aftershave. She always loved his scent but now it was making her heart ache.
“What’s bothering you Lea?” Mark asked his voice so soft it was almost a whisper.
Lea took a folded piece of paper out of her jean’s pocket.
“Does this look familiar?” she asked as she handed it to him, “I found it when I was tidying your closet,”
Mark’s heart stopped beating. She knew about his afair.
“Since you are the one that wants to talk I guess you can explain this lovely note that tells me you have been having some behind my back,” Lea said, leaning against the door frame.
“I…I….It’s not….damnit Lea,”Mark stammered
“Don’t damn me Mark. The letter says it all except who she is,”
Mark slid to the floor. He didn’t expect this. How could he have been so careless? He knew he was playing with fire and now it seems like it was time for him to get burned.
“What do you want Lea?” he asked with his head in his hands.
” What I want is for you to tell the truth. What the hell were you thinking Mark?” Lea asked angrily, ” How could you?”
“She was exciting Lea like you never were. Being with you is like being with a corpse….”
“A corpse!” Lea yelled, appalled at the comparison he just made, “What’s that supose to mean? Do I come across as dead?”
Lea didn’t give him time to reply. She went to the kitchen to get herself a glass of water. Without thinking twice she grabbed a jug and filled it with water before she walked back to were Mark was sitting in the coridor with his back against the wall. She threw the cold water over his head, not caring in the least about the mess it made.
Mark gasped shocked and bewildered.
“What did you do that for?”
“That’s for insulting me,” Lea said, still fuming, “You can sleep on the couch and don’t even dare to come into the room for anything,”
“Can I atleast get a pillow?” he asked softly, feeling like a schoolboy being punished for naughty behaviour.
“Nope,” Lea said before she entered their bedroom, closing the door behind her.

Mark sat surrounded by darkness in the livingroom. He was trying to make sense of it all. He was angry at himself for being in such a mess.
Lea didn’t deserve being lied to or cheated on and he couldn’t blame her for being so furious and throwing him out of the bedroom.
Their fight played over and over in his head. He couldn’t get Lea’s angry face out of mind. She was badly hurt and he was responsible for it.
He knew he had a choice to make but he didn’t look forward to it. He also knew that none of this would have happend if he had stayed faithfull. He could have slept next to his wife now in their cosy bed instead of sleeping on the couch without a pillow or a blanket.
He suddenly felt very small and all alone in the dark with little hope of fixing the mess without hurting anyone any more than he already had.

© 2013 Angie Pretorius

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Short stories

One precious moment

      

“Mommy can we go to the zoo today,” little Riley asked her mother with hopefull eyes.
Maggie looked at her five year old daughter for a
brief second before she answered, “I’m a bit busy today. Perhaps tomorow,”
Little Riley’s face fell with disapointment, “You promised mommy,” she said softly before she turned around and went to her room.
Maggie felt the guilt building up as she continued cleaning up the kitchen. Time seemed to be never enough. There was always something that needed cleaning or fixing. At the moment she was so busy with the household and the organizing of the church’s charity bazaar that she barely had time to drink a cup of tea. Riley just had to be patient for a while. It wasn’t as if the zoo was going anywhere. They could go tommorow or as soon as she was done with the bazaar.
A slight knock on the door interupted her thoughts. It was Ntabi, her nanny.
She was so thankfull that Ntabi could look after Riley when it was her day of that she thought about giving Ntabi a bonus to say thank you. Maggie left the house in a rush. There was a million things to do at the church grounds for the bazaar that was being held after the morning service the next day.

Later that night little Riley stood next to her mother for the second time that day with a beggar’s look in her beautifull little blue eyes, “Mommy can you come and read me a story please?”
“Not now honey. I’m tired and I still have a few things to do,” Maggie said without looking at her daughter.
“But mommy it will just take a moment…”
Maggie looked up impatiently, “I’ve said not now. Now go to sleep. Tomorow’s going to be a fun day,”
Little Riley looked at her mother for a few moments longer, longing for a hug or a kiss good night but she didn’t dare say anything. Mommy was working hard and it was very important. Riley turned around and went to bed without saying anything else.

