Justin spent the next day peeping through the blinds, hoping to see Olivia leave. But when dusk had fallen, and her knee-length boots still sat by the entrance, he could only imagine what his
daughter was up to for the night. He must stop it.
“Hey, I got to dash home.” He tapped Gisela's shoulder and gently eased her off his lap. “I can’t stomach this anymore.”
Gisela stretched her legs along the couch and put a pillow under her head. “Oh no, you wanna leave me alone?” She took the remote from his hands and flipped through the TV channels. "I wish you
were going somewhere else. I'd have come with you."
He bent over and kissed her forehead. “I'll be back before you know it.”
He stepped into the shower, toes curling as they touched the chilled ceramic floor. His mind was in shreds--he’d never get the picture of his daughter having sex out of his mind. He turned the
handle. Lukewarm water wet his hair and ran down his back. The image flashed over and over in his head like a porn movie.
After dressing, he brushed his mustache, taking great satisfaction in the new outfit, chosen by Gisela when they’d gone shopping. He put on a peaked round hat, cowboy style, and picked a loose
thread off his tight matchstick jeans before walking out of the bedroom with a spring in his steps.
“How do I look?” he asked, meeting Gisela at the door.
“Amazing... Don’t forget this.” She backed him into a corner, then, sprayed cologne on his neck. “Can I ask you something without coming off as insecure?”
He chuckled. “You and insecurity in the same sentence, with all that beauty? I can’t picture you as such. Ask.”
“What if Katelyn forgives you?”
“How do you mean?” Justin stroked his mustache. He’d not thought of such an eventuality. “She’ll have to take both of us back.”
A puff of wind swept through his face as he sneaked out of the house, lest Olivia saw him.
When he reached the gate at his home, a myriad of thoughts ran through his mind. What would he tell Katelyn?
The guards opened so fast when they recognized his voice. With rapid steps, he walked to the main house and texted Rose to open the back door.
He stuck his head through the door. “Hey, anyone awake?”
“Yeah, everyone’s up except Olivia.” Rose lowered her eyes. “She’s not been around for, ah, about a week.”
Justin frowned, the sex scene flooding his mind again. “Don’t let anyone know I’m around. Katelyn has gone to bed already?”
“No, sir. She left with Martha and Dan. I dunno where to, but said she’d be late.”
He scowled. “Damn it! Was it long ago?”
He checked his phone and was about to call Katelyn, but instead walked to the bedroom. Katelyn was quickly descending into wretchedness and he must intervene. She’d neglected the children and had
started going out with that perverse woman whose sole objective was to impress men with her looks.
The first thing he saw was the makeup lined from end to end of her dressing table; mascara, foundation, lipstick, eye shadows... This was Martha’s influence and she probably was matchmaking
for Katelyn. What a wretched woman!
Two hours later, Katelyn hadn’t shown up. Unable to sit still, he paced. If indeed it was true Martha had taken her to see another man, that’d be the end of everything and he’d make her pay
A pink bookmark stuck out of his Bible that lay on the dressing table. He flipped the page open where Katelyn must have been reading—the song of songs Chapter 8:
Close your heart to every love but mine; hold no one in your arms but me. Love is as powerful as death; passion is as strong as death itself.
And Katelyn’s notes, jotted in pencil along with the verses, gave him goosebumps.
Can death liberate one from the pain of loving someone who doesn’t love you back?
Was she planning suicide or to kill him? He’d better watch out. An enraged woman was capable of anything. His thoughts jumbled. What if she'd decided to get even and taken a lover? He’d kill both
After returning the Bible, he hung his head. He couldn’t totally rule out the possibility of his wife loving someone other than himself. Two wrongs couldn’t make a right. Yes, he was at fault for
cheating on her. But surely, a woman was supposed to be different; understanding, sacrificial and caring for her children. He expected her to now think more of the children, spend more time with
them, even fall into self-pity, but not get even. This was demeaning to a woman worth the name.
Despite the cold night, sweat formed in his armpits. He was horrified at how fast his family was disintegrating. He checked the time--half past ten--then called Ambrose.
“Hey, buddy… Is that Martha in the background?” asked Justin.
“Yep. We’re at Dan’s. Annie’s marrying Fred. Katelyn’s here too.”
“Holy mackerel. So Martha finally managed to hook them up? Dad and son marry mother and daughter. What a perfect match! Go somewhere we can talk. I don't want that bitch to know it’s me you’re
“A minute… um, sorry, guys are so drunk here and making a lot of noise. Now we can talk. Fred’s marrying Annie next month and this’s a welcome party.”
“Ah, how is…Err, what’s Katelyn doing? Is she alone?”
“Hold a sec. Honey, gimme a minute, I’ll join you shortly. Man, are you there?”
“Goodness me, is that Elizabeth?”
“Yeah.” Ambrose snickered.
“Oh God’s great. I can’t believe it. When did she get out of the hospital?”
Ambrose’s voice trembled. “It’s been a week now and she’s cancer-free. This’s just a miracle. The doctors had given her only a month to live.”
“Oh man, I’m so happy. Can’t wait to see her.”
“Why don’t you come over. Who knows, this might just turn out to be the night you make up with Katelyn.”
Justin was at crossroads. He didn’t imagine himself and Katelyn sharing a marriage bed anymore. Maybe they could just be friends and agree on how to bring up a united family. Of course, he
pitied Katelyn and was sorry for her, but he loved Gisela.
“Okay, I’ll be there in a bit.” He hung up.
He took another look at Katelyn’s dressing table and the idea she was using all of this makeup to attract a man repulsed him.
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