Cruel Infidelity

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Chapter 27

“Are you going to clean or what?” Andrew stands over her like a menacing shadow.

“The doctor said I need to rest. I shouldn’t do anything for the first week or so depending on how I feel.” She hated that she had to explain this to him again. He’d been there after all, holding her, looking at her with sympathy in his eyes. He’d guided her out the back of the building after shoving a handful of hard candy into his pocket.

“You look fine to me,” he says. “Besides the sulking.”

“Well I’m not fine!” Heather shoots back.

“I’m going out,” Andrew says, pulling open the top drawer of his dresser. He pulls the shirt he’d worn to work off and replaces it with a black polo. “I’d rather be with a woman who will appreciate me tonight.” He sneers.

“No skin off my ass, you’ve been leaving me here alone every night, anyway,” she mutters.

“That’s right,” he says, spinning around. “And until you get it together, I will continue to do so! I thought you wanted marriage. A family. But no, you go and get a fucking implant to prevent any of that from happening. You’re so selfish, do you know that? And then you can’t even clean or cook for your would-be husband. You just lay there, sulking and whining like the entitled cunt you are.”

Heather’s eyes well up with tears, her chest rising and falling faster and faster. “You said..” she starts, swallowing hard. “You said… That it was a good idea. That we should give it time before we start a family.”

“Don’t put words in my mouth,” he snaps, slamming the drawer shut.

“You said that!” she protests.

“Whatever, fuck you.”

She doesn’t bother wiping away the tears, not this time. She lets them run down her reddened face, an act of rebellion.

After the door slams, she slowly emerges from the bedroom, making her way to the kitchen sink. She pulls the bleach from the cabinet beneath the sink.

She boils hot water on the stove and begins the dishes. Once they’re washed, dried, and put away, she adds bleach and Lemon scented Pine-sol to the steaming hot water. She pushes the mop into the bucket and washes both the kitchen and bathroom floors. She rests her body against the walls when she feels she’s about to pass out.

She pulls the bedding from each room. Laundry will be an all-day affair.

She bends over the tub, spraying Scrub Free all over the tiles and into the tub itself. The fumes hit her hard, and she leaves the bathroom, gasping for clean air. More hot tears run down her face, this time she quickly rubs them away with her fingertips, letting out a growl through gritted teeth.

She continues to scrub down counter tops, the fridge, stove, and inside the oven.

By the end of the night, she’s barely able move. She crawls to the living room, sharp cramps shooting through her lower abdomen. She curls into a ball on the floor, laying on the powdered carpet freshener. She forces herself to roll on her back, unsure if breathing in the powder is more desirable than the intense pain.

Her knuckles crack and burn. She examines the raw, reddened skin. She pushes herself to her hands and knees. Using the wall for leverage, slowly she stands.

Once in bed, she pulls the blankets over her head and tucks her knees into her chest. Is Andrew someone I want to be with? She finds this question running through her mind more frequently, but can’t bear the thought of Rachel winning. She closes her eyes and drifts off into a fitful sleep.

A loud crash startles her awake. A plate hitting the floor? She stares groggily at the clock. Midnight. Is he just now getting home? Her first instinct is to leap out of bed to apologize to him for her insubordination, but she’s soon reminded of her over-exertion and falls back down into bed. Her eyes press tightly closed as she clutches at her stomach. A cold sweat washes over her, followed by a flash of hot. She puts her hand to her face, it’s hot and clammy. Is this what it feels like to die? “End it now, I’m tired of living.” she whimpers aloud. “If there’s a God, end it now. I can’t live like this.”

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