The following afternoon Maggie was walking between the stalls ladden with delicious homemade jams and sweet mouth watering cakes. The bazaar was going to be a huge success. She couldn’t help but feel proud at what she has accomplished. The money that was being raised was going to the local orphanage that needed the funds urgently for much needed repairs to their buildings and houses.
“Maggie have you seen Riley?”Janet asked nervously. Maggie had trusted her with Riley’s care and somehow the little girl had wanderd off on her own despite the fact that Janet had kept a very close eye on her as she played with the other children from the sunday school.
Maggie felt her heart beating faster in her chest, “I thought she was with you,”
“She was but then mrs Thompson had commented on the trifles she had bought and when I looked again Riley wasn’t playing with her friends anymore,” Janet explained frightend, “I thought she might have gone to look for you,”
Maggie swallowed hard before she spoke again, “We better look for her and fast too. She can easily dissapear.”
Janet nodded in agreement as they both set of in search of little Riley.
Both Maggie and Janet had asked the people attending the bazaar if they had seen Riley but no one had.
Panic started to well up in Maggie as they kept on searching. Anything could happen to a little lost girl and the possiblities frightend Maggie. If anything bad had happened to Riley she would never forgive herself. What kind of mother loses her child at a church bazaar?
“Hey Maggie!” pastor Shepard called out as Riley was happily riding on his neck with a fist full of grey hair in her tiny little hands.
Maggie turned around and when she saw her little girl safely with their pastor she sighed deep with relieve.
“Where have you found her pastor?”she asked as she held out her arms to take her daughter, ” Janet and I have been searching everywhere,”
“I found her crying next to the ice-cream stall. She was looking for you,” pastor Shepard said as he looked at Maggie who was clutching little Riley. He could imagine how terrified Maggie must have been. The world was a wonderfull but dangerous place, especially for little kids who wandered.
Maggie thanked pastor Shepard for his kindness and she said a small prayer thanking God for protecting her little girl when she did not.
Maggie realized just then how important every little moment was she had with Riley. Just then she made a vow to herself to never ever take anything concerning her daughter for granted again.
That night she read stories untill Riley fell asleep and the following day she took of from work to take Riley to the zoo.

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Stories

The second chapter

                Chapter 2

Lucy sat in her car next to the old road that led out of town. She still felt horribly drained as she looked at the rain falling, washing away the dust and dirt from the earth.
How she wished that her mother was still alive. She so desperately needed to talk to someone about everything that had happened. What a fool she had been, letting things get so out of hand. She should never have started the afair with Mark. She should have read the signs that were so obvious like the secrecy and the fact that she could never call him when he wasn’t with her or the fact that she had never been invited to his house.
Lucy turned the key in the ignition. What do I do now Lord? How do I face my shame?
Lucy drove on and on as the wipers swished out a rhythm of their own.
Every moment on her own brought a reminder of what she has done. She was standing on the brink of losing everything that was important to her. Her selfrespect and everyone else’s. If her pregnancy became known everyone would know who she was. She was the other woman. The Scarlet letter that has to be avoided. Her colegues at work will despice her and shun her from their clique.
Lucy placed a slender hand over her abdomen. I’m sorry little one. So, so sorry to be bringing you into this world like this.
Just then she realized that she had to quit her job and move away because she couldn’t face the shame of it. She had to think about her child’s future happiness. She couldn’t let her baby be born in shame. Even if this was the twentyfirst century people still looked down on children who was born out of wedlock especially if they were the result of a extra-marital afair.
On her way out of Riverdale she stopped at the offices of Mcdonald&co. When she finally had the courage she went inside and resigned.
For a brief moment she had wanted to tell Sheila who was the receptionist everything that has happend but she stopped herself. There was no point in spilling the beans. No one had to know.
Before she left she said bye to her old friend and colegue Anne but she wasn’t there.
She left Anne a simple note before she left the office for the last time.
She drove to the highway that headed to Clearview that was about two hours drive away. She tried to keep her mind blank but still the memories came flooding back, suffocating her little by little.
She gave way to the tears again as the realization hit home. She was twenty-eight and pregnant with no job or a medical aid and barely enough savings in her bank account to last through out her pregnancy. What on earth was she doing?
She thought about praying as she drove but so far it hasn’t helped one bit so she desided against it. If she was going to survive she had to do it using her own wits. She sat back in the carseat, relaxing as she continued to drive.
She could find new employment somewhere but it involved struggling to raise her child on her own, full time daycare and state-provided medical care. Lucy closed her eyes for a brief second. After the recent scandal involving newborn babies dying because of lack of care by the nurses who worked at some other state hospital she wasn’t keen on the idea of giving birth in one. Ofcourse their were millions of children who managed to grow up just fine under such circumstances.
Lucy switched gears as she stared straight at the road in front of her.
Not my baby.
As the sun began to shine weakly through the clouds Lucy knew what she had to do. It wasn’t the ideal but it would have to do.

