Cruel Infidelity

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CH. 16: HEATHER

The minute hand ticks by in what feels like slow motion. She itches her face, clawing at strands of loose hair. She bites her lip, glancing around. She’s desperate for fresh air. Suffocated on her own thoughts, she closes her eyes, running her hands hard against her head. Something isn’t right.

“Everything okay, Heather?”

She opens her eyes, blinking. “I think I’m coming down with something,” she says, running her tongue over her lower lip. Sweat beads above her brow.

The shift lead squints, extending her hand forward, but stopping just before making contact with her forehead. “You know what?” she says, looking around. “We’re all set here, how about you take the rest of the night off.”

Heather blinks. She’s never known her to be kind. “Are you sure?” she asks, her eyes wide.

“Yeah, go get some rest.”

The cool night air instantly calms her. She inhales deeply, taking it all in. She opens her phone, stopping herself before starting a message. No, better they don’t know I’m coming. She wants to catch them in the act.

She pulls behind Tammy’s car—the only one in the driveway. She eyes it for a moment before casting her sights to the dark, second-floor apartment. Did Andrew ever come home?

She storms into his bedroom. “Ah huh!” she shouts, flipping the light switch on. She stares at the empty bed, blinking. She moves to Rachel’s old room, easing the door open with one hand. It’s just as empty as the last.

After surveying the entire apartment, it’s clear that Tammy and Andrew went out together. They probably thought they’d be able to make it back before I got home. Joke’s on them. She fishes her phone free from her coat, stopping on Chris’s contact info. Tapping it, she brings the phone to her ear.

“Hello?”

“Chris, hi… It’s Heather.”

“Is Tammy over there?” he asks. “She hasn’t returned any of my calls or texts since I came home. She just up and took off. I was—”

“Chris,” she interrupts. “I think Tammy and Andrew are out together.”

“Out together?” Chris repeats after a short pause. “What does that mean; out together?”

“She showed up just as I was leaving for work and begged me to let her stay here. I thought it was weird, so I came home early and neither one of them is here.”

Chris breathes into the phone.

“I think something is going on,” she says, filling the silence.

“That doesn’t surprise me,” he admits. “I thought something was going on for a little while now, but I didn’t want to say it. I thought I was going crazy.”

“I don’t want to be here when they get back,” Heather says. “I don’t know how to handle it.”

“Well, you could come over here, couch is free.”

“Are you sure?” she asks, biting her lip, looking at the clock. It won’t be much longer before they’ll come back, she thinks.

“Yeah, yeah. I agree with you, I don’t think you should have to be there when they come back. It ain’t right… the way he treats you.”

She pauses a moment, unsure if she heard him right.

“You there?”

“Yeah, let me just grab a couple things. I’ll be right over.”

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