"Where were you last night?"
I looked up from the morning paper that was spread out across the table to my husband who was sitting across from me. None of our kids were up yet, but the question was still said quietly. And it was a simple question at that, one that had a million and some answers to it. But I hesitated in my answer, thinking it over in my mind and rolling it around my tongue for a moment. I looked back down at the article I was reading and reached for my tea that sat in a mug just next to the paper. I brought it to my mouth to take a sip from it, buying time for me to answer my husband. "I was out at the bar with a couple of people from work."
It was mostly truth. I really had gone out to the bar with. Today was my first day off in months, so I took the opportunity to drink with some of my friends. It was after the drinking that I didn't mention. It was also what my husband was really looking for, not that I'd tell him. Not yet at least. I know he knows that something is going on with me. I can see it in his eyes, the unasked questions. If he asked me outright I don't think I could lie, I'd probably tell him the truth.
I glance back up into my husband's face. He's giving a slow nod and taking a sip of his coffee, eyes downcast, like he was defeated. My stomach churns with guilt, but I just take another sip of my tea. I'll tell him the truth, eventually, soon, but not just yet. I guess I'm a coward like that, but I'm still not sure how to go about telling him. I love my husband and I don't want to hurt him, but I'm just not in love with him and I know I'm going to end up hurting him.
Letting out a light sigh, I close my eyes and tilt my head in thought, chin tucked to my chest and bangs hanging in my face. My hand is still looped through the mug handle of my tea, but it's resting on the table now and I can feel its my hand. It reminds me of last night and I fall deeper into thought, thinking about the night before and where I was.
It had been a long day at work with a constant stream of patients and surgery. I hardly had time for a thought, much less a rest in the on call room. I handed off the last chart when a couple of friends, mostly consisting of the nursing staff, approached me to ask if I wanted a drink after I was done. They had heard that I finally got a day off. I agreed without abandon and punched out quickly before making my way to locker room. I wanted to take a shower since I had been working for so long, so I made my way to stand under the jet of hot water. After that I had gotten dressed in record time and practically skipped my way to my car.
I made to the usual bar in a hop, skip, and a jump. I had decided that I was going to get my well deserved drink. Before entering, I sent a text to my husband to let him know I wouldn't be home until later. With flourish I finally entered and spotted my coworkers quickly, most of whom already started their drinking. I promptly made my way to the bartender and ordered myself a Bud Light. I wasn't feeling too fancy. Without further delay I meandered my way to the table where my friends were slowly getting rowdier by the minute and plopped myself down at the open chair, immediately joining in with their conversation.
We continued to talk and drink throughout the night, time seeming to fly. It was getting close to midnight and I near my limit when I saw her enter through the bar doors. I knew her well enough that her gait and the way that she carried herself was more than what I needed to see to recognize her.
Emalee O'Connell was a giant of a woman, standing at six feet two inches and weighing two hundred pounds, all solid muscle. She had dark, chestnut red hair that seemed black in the poor lighting of the bar and it looked like it was cut with a razor blade by a blind man. Her hair was long underneath, resting lightly on her shoulders and falling down to her shoulder blades, but the rest of her hair was short and choppy, only coming to about her chin. It gave her a wild kind of look, but it worked for Emalee. Anyone else would probably look ridiculous. She had pale skin and smatterings of freckles all over, the most noticeable speckled high on her cheeks and across the bridge of her nose. Dark emerald green eyes glittered under a fringe of bangs and a small smile always graced her lips.
My eyes took in the sight of Emalee. She had been wearing a gray, long sleeve t shirt that had "MASTER'S" stamped across it, along with the symbol of her rowing team. She wore faded out and ripped jeans that hung loosely off her hips and old beaten skater shoes. As she was walking towards the bartender her head turned and her eyes met mine. A smile slipped across her features and it screamed 'I have a secret.' It made my heart give an extra hard thump. She turned from me then and placed herself on a barstool.
For the rest of the night my eyes had wandered over to Emalee's back every few minutes, but she didn't look at me again, at least not while I was with my coworkers. Eventually though, my friends began leaving one by one until I was the last one left. I grabbed my jacket and went to the bar to pay my tab. I walked up next to Emalee and brushed lightly against her. I heard her give a small, breathy laugh. She reached around behind me to tug lightly at my pony tail and I flashed a small smirk in return. We hadn't made plans with each other, but neither of us was willing to pass up the opportunity that presented itself.
I paid my tab and afterward I left the bar to return to my car. I started it up and let the heat run as I waited. A few minutes went by when a tall figure rounded the bar to the parking lot and made its way to my car. Emalee slid into the passenger seat and away we went.
We didn't have to go far as Emalee lived only a couple blocks from the bar. We hurriedly made our way from her complex's parking lot to her apartment, tumbling our way though with soft giggles and lingering touches. I stripped as I made my way to her bedroom, the path so well known I could have done it with my eyes closed. I heard another breathy laugh behind me and gave a smile to no one.
Later, when it was closer to being morning, I slipped from between Emalee's covers and away from her warmth to get dressed. I murmured something about having to get back to the husband. Emalee only gave the same small, breathy laugh and a quick peck to my lips as goodbye. I left the complex a little saddened and a lot more exhausted.
I had driven home on autopilot and arrived silently. I slipped into the house quietly, not knowing if it was because I didn't want to wake anyone up or I didn't want to be caught. Sneaking through the house with my shoes in hand, I crept towards the bedroom I shared with the husband, passing the doors that held our children behind them. I made it to my bedroom and slinked through the doors, praying I was ninja-like. I could hear the husband snoring and sighed a breath of relief. I stripped down to my undergarments and slipped between the covers of my shared bed, falling asleep quickly.
I shook myself from my revere, causing my husband to glance at me, but I just stood from the table. I dumped my now cold tea in the sink and tossed my paper into the recycling bin. I made to exit the kitchen when my husband spoke up again. "Where are you going now?"
That was an easy enough question to answer. I just shrugged and said, "The shower." After all, I still smelled of alcohol and smoke, sex and sweat, Emalee and sin.