Lucy pulled over on the side of the street infront of a neat little double story house.
Maybe he could give her a job at his successfull advertising company, she hoped as she got out of her car.
She knocked three times on the door and waited.
“Lucy?” Matt asked surprised, “What are you doing here?”
Lucy swallowed hard, “I need your help.”
Matt looked at Lucy worried. He hadn’t expect to see her again since she had broken it off with him a couple of months ago but he was glad that she came. He had been praying night and day that she would come back to him. Finally the Lord has answered his prayers.
“Can I come in?” Lucy asked softly, interupting Matt’s thoughts.
He opened the door wider and without thinking twice Lucy walked inside. She would beg her ex on her knees if she had to as long as her baby was provided for. It may be awkward at first to work for him but she had no alternative. She had acted on impulse just a few short hours ago when she left her life behind in Riverdale and she wasn’t feeling sorry for it but that meant that she had to get new employment fast if she wanted to prevent her baby from being born in poverty.
Before she knew it she layed her cards on the table, telling Matt everything before she could stop herself and she felt even worse for doing so. Matt was her ex. He had nothing to do with the huge mess she had selfishly created for herself.
Matt listened intently at Lucy as she spoke, his heart aching seeing her so troubled and distraught. He knew he should be disgusted by her actions but instead it was the oposite. His heart filled with more love towards her. It was as if God was whispering in his ear to give her another chance. He knew with a certainy in his heart that he still wanted to marry her even though she was broken and falling to pieces at his feet, begging him for a job.
She told Matt everything and when they had talked everything through he asked her again to marry him like a did a couple of months ago. Matt knew he was her second choice, a means for her to survive. He knew she didn’t love him like he loved her yet he still felt the need to make her his wife.
“Lucy I won’t give you a job,” he said softly, taking her slender hand in his, “I want to give you more,”
Lucy looked at Matt confused as she sniffed softly into a tissue. What on earth was he saying?
“I hope you don’t run away this time but I would rather marry you than have you working for me,” Matt said, knowing it sounded stupidly absurd.
“Why?” Lucy asked disbelievingly. He couldn’t be serious. After everything she had done to him he should hate her or gain some pleasure out of her problems. He shouldn’t be proposing again. It made no sense.
His pale blue eyes rested on her face and he took a deep breath before he spoke, ” I know it sounds weak, perhaps even stupid but I still love you Lucy. Maybe you don’t feel exactly the same but I’m sure that I can be a good husband to you and maybe in time you could love me again,”
Lucy shaked her head, “And the baby? You do realize that…”
“I will love the baby just as much because it’s a part of you Lucy,” Matt kneeled infront of Lucy, “I know you don’t get it and maybe you don’t even believe me when I say it but I have always loved you Lucy. I have never stopped, ” Matt swallowed hard at the lump that formed in his throat, “Don’t ask questions that I can not explain the answers to. Just say yes and marry me,”
Unable to speak Lucy just nodded yes with her head as she cried. Maybe she was being selfish again but Matt was offering her and her unborn child the promise of love and a future as a family. And perhaps in time if she could forgive herself she could love him the way he deserved to be loved.

