Cruel Infidelity

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Andrew paces the kitchen, not speaking. Heather’s heart beats erratically and her hands begin to shake. What does he know? She works to regulate her breathing, remaining hunched over the sink, scrubbing at a glass casserole dish.

“So, I’m just curious,” he begins.

She freezes, nearly choking on the lump that’s formed in her throat. I was stupid to trust Tammy. Why did I get so drunk?

“Would you happen to know a Jennifer?”

Heather blinks several times before exhaling. A massive sense of relief washes over her. She turns the tap off and stands upright, spinning around as she wipes her hands on a dish towel. “I know of one, yes.”

“DeMarco?” He pulls a chair out and sits down.

“Yeah, wow. I haven’t heard that name in a hot minute,” she says. “Why? Do you know her?” Her brows furrow.

“No,” he admits. “I think it’s someone Rachel is interested in. She mentioned her not too long ago.”

“Oh.” Her face falls and she turns back to face the sink.

“Were they… you know?”

Heather tosses the dish towel onto the counter. “Look, I don’t know. They were weird together, alright? All I know is they used to play Magic the Gathering or Yugioh cards, whatever. Couple of freaks, if you ask me.”

Andrew stares back at her with one eyebrow cocked. “Is she good looking?”

The corners of her lips pull into a frown. “Pale, lanky and horse-faced.” She tsks, jerking her head from side to side. “There’s nothing to her, and she had this really frizzy, red hair.” She motions with her hands over her own hair. “But I’m not surprised at all if Rachel liked her… like that. She liked anyone who gave her the time of day. It was pathetic.” She rolls her eyes.

Andrew nods, tapping the table with his index finger. He appears to be lost in thought.

“Why, though? Like, what’s going on?” She leans against the sink and gnaws on her lower lip.

“Nothing,” Andrew says, standing. “I’m going to get started on packing, I’m going with my parents to see out-of-state family.

Heather’s face falls. Another Thanksgiving without him. She wants to ask if she’s invited, but stops herself. If she were welcome to tag along, he would have told her. She presses her lips together, resigning herself to a quiet, lonely holiday. Maybe she could stop by her mom’s. She doesn’t see much of her anymore. Not like she particularly likes or wants to, but she wouldn’t mind seeing a familiar face. “Are you telling people you don’t know anything about marrying me?” she blurts.

He exhales loudly. “Look. I don’t like the attention. It’s fine if you tell your friends, but I don’t feel any reason my friends or family should have to know about it.”

“You don’t think that’s odd?” she asks, flustered.

“Not at all.”

“So is that why I’m not invited to your little family get-together—because they don’t know I exist.”

“I’m not in the mood for one of your tantrums,” he says, holding a hand up. “I suggest you calm yourself down before you tire yourself out so much that you can’t finish the dishes.”

Her face grows hot. “Last I checked, Tammy was my friend, not yours. So why did you tell her it was a lie?”

A laugh escapes Andrew’s mouth abruptly. “Tammy? Tammy isn’t your friend. I didn’t realize you two still talked.”

She turns her back to him and turns the water back on. Best she stop talking before she says something she regrets.

“That’s right. Be a good little housewife and finish those dishes.”

She removes her phone from in between her breasts and sends a text to Tammy.

I thought about it and ur right. I deserve that bachelorette party.

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