Love and Other Murders

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Chapter 35

Once in his suite he falls onto his bed feeling an immense relief. That wonderful girl! With what tact she refused to spend the night with him not feeling ready to give it her best! This will be his first case of adultery. So far his sidekicks were nothing to talk about and his infidelities were limited to an abstract desire for other women and a little groping here and there after a boozy office party. After all, Chantal was an acceptable match for a man whose priority is to delve into his scientific research rewarded by a steady promotion in his career. He met her at a double date and soon they started to go steady. She was skillful, discrete and available and he didn’t lose time looking elsewhere for a quickie when he felt like it. They married shortly after he had made her pregnant, which he suspected to be calculated, and they lived happily ever after. Chantal proved to be an excellent mother of their two boys and a reliable housekeeper always ready to please him in bed and never asking for more then he was willing to offer. There is life after marriage, different to the one he dreamt about, but asking for the stars has never been his ambition.

The ringing of the phone cuts into his brooding.

“I’m really sorry not to have called you sooner, dearest. I have just come back after an extremely busy working day, put my attaché-case down and was reaching after the telephone when you cut in.”

“No, I haven’t eaten yet but I’ll order a ham sandwich and a glass of bear now. Don’t worry, I won’t starve but I really have neither force nor appetite for a restaurant dinner which, compared with your excellent cooking, would hardly satisfy me.”

“Yes, everything is going as planned and a little bird told me I can expect a promotion after my return to Paris. I’ll invite you to the “Tour d’Argent” to celebrate! It’s a promise. We’ll also take a wonderful vacation in some far-away exotic country, leave the boys with your parents and have a magnificent honeymoon trip that I still owe you for the one marred by your difficult pregnancy. Tell Jean-junior he will get his riding lessons. Now, if you excuse me, I shall cut our conversation short, I am falling with fatigue. I’ll take a fast shower and tumble into bed. So, please, no more calls, promise? I have to be fit for my morning appointment. Understood? Good! You are a dear!”

“No, I haven’t drunk. I’m sorry if you find my voice strange. It must be the fatigue. Kiss, kiss, my beloved! Sleep tight! Lots of love! I’ll bring you all something nice from London.”

He feels relieved to have mastered so perfectly a difficult situation. He stretches out on the bed, a bed far too big for one body… Should he knock on Magda’s door? Better not. His respiration slows down, his eyelids get heavy; he falls asleep.

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