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The afair

The afair – Chapter 3

                  Chapter 3

Lea was in no mood to clean house so she sat outside watching Lori play happily with her bucket and spade, creating a lovely mess.
But Lea wasn’t minding as much as she usually did. After all both the dirty clothes and her child could be washed or bathed. But Mark’s afair couldn’t be fixed that easily.
She couldn’t help but to wonder how it happend or where she slipped up. She was under the impression that they were happily married and that their lives together was as perfect as it could be.
But the loveletter she found yesterday proved otherwise. Questions were running through her mind like a run away freight train.
How long as it been going on? Did it happen once, twice or even more? Did he love the other woman or was it just sexual?
Lea knew the only person who could give her the answers she needed was Mark. She had to confront him but she wasn’t looking forward to it.
What if he denies it or worse yet what if he admits it and leave her?  She didn’t want a divorce but what if he wants to?

Mark was sitting in Lucy’s livingroom while she was busy making them coffee. It was his guilty pleasure. He knew it was wrong but somehow he couldn’t help himself. He enjoyed Lucy’s company in and out of her bedroom. She made him feel alive and wanted and she knew how to please and be pleased.
Lucy’s only flaw was that she wasn’t as neat but he loved that too. In a lot of ways her untidy apartment was more comfortable than his home which was kept clean and neat with precision.
“What are you thinking about?” Lucy asked breaking the silence.
“I was thinking of how lucky I am too have you,” he answered as he took his cup out of her hands.
“You would even be happier if you stayed here with me,”
“I know darling but I can’t,” he said pulling her slender body closer before he kissed her scarlett couloured lips.
It was all that was needed to distract her from saying what he didn’t want to hear.
Before long they were undressed and spraweled on Lucy’s livingroom carpert. He kissed her everywhere she liked making her groan. She yelled something when his toungue reached her most intimate place. He savoured the taste of her untill she screamed out in pleasure……
Afterwards Mark went to have a shower. He kept a bottle of his favourite shower gel at Lucy’s. He always made sure that Lea wouldn’t be able to smell anything different on him. He knew what he did was wrong but as long as his wife didn’t know and his lover could be distracted nothing prevented him to enjoy the forbidden fruit of pleasure.
“Are you going home now?”Lucy asked standing in the doorway, dressed only in her flimsy nightgown with her red curls framing her beautifull face.
“I have too,” he answered.
“That’s a pity because I really want you to stay…” she moved closer to him and left a feathersoft kiss on his cheek.
He groaned softly before pulling her even closer before he kissed her passionately. She was killing him softly, making him wish for a life so different from the one he had. If only it could be…

Lea sat in front of the television. She tried watching the soap that was currently on tv but she couldn’t concentrate. It was seven o’clock at night and Mark wasn’t home yet.
She guess he was spending some time with his lover because where else could he be?
He had a surprise waiting for him. She didn’t make dinner like she normally did. Lori was eating a ham and cheese sandwich that Lea made for her. Lea wasn’t hungry so Mark would have to fend for himself.
Perhaps she should take Lori and go away for awhile. They could go on a nice holiday while Mark was still working. To have a little revenge she could go shopping for expensive designer shoes and handbags on his credit card or beter yet….she could take a few of her friends to a luxury spa.
He was probably spoiling his lover if it was more than a one night stand. Even if it wasn’t he should pay dearly for his sins.
“Hello,” Mark greeted when he walked through the door, interupting Lea’s thoughts.
“Hi honey,” she greeted back but remained in her seat instead of jumping up to meet him for a kiss.
“I’m sorry for being late,” Mark said, bending over to kiss his wife.
“Where have you been?” Lea asked casually.
“At the office. I’ve got trouble with the account I’m currently working on.” Mark explained.
“Oh,”Lea said simply. She knew he wasn’t telling the truth and it left her feeling furious and with the desire to bash his head in.
“Lea where’s my dinner?”Mark asked from the kitchen doorway.
“There isn’t any Mark. You can make yourself a sandwich,” Lea said, barely managing to keep the anger from her voice.
“Why?” Mark asked surprised, knowing it was unlike Lea to not make dinner.
“Maybe you should ask yourself that,” Lea said, picking Lori up from where she sat playing, “I’m going to bath Lori and then we are going to bed.”
Mark stared dumbfounded after his wife. Something was terribly wrong and he was sure of it now. Could she…No she couldn’t he thought. How could she if he had been so carefull?

