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The Other Woman

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My husband is seeing another woman. He spends time with her every day after work, except Friday’s. He even sees her on the weekends -- sometimes on Saturday, and if not Saturday, then Sunday. There have been so many evenings when he’s gotten in late still wearing his work uniform, too exhausted to even take off his work boots. What man wouldn’t be wiped out getting up before five every morning, working all day, and then trying to give one hundred percent to two different women across town from one another? I never thought I would be the type of woman who would be willing to share my man’s time, attention, and affection, with another woman. I never thought I would be the kind of woman who would look the other way when her husband calls her from the other woman’s house and says, “I’m going to be home later than usual.” My imagination gets the best of me and I can see him rubbing her feet, massaging her legs. I bet he even spoon feeds her.

As I sit at my computer, glancing at the clock from time-to-time, I pause at the sound of his SUV pulling into the driveway. He’s home. I wonder will I smell the scent of her on his uniform. I wonder what they talked about. I stop wondering and get up from my chair and open the door. I peer at him, taking in his expression, trying to determine what mood he’s in. He walks toward me, sluggish, barely making it to the door. He’s dog-tired. He steps into the foyer, pecks me on the lips, and then falls onto his chair. A wave of guilt mixed with pride hits me and my face breaks into a tight grin. He forces a return smile and we share a moment and than I ask, what I always do. “How’s your mother?”

Before he responds, his eyes widen and he sits up straight as though his spine has been hit with a burst of energy. He gets a twinkle in his eye and a smile flashes across his face. “She’s good. We sat out on the porch today.” I smile back at my husband and help him remove his boots all the while thinking about what a good man he is and how lucky his ninety-seven-year-old mother is to have children who cherish her and who refuse to put her in a nursing home. My mother-in-law is one of the kindest, sweetest, most humble people I know, so it’s no wonder that my husband, his sister, and brother go out of their way to make sure her life is comfortable. My mother died very young. She was only thirty-six and I was fourteen. I often wonder if she had lived to be my mother-in-law’s age would my siblings and I be as dedicated to her as my husband and his sibling are to his mother. I also wonder who will take care of me in my later years. My husband has a son from a previous marriage, but I have no children. Who will take care of my husband? His son will most likely be busy taking care of his mother. I guess we’ll have to take care of one another.

My husband gets up from his chair and walks to our bedroom. I head to the kitchen and yell out on my way there, “Dinner’s ready. Don’t let it get cold!” I wait to hear a response, and like usual, there is none. He’s too tired to talk. I smile, prepare his plate, and whisper a prayer of thanks to God and his mother for giving me this wonderful man.

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