As he closes the door behind him and starts down the hill towards home, his mind turns to the excuses he will try to use for being late. Which excuse did he use the last time? Damn, he’d have to keep better track of that. He always felt the same twinge of guilt on this journey home and this time it was mixed with frustration at having to cut the encounter short. He found it hard to concentrate on his excuses, his mind wandering back to the warm bed and warmer body in it. He knew he shouldn’t keep going there – he wasn’t stupid (well, not that stupid), but it had been going on so long now he wouldn’t have a clue how to end it even if he wanted to. Besides, he didn’t want to. Did he? He shook his head to focus his mind again and glanced at his watch – shit. All that thinking had slowed his pace and he’d be even later. He was nearly home now and still hadn’t come up with a decent excuse.

At his own front door he took a deep breath to settle himself before turning on the smile and striding in. She was sitting at the kitchen table, scrolling through her phone, her back to him.

Hi hun!” he called out, as casually as he could manage. No reply. Maybe she didn’t hear him. He kissed the top of her head as he passed her. Still no reaction. Then she spoke. He sighed, not realising he had been holding his breath.

You were gone a while this morning” she said in a deadpan tone – difficult to read. He let the cool air from the fridge blow over his face as he bent to get a bottle of water.

Ya,” he replied, “I went an extra lap around the park so that I…” He didn’t get to finish his excuse before the coffee cup crashed down on the back of his head. He spun around and instinctively put his hand to his head and his mouth where he had bitten his lip. She was right in front of him, her red face twisted into a demonic smile. She grabbed his crotch and squeezed, hard. Under other circumstances he might enjoy that, but not this way. She was making sure she was the only one enjoying this. He winced and raised up on his toes as her long, expensive nails dug into his balls.

What kind of fucking idiot do you think I am?” she snarled. “You think I’m one of those Stepford wives, sitting at home waiting while you’re off getting your jollies with some whore? I know exactly where you were and what you were doing”. He tried to backpedal.

But I didn’t actually…”

Didn’t WHAT?” she barked, putting her other hand around his throat, daring him to answer. He knew better by now. The warm blood trickling down the back of his neck was reminder enough.

Well, what have you to say for yourself this time?” Again, he held his silence. “That’s what I thought, you’re nothing but a pussy” she jeered, pushing him hard to the floor. He put his hand to his groin. She laughed.

You think that was sore? Wait til I get hold of that little fella again tonight!” She stamped on the fingers of his free hand and walked over to his jacket hanging on a kitchen chair. Taking out his wallet, she pulled a wad of notes out and stuffed them in her bra before tossing the almost empty wallet at him.

This is payment for what you got up to this morning; I’m off to the salon to cheer myself up.” she declared, giving him one more look of disgust before slamming the door behind her.

He lay there on the floor for a while, enjoying the cool tiles on his face. How he’d love to go back to that bed this morning – warm, safe, loving. But what would happen to him if he tried that? He’d been warned before and still had the scars to prove it. Best just get showered and get off to work. Brave face, stiff upper lip and all that.

 

Good Morning?

Good Morning? Part 2