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The afair

The afair – Chapter 2

                  Chapter 2

The atmosphere around the dinner table was as thick as fog. Mark ate his dinner in silence while Lea was absentmindedly playing with her fork, not even noticing the lovely mess Lori was making with her pumkin.
Something was bothering Lea and he couldn’t stop the feeling of unease growing in his gut. He looked around their open planned living/ dinning room. As usual everything was neat and tidy to the point of near perfection. If she was sick there would have been a forgotten cup next to the couch, a toy would remain out of place and the laundry basket would still be full. But most importantly Mark thought, he wouldn’t be eating a proper meal of three different vegetables, brown rice and roasted chicken. Lea didn’t like cooking big when she was under the weather. But then again she had the uncanny ability to keep to herself. Never complaining of so much as a headache or a slight cold. Never asking questions or making demands. In all aspects, Mark thought, he had the perfect wife. That is if perfect means to be married to a ice queen with almost no passion. How he longed for Lea to be like…abrubtly he stood up. He can not be thinking about her now, not when Lea is obviously troubled by something.
“Thank you Lea. Dinner was delicious,” he said. Mostly to break the terible silence.
“Oh,” Lea said startled before placing her fork down, “It’s a pleasure.”
He bent down to kiss her lightly on the lips, knowing that it was out of habit and to save face and feeling worse because of it.
He was stuck between a rock and a very hard place. He wanted out yet he knew it wasn’t fair to Lea or his sweet tempered young daughter. He knew that he was very selfish to love another woman while his very faithfull wife was giving him a very comfortable home and raising their daughter with such tenderness that it left him feeling sufocated.
Feeling lost between his passionate love afair and the responsiblity of his marriage he went to sit in front of the telivision to watch the seven o’clock news while Lea picked Lori up from the table and walked in the direction of the bathroom. He should have offered to bathe his child, he knew but he didn’t feel up to it. He missed her too much.

He made a concentrated efford later that night to make love with his wife. Lea didn’t make any objections when he pulled her closer and kissed her. She closed her eyes when his left hand cupped her breast. It wasn’t because she enjoyed it. His touch left her cold and the stabbing pains in her heart left her nearly breathless. He broke the kiss and entered her with quick, short thrusts. She made the apropriate soft grunting noices to make him believe that she was enjoying it. The letter with the seductive kiss below her name kept running through her head. It’s contents burned into her memory.

I’ve been missing you terribly since our last time together, remembering the way you made love with me…

She was thankfull when Mark pulled out of her and gave her a short peck on the lips. It was done, over now and she knew that he would fall asleep within a few minutes.
She reach out to put the night light off before making herself comfortable beneath the plain blue comforter. She knew sleep wouldn’t come easy as she listen to Mark’s even breathing.
She closed her eyes, remembering the first time she saw him at the youth group. He was so handsome with his shining green eyes nearly covered by his longish black hair. She remembered staring at the muscles in his arms. He caught her staring and with a dazzling smile that lit up his whole face he looked her straight in the face and then he winked.
Without knowing his name or even speaking to him she knew she was deeply in love. When he asked her afterwards if she wanted to go to a nearby restaurant for coffee.She was so astonished that he had invited her for coffee that she barely got a word out. They drove in seperate cars. He in his brand new looking Volkswagen Polo and she in her run down Mini Cooper that her mother gave her when she finished school at Riverdale High.
At the restaurant they ordered bottomless coffee and a plate of greasy potato chips. They talked for hours on end until their waiter informed them that they were closing for the day.
She found out during their conversation that he’s name was Mark, 28 years old and that he worked for a small IT company and played guitar whenever he had time too and he loved the Lord. She couldn’t believe her luck at finding a friend that shared her faith. They got engage six months later and another six months later they got married in the same little church where she met him the first time. Lori was born a year later.
Life was beautifull or at least it was up untill now. How did it happen that Mark is cheating on her? More importantly how did it happen that they moved away from church and God when they once where so passionate about serving Him and saving lost souls?
Oh dear God, Lea prayed silently, what am i suppose to do now? I feel so angry and dissapointed but most off all I”m feeling lost.
Lea fell asleep with a soft, tender voice in her head said, “Be still and know that I am God,”

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