ELIZABETH EVANS sat at the marble island, wishing for the time to pass. It had been four hours since her handsome husband left her for work. She was aware of the smells around her, from the bread in the oven. She waited for the delicious loaf to finish so she could start the chicken for dinner; although she was unsure if she would dine alone again.
Since Jacobi Evans’ promotion at his job, he hardly came home anymore, and when he did, it was to sleep or to eat. Elizabeth couldn’t understand how his job could be more important to him than she was. Of course, he did pay for everything she owned: the sparkling indoor pool, the kitchen that belonged in a magazine, the six cars in the garage. She enjoyed her life, but she wished she could see her husband more often.
Jacobi refused to tell Elizabeth about what he did as a job, but never ceased complaining about it. ‘Someone declined our offer today’, ‘Hannah didn’t do what I asked today’, ‘Aaron fired Steph today.’ It almost seemed like Jacobi was married to his work instead of Elizabeth.
The oven beeped, drawing Elizabeth from her thoughts. She rushed to the oven, shoving her hand into the oven mitt. The oven’s door screamed as she pulled it open, quickly; the bread was pulled out, as the smell involuntarily crashed into her nose. She sniffed, enjoying the smell that made her think of home.
She placed the bread on the island and quickly shoved the chicken in the oven to replace it. She sat back down by the island and let her thoughts consume her.
Jacobi had been making excuses lately, always about coming home. ‘I have a project’, ‘I have to have dinner with a promoter’, ‘Hannah didn’t finish her assignment so I have to do it.’ She didn’t know if the excuses were true, or if he just wanted a reason not to come home, but she refused to believe the latter. Jacobi had made promises before but broke them because something ‘came up’ at work.
Although all of these excuses made Elizabeth question her husband, the ones that made it worse were the excuses he created about church. Elizabeth came from a religious family, always at church in Sunday, reading their Bible everyday, home schooling their kids, praying. That’s when Jacobi’s absence was really noticed. As time went on, Elizabeth didn’t want the questions and stares of her friends, so she left. Her parents were angered by her decision but eventually realized that Elizabeth was an adult and could do what she wanted. Elizabeth wished there was a way to know is she was doing the right thing, almost regretting her decisions.
Elizabeth snapped out of her thoughts at the sound of her name. In front of her stood Rosita, their maid. Her black hair sat in a tight bun on top of her head, gray lightly splashed in it. Elizabeth had always liked Rosita, although most of the time she didn’t know what she was saying.
“Yes, Rosita. What is it?” Elizabeth asked, playing with her hands in front of her.
“There is a man at the door asking for you. Said it was importante,” she answered, grabbing a rag, wiping down the counters in front of the island.
Elizabeth shook her head in confusion, but trudged in the direction of the door. I wonder who it is, She thought. She imagined the worse, a cop standing in the doorway informing her that something had happened to her parents. She visibly shook in her shoes as she approached the white wooden door. She creaked it open to reveal a man wearing a brown t-shirt that had a faded American flag printed on it, blue Levi’s that seemed to have faded over time and extreme use, and a pair of gray converse. The man didn’t look a day over twenty five, with his blonde hair long enough to cover his eyebrows, piercing blue eyes, and glasses that made him look like a librarian.
“Yes, can I help you?” Liz asked, almost impatiently, crossing her arms.
He looked her up and down, chuckling before he answered, “I’m assuming you are Mrs. Evans. My name is Nathaniel Cooper. I am a private investigator.”
Elizabeth was confused before saying, “And? What exactly does that have to do with anything?”
Nathaniel chuckled again before pushing his glasses up the bridge of his nose, “So, they didn’t tell you.”
Elizabeth must have looked even more confused, because Nathaniel answered her unspoken question, “Your parents hired me. They said your husband had been out of commission lately, so they asked me to keep an eye on him.”
She nodded her head, understanding a little bit. “But why keep an eye on him? He’s just at work.”
Nathaniel’s eyes held guilt and pity, which led to Elizabeth questioning herself, “Right, Nathaniel? He’s just at work.”
Nathaniel quickly asked if he could come in and talk, Elizabeth accepted and opened the oak door further to allow him room to move inside. Nathaniel moved into the living room that sat across from the front door, making himself at home, sitting on the couch opening his briefcase that Elizabeth just noticed. He began to pull out what looked like files and a disk of some sort. Elizabeth sat on the love seat in front of him, waiting until he was done doing what he was doing.
Elizabeth was immediately concerned, seeing as he hadn’t said anything yet, “Might I ask what this is about, Nathaniel? Is Jacobi okay?”
He laughed, not answering just yet.
Elizabeth felt her temper rising, worry creeping into her voice. “What is this about?!”
Nathaniel had no more sympathy for this woman, she had almost yelled at him twice. He knew he should’ve sugar coated it, but decided it was too late as the words left his mouth. “Jacobi Evans is cheating on you.”
Elizabeth’s eyes widened at the news, and her hand shot to her mouth. “How dare you?!”
Nathaniel seemed confused by what she said, “huh?”
“How dare you come in to my house and accuse my husband of cheating on me. How dare you? Did my parents put you up to this so I’ll finally come home? Well, tough. Jacobi loves me and i love him. He would never cheat on me.”
Nathaniel felt sorry for the woman. She was delusional if she thought he would lie to her, but of course, if she hadn’t figured out by now, maybe she really was delusional. Nathaniel pulled lithe photographs from his briefcase, quickly passing them to Elizabeth. The photographs that contained the brown-haired, green-eyed Jacobi Evans and a blonde bombshell coming out of a nice hotel room, kissing. Photos of Jacobi Evans and the same bombshell wrapped in and intimate embrace near Jacobi’s black BMW. Photos of Jacobi and a different modelesque female swapping spit in a fancy restaurant.
Elizabeth eyed the photos as tears filled her eyes. “How could he?”
Although Nathaniel knew she was speaking to herself, he couldn’t help but to say, “His loss.”
Elizabeth’s tears overflowed as she sobbed, Nathaniel gathering his things and quickly heading out of the house.
Nathaniel nodded, without turning around, and left.
Elizabeth sank to the floor realizing her world had just fallen apart.