Chloe had never really warmed to Damien, and they far from got along, but she was determined to get to the bottom of why he was being such an arse. Why had he been fobbing off Penny’s diagnosis as nothing? She had Damien’s number in her phone. Chloe wondered if she should call him.
She finished painting her toenails and waited for them to dry. She went with hot pink, as it always seemed to cheer her up somehow. It will take more than a splash of my favourite colour to help me deal with this conversation. Will he even speak to me? Only one way to find out, I guess.
Chloe had never been what you call, lucky in love, and had begrudgingly embraced the life of fifty-two-year-old, single childless woman. I’m smart and successful. Getting married and producing offspring isn’t all there is to life, right? A woman isn’t defined by this anymore. It’s not 1953.
Chloe was well aware of the sad fact that she was no expert in relationships, but Blind Freddy could see Damien was showing no compassion or caring towards his wife, her best friend, in her time of need.
She gently tapped at her toenails to ensure the polish was dry, and got up to look for her phone. She wasn’t sure where she had last put it down. Her search didn’t last long. Her phone started ringing, emitting The Beatles ‘I Want To Hold Your Hand’, from under the couch cushion, where she had been sitting. It was Penny.
‘Penny? Are You OK? Stop crying and tell me what’s wrong.’ Penny was sobbing at the other end of the phone. ‘I……I think my so-called husband is banging that bitch Fiona.’ Penny’s sobs quickly turned to anger as she screamed into Chloe’s ear. ‘That bloody arsehole. How could he?’
‘Are you sure? How do you know? You have been under a lot of stress lately, maybe it’s just your mind seeing something that’s not really there.’ Penny took a deep breath. ‘I don’t know for absolute certain, but there have been a few signs that something is going on.’
Penny told her about the text messages that had been flying across the room between the two of them at the dance studio, and by the time she had finished, Chloe could hardly make out what she was saying due to all the hysterical crying going on. ‘It’s a bit of a coincidence don’t you think? He sends a text, her phone goes off, and she turns around at that very moment with her smug little grin, and glances in his direction. Bloody husband thief.’
Chloe told Penny she was on her way over with a bottle of wine, and asked if Damien was home. ‘He is at a work conference and won’t be home until tomorrow, but at least I know he is not with her, as I can see her sitting in her lounge room across the street, texting on her phone. She is probably chatting to Damien. The whole thing makes me feel sick Chloe.’
Chloe removed the separators from in-between her toes, grabbed her handbag, and hung up, after telling Penny she was leaving shortly. She knew there was something she needed to do first. She reluctantly dialed Damien’s number, and held her breath, waiting for him to answer.
Unpublished Work (c) Hayley Walsh 2021