Cruel Infidelity

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CH. 6: TAMMY

There’s a dream-like quality that comes with working third shift that changes the way memories and events are processed. Sometimes Tammy wonders how conscious she actually was throughout the night. Did she fall asleep? By the time 3:00 A.M. comes around, she experiences a sensation of neither being asleep nor awake. She looks at the brick building and thinks how strange it is; it’s as if she was never there at all.

Are you going to the store after work?

Tammy reads the text from Chris and closes her eyes. Like clockwork, he’s on her ass about food. Grocery shopping is the absolute last thing she wants to do on a Saturday morning after working all night.

Can it wait until later?

It’s gonna be really busy if you wait. We’re out of Lucky Charms.

Apparently Chris can’t take the hint, that or he just doesn’t care. She starts the car, cranking her radio’s volume. Every morning she listen to a radio show to keep herself from dozing off. The subjects they discuss are bizarre sexual fetishes, like adult babies and homemade pocket pussies.

Tammy stops off at a little coffee house and orders Chris a large hot coffee with 6 creams and 6 sugars. The familiar tinge of embarrassment hits right after the order leaves her lips. She suspects the reason for his always-rancid breath is due to the high cream and sugar content he demands. She’d skip this morning ritual if she wasn’t sure he’d throw a hissy fit.

Tammy sets two plastic bags of groceries on the table, quickly shoving the steak, eggs, and milk into the fridge. She leaves the dry foods in the bag and trudges up the stairs, coffee in hand.

Tammy finds Chris exactly where she expects him to be—sprawled out lazily in the bed. “Here’s your coffee,” she murmurs, placing it down next to him on the nightstand.

“Thanks, babe.” he croaks.

She eyes him disdainfully as he sips from the lid, secretly wishing it would fall off and its contents would burn his flabby chest. Is there any reason why he insists on laying around? She just wants the bed to herself.

“So what are you going to do about the Heather situation?” he asks, grimacing as the coffee appears to burn his upper lip.

Tammy rolls her eyes. “Well I can’t just give her Andy’s number, that’s weird,” she says. “After what he did to Amanda?”

“You’ve known Andy longer than you’ve known Amanda. He’ll still be coming around, she won’t. You’d think by now you’d learn not to attach yourself to the girls he brings over here.”

She exhales. “I guess I just hoped it would have been different with her. They really did seem like a good fit.”

“And then Heather came along,” Chris says, snorting. “Of all people.”

“Yeah…” Tammy trails.

“She’s so socially awkward, I’m actually surprised.”

“I think you mean socially retarded.”

Chris chuckles, sipping his coffee again. Tammy’s phone dings. “Is that her again?” He eyes her intently.

“Yup…”

“Tell her I’ll look into it for her.”

“You’re not actually going to do that, are you?” She stares hard at him. “Chris… Are you?”

He shrugs. “I don’t know, I mean it would get her off your back, wouldn’t it?”

“And what if he actually calls her?”

He raises both his eyebrows. “Would it really be so bad if she came over more often?”

“Yes!” Tammy shouts, throwing a pillow at him.

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