Cruel Infidelity

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CH. 58: RACHEL

Rachel trudges into the kitchen with a jar of baby food just as the coffee maker lets off a high-pitched beep. “I hope you made it strong.”

“Andrew still at the hotel?” her father asks, sipping his orange juice.

“I wouldn’t know.”

“He’s been spending a lot of time there. Little weird, if you ask me.” He accepts a mug of coffee from Susanne.

“A husband and wife shouldn’t be sleeping apart,” her mother agrees.

Rachel takes a long sip of coffee. The baby fusses, lashing her arms wildly. “Mama needs her coffee, Angel.” She takes another long sip. “He feels weird sleeping here.” She hates making so many excuses for him. It can’t be a good sign that her parents are starting to wonder.

“Do you agree with that?” her mother asks. “He never asked you to stay with him?”

Rachel scoops pureed sweet potato onto the plastic spoon. “He likes his alone time,” she mutters.

She’d often asked him why he needed to be away from her, suspecting it had something to do with Tammy or Heather. She began getting more suspicious after his story about Tammy abruptly changed. She’d checked her diary to make sure she hadn’t mistaken.

November

Andrew said Tammy gave him oral sex. I didn’t think he would actually go through with it. I keep telling myself, at least it wasn’t Heather, but it still sucks. He didn’t ask me if I’d be okay with it being one of Heather’s friends. I think that’s really messed up.

It was just one blowjob, one time. He said he won’t ever do it again and that he thought of me the entire time. I don’t know how I should feel about that.

“You ought to go down where he’s staying and talk it through. I can go with you if you want,” her father offers.

She nods. “I can handle it, dad.”

“It’d be nice to know if you’re staying in Idaho or heading back to Washington,” her mother adds.

That was a good question. Andrew had been doing a lot of flip-flopping lately.

Susanne’s phone dings. She puts her reading glasses on and picks it up. Squinting, she says, “Oh, dear.”

Rachel cleans Victra’s mouth with a wet wipe. “What’s wrong?”

“Tracy,” she says.

Heather’s mom, Tracy?”

She nods.

“Why do you still talk to her? I told you, Heather and I aren’t friends.”

“Heather was arrested last night. I’m going to call.” She holds the phone to her ear and quickly pads out of the room.

Rachel squints, staring off into space. What the hell did she do?

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