Cruel Infidelity

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She had to do something, lest she be completely written off. She gave two years of her life to this man—gave up everything—and this is how it ends? No way, she thinks.

She examines herself in her new full-length mirror, smoothing out her strawberry-patterned white dress. Her hair is pulled back neatly with a black hair band. It looks much better ash brown, she decides. More adult and respectable. Andrew will have no choice but to respect her now. “It’s time to set the record straight,” she says to herself.

She exhales, grabs her purse, and walks out of the house, her black heals clacking all the way.

She sits in her car, staring at the front door. She scans the parking lot, her eyes stopping momentarily at the Range Rover in the driveway. People don’t actually like those, she thinks. They just like what they represent.

She walks with purpose toward the front door. She knocks hard, bracing herself.

A diminutive woman in a maid’s uniform appears as the door swings open. “We no buy.” she says, looking up at her through hardened eyes.

“Um, no my name is Heather,” she says, wrinkling her nose.

“What you need?” she asks through a thick Mexican accent.

“I’m sorry, isn’t this the McCarthy residence?”

“¿Quién es?” a woman’s voice calls from within.

The woman turns and calls back, “No , creo que es una pordiosera.”

Heather shifts on her feet, tugging at her dress, unsure of what to do. “Myyy,” she says loudly, pointing to herself. “NaaaaameHeeaatherrrr.” She drags each syllable out, staring down at the woman intently.

The maid’s face screws up before she steps aside for a tall blonde woman. “I’ll take it from here, Marta,” she says kindly.

Ehm, is there something I can do for you?” she asks, looking her up and down.

“Has Andrew told you about me?”

“Creases form around her eyes. “Has Andrew what?” she asks. “What is this about?”

Heather stares at the dainty gold chain around her neck and then back at her face. “Well, I am Andrew’s fiancé,” she announces proudly, clearing her throat. “We’ve been together for t—”

She puts a hand up. “You can stop right there. I don’t know who you are, but you aren’t anything to my son, I can assure you that much.”

“Yes, I am!” she insists, her eyes widening.

“I’ve met Andrew’s wife. Now if this is about money, I’m sorry, but there’s nothing I can do for you.”

“We’ve been living together for—”

“I don’t care what sort of arrangement the two of you had—if you had one—but this conversation ends here. Now get off my property before I call the police. The police chief and I are great friends.”

“Who are you talking to dear?” a male voice calls.

“Es una callejera… A homeless bum!” Marta’s voice chimes in.

A dark-eyed man appears behind his wife, he looks right through her. This must be where Andrew gets his looks.

“Mr. McCarthy,” she starts, smiling. “I—”

“Miss, please get off my property. My wife and I have a plane to catch, so please do go begging elsewhere.”

“I’m not a beggar!” she yells. “I’m not homeless!”

He looks her up and down as if doubting her.

Marta pushes past Andrew’s parents with a twisted up dish rag. “¡Vete!” she yells. “¡Vete de aquí!” She whips at her with the towel, missing her by a few inches.

Heather raises her hands protectively. The door slams in her face before she can utter another word.

She turns, walking briskly back to her vehicle, wiping frantically at the tears that fall from her burning eyes.

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Alone in a McDonald’s parking lot, she fishes her fries from the bag and crams them into her mouth handfuls at a time. The salt collects on her lips, and she licks them, savoring the flavor.

His parents hadn’t even given her a chance to speak before disregarding her, and they seemed to believe he was already married? Why would he lie to them about that?

She tips the last of her fries into her mouth, her eyes narrowing as she blankly watches traffic speed by.

She rubs her greasy finger tips onto the front of her dress before removing her Arch Deluxe from its carton.

Her phone lights up, vibrating in her center console cup holder. Andrew. She quickly swallows and slides her hands over the front of her dress once more before quickly accepting the call. “Well hello there!” she bellows, thrilled that he’s called.

“Are you insane?” he asks, his voice lacking any form of friendliness.

“Excuse me?” she challenges, appalled by his tone.

“Stay the fuck away from my family, Heather,” he demands, cold as ice.

“I am your fiancé, did you forget that?”

“You’re a crazy bitch, get out of my life.”

“Are you with someone, is that why you’re talking to me like this?”

“Who I’m with does not concern you. I want you out of my life for good. Stay away from me and my family, do you hear me?”

“Oh, I hear you honey, but I know you don’t mean that.”

“Heather,” a familiar voice interrupts.

“Who the fuck is this?” she demands.

“This is Rachel. Andrew’s wife. You need to leave us alone now. He’s dealt with you long enough, time to grow up and move on.”

She eyes her Arch Deluxe. “I am grown up. Who the fuck do you think you’re talking to!” Her lips curl upward. “Do you have any idea what’s actually going on?!”

“Do you?” she retorts.

“Last time I heard from you, you were blabbing on about how he’s playing us both, what was that all about? Now you’re playing along with this fake marriage bullshit? Who put you up to this? Tammy?”

“You’ve said enough,” Andrew says suddenly. “You’re insane, you’ve lost touch with reality.”

“Does your fake wife know about Tammy?!” she yells.


Heather throws her half eaten burger into the bag and crumples it, tossing it out of her car’s window. She starts the engine, and puts the car into drive, her hands shaking.

A loud horn blares as she pulls into traffic. She hadn’t noticed anyone coming. She raises her hand in submission and peels out of the parking lot. The horn blares again.

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