It hung on the foyer closet doorknob, swaying in the breeze from the ceiling fan. Obviously, Kyle knew she’d see it. Was she supposed to take it to the cleaners? Whitney picked up the suit jacket and searched one pocket and then the other. Aha, a receipt dated a week ago for a dozen roses! Whitney, with her flower allergies, knew they weren’t for her.
She was furious. She could almost hear steam escaping from her ears. I’ll show you, Kyle. Opening the back door, she flung the jacket as far as she could, which wasn’t far. She had weak arms, but strong legs. She was a runner, hiker, and a mountain climber. In school, she could win just about anything in track that involved her legs.
Wait a minute! Why was she even thinking about her school track days? She’d just found a receipt for roses in her husband’s suit jacket pocket. Letting her mind wander to her days of track was not helping anything. “But, hey, I do have strong legs,” she said aloud.
She marched to where the jacket lay in the dirt like a dead animal. “You are an animal, Kyle,” she announced to the world. Well, not to the world, but at least to her two beagles, Homer and Molly, who were watching her with wary eyes.
Whitney stomped on the jacket, expending her anger and hurt on the defenseless clothing. Her dogs backed away as if fearing they would be the next objects to receive a stomping.
Each stomp was accompanied by bursts of words from her mouth. “You wanted me to find it, didn’t you, Kyle? Who is your little tart, harlot, tramp, scamp, vamp…” Her voice trailed off as her outburst was replaced with agonized sobs.
“How could you do this, Kyle? And you’re such a coward. You hung the jacket by the door knowing I’d be curious, that I’d think you left it there to take to the cleaners. You couldn’t bring yourself to tell me.”
Her sobs subsided, and she mumbled. “I love you, Kyle, you big lunk, you coward, you two-timing weasel.”
She snatched the jacket off the ground. It became the object of her anguish. She grabbed the pocket that had held the tell-tale receipt and tugged until it came loose and hung like a dehydrated dog’s tongue.
She waved the offensive jacket over her head, choking on fury. She flung it in the direction of Molly and Homer, hoping they’d shred it with their teeth. Instead, they yelped and ran in terror from the flying jacket.
She glared at the dogs. Couldn’t they sense her agony? “Do something,” she whimpered, wondering why she was taking it out on them. As if in response, Homer cautiously made his way to the jacket, sniffed it, then hiked his leg and did his doggy business.
Whitney chuckled in derision, then burst into tears. She ran into the house and plopped on the sofa. Three hours until Kyle would be home. She vacillated between devastation and fury. Her mind went in circles until she thought her brain would explode. What should she do? How did this happen? Had there been warning signs?
Things seemed fine. They’d even talked about starting a family. Of course, Kyle had been working a lot lately. Last night he didn’t get home until after she was asleep – said he had an important business dinner. Was he with her?
There she sat, arms crossed, eyes glaring when Kyle walked through the door. He glanced at her before his eyes shifted to the closet doorknob.
“Hi, Whit,” Kyle said, looking at her.
“Do you have something to say?” Her voice cracked a little.
“Uh, is something wrong?”
“Is there, Kyle?”
He glanced at the doorknob again before looking at Whitney. “Well, sweetie, you’re the most loving wife in the world, except…well, except for a few days every month when you’re hormonal, when I call you Whit’s End. You get a little weird, and I’m usually the one at wit’s end.” He laughed nervously, approaching her with caution in his eyes. His gaze darted back to the doorknob.
“Please don’t blame this on my hormones. And, whatcha looking for?”
“Uh, my boss’s Armani jacket that he left in the car when he rode with me to the restaurant. I brought it inside so it wouldn’t get wrinkled, but forgot to take it this morning.”
Whitney gulped, feeling faint. “Honey, there’s this really funny story I need to tell you.”
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