Cruel Infidelity

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Heather spins around in a circle, arms stretched out to her sides. She stops and bends into an awkward curtsy. “Well?” she asks, her raccoon eyes staring hungrily.

Rachel can practically smell her neediness. She presses her lips together, trying her best to hide her true opinion. It looks horrible, she wants to say.

Heather’s hair is a bright banana color at the roots and falls abruptly into brassy orange. The way the puffy top thins out toward the ends makes it look like she’s wearing a straw hat. “It’s different,” she forces out.

Heather’s face falls and her shoulders slump. “Different?” she repeats, her nose crinkling. “So you don’t like it then?”

Rachel opens her mouth to respond, but before she can get a word out, Heather’s already locked herself in her room.

Things were hot and cold between them. One minute Heather was inviting her into her bedroom, where she would prance around and strip, take her face into her hands and kiss her hard. She’d beg to be fucked, ravaged—even requesting to be analled with the dildo, which came with its own laundry list of issues, like cleanliness.

Other times, like today, she was cold and distant. She’d pretend as though Rachel didn’t exist or that nothing between them had ever happened.

Rachel taps her fingers on the table, staring at the closed door. She thinks of the words she can use to make her feel better, playing out each possible scenario before committing to any one line, not wanting to risk poking the bear.

Heather is very sensitive to criticism, or anything that could be perceived as such.

Rachel brings her fist to the door and gently knocks.

“Go away!”

“Hez, come on, please talk to me.”

After a moment, the door slowly opens. One of Heather’s black-rimmed eyes stares back at her.

“I didn’t mean to sound like I didn’t like it, I just wasn’t expecting it.”

Heather doesn’t say anything.

“You look great,” she lies.

The door opens a bit more. “You’re just saying that,” she pouts.

“No, I really think it looks good.”

The door opens wider. “Do you think I look like a smoke show?” she asks, her eyes brightening. She backs up, flipping her frazzled hair.

“Oh, yeah, totally,” she insists, forcing a smile.

In reality it’s over-processed and hopelessly damaged. It needs to be cut into a short bob at a minimum. Maybe then, and only then could it pass as human hair again.

She glances at the clock. “Are you going somewhere today?”

Heather doesn’t say anything, so she assumes that’s a yes. Lately she’s been unbelievably secretive and sneaky to the point it’s unsettling.

She exhales, blowing hair away from her eyes as she zips her lunchbox shut. She has to be to work by 3:00pm to cover a shift for a co-worker out on vacation.

“Well I’ll see you tonight then,” Rachel trails, pressing her lips together.

“Yeah, see you then,” she answers absently, refusing to look up from the bone-dry orange strands of straw she’s holding in front of her face.

The desperation to see Heather after not having spoken to her since the day prior gnawed at her. Was everything alright between them? She can’t risk losing her. Not again.

She raises her hand to tap on her bedroom door with her fingertips but then stops herself, thinking better of it. Heather probably wouldn’t want to be woken up on a Saturday morning.

She pushes the door open, hoping for a glimpse of her beautiful, angelic face. The door whines open.

Heather is sitting up glaring at her as she pokes her head in. “Oh, I’m sorry, I hope I didn’t wake you. I just wanted to see you before I left,” she says, blanching.

“It’s fine, I’ve been up for hours, actually,” Heather replies, staring off at a her closet.

“Oh.” She glances around. The pink carpeting is barely visible beneath the heaps of clothing. “I’ll miss you today,” she says, pushing the door against the abandoned shirts and leggings.

“You’re so dramatic, I’ll see you at three,” she snaps.

She frowns. “I’m working a double.”

“So you’ll be gone until 11 again?”

“Yes.” She sighs, pushing her way into the room.

“Same for tomorrow?”

The hopeful giddiness in Heather’s voice is unmistakable. “Sadly.” She swallows.

Heather nods, scraping her eyes over her dark purple scrubs, finally meeting her gaze. “Did you order the strap on I asked for?”

“Yup.” She clucks her tongue. “And the… anal stuff you wanted. The numbing lube you wanted.”

“Okay,” she says, pushing herself against the frame of her bed.

“Can I kiss you good-bye?” she asks, staring at Heather. Eagerness builds in her chest.

“What for, why?” she says, gripping the comforter and pulling it just below her chin.

“Forget it,” Rachel says. “I’ll see you tonight if you’re awake.” She turns, wanting nothing more than to be as far away from her as possible.

“Could you shut my door, please?”

“Mmhm,” Rachel says, pressing her lips firmly together.

She closes the door quickly and stands with her back to it, a hand clasped over her mouth as her chin quivers beneath it. She exhales through her nose, holding her eyes tightly shut.

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