A Lucky Woman
Cindy was about to be alone for what seemed like the first time in her life.
She had married Lloyd a month after her high school graduation. A wonderful husband and father, she loved him completely. And he, absolutely devoted to her, never left her alone for periods longer than a workday. Even then, he'd call at lunch just to say, "I love you."
They began a family almost immediately. Tommy was now three, and Jamie almost two. They were her life, but they clung to her like nails to a magnet.
"Mommy, look at me!"
"Mommy, see how high I jump!"
When her family slept, she often sat alone with a glass of white wine and thought. "God forgive me, but I need time away from the people I love most."
So when Lloyd's boss ordered him to attend a business conference, she could barely retain her joy.
"I'm sorry," he said. "It'll be for a week."
"Oh, I'll manage."
In her mind, she saw herself lounging in the bathtub or strolling through the park without chasing after two little ones. She arranged for her parents to take the children.
"That's so wonderful of your parents," Lloyd said. To celebrate, he surprised her with an extra plane ticket. "There'll be a group of wives during the day that you can join and we can be together at night. Isn't that wonderful?"
"I'm such a lucky woman," she said. But in her mind headlines flashed: Mother of Two Stabs Husband.
Wayne Scheer has locked himself in a room with his computer and turtle since his retirement. (Wayne's, not the turtle's.) To keep from going back to work, he's published hundreds of short stories and essays, including, Revealing Moments, a collection of twenty-four flash stories, available as a free download at http://www.pearnoir.com/thumbscrews.htm. He's been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and a Best of the Net.