She hated coming home to an empty apartment.
It wasn’t supposed to be empty.
Where in the journey had she lost her bearing? At what point had she begun to drift?
It wasn’t when friendship had turned to flirtation.
No, it had been much sooner than that.
Had it been at the washing machine, washing a load of clothes? Or when she had been vacuuming the den for the thousandth time? Or was it soccer practice, piano lessons, homework, and parent-teacher conferences?
When had she started to dream of something else - something that didn’t include monthly budgets, coupons, diapers, and a ten-year old car? At what point had the giggles of her children and the gentle touch of her husband begun to grate on her nerves?
She opened the freezer and pulled out a box. It didn’t matter what kind of TV dinner it was. She had no appetite, and probably wouldn’t eat half of it anyway. She set the timer on the microwave and pressed the “start” button.
When had she decided that the first blush of a forbidden romance could take the place of the deep love and commitment of her husband? When had she convinced herself that money and things could replace the dirty hands and sloppy kisses of her children?
She went to the phone, picked up the receiver, and dialed. Let one of the kids answer, she prayed. But this prayer, like all her others, hit a brick wall and came tumbling down on top of her.
"Hello?" his new wife answered cheerfully.
She hung up, suddenly angry at this woman who had stepped into her shoes. She should be picking up the toys from the floor, she should be eating at the dining room table with her family, and she should be lying next to her husband at night with her arm across his chest, telling him how lucky she is.
Her life was a litany of should haves.
The microwave oven dinged.
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