Excerpt, Excerpt, Excerpt!

maine 1

I am going to kill my husband. Trent squanders millions on some beach investments, and I find out about it through a greeting card. I’ve caught him in small lies before, but not ones with such repercussions as this. His secrecy in the matter is what scares me.

The zeros at the bottom of the card stating the buy-in cause my stomach to turn sour. The postscript states Austin can’t wait. Who is Austin? The card offers a vital piece of the puzzle into Trent’s abnormal behavior lately. Maybe he is going to surprise me with the business and home.

I glance at his busy itinerary hung on our fridge and realize the former intentions are not what he has in mind. It doesn’t surprise me this was consummated without my knowledge. I’m the wife. The silent yet doting woman meant to stand beside her man and support his decisions.

I exhale a heavy breath that reaches the papers, fluttering the lies across the blue laminate island of our rental house. The pungent balsam fir fills the air, flowing in from the casement windows I cranked open when I returned from work. The low New England tide from the wharf carries with it the heavy scent of mud, seaweed, and dead clams dropped from their casings.

We have lived here six long months. I hate it as much as I love it. If I close my eyes, I can almost imagine the prickle of heat from the sun’s rays on my skin. They call for me to return to them. My happiness is determined by how far from the equator I am. I’ve wondered every day since he took this job in Maine what his reasoning’s behind it were. Why couldn’t he find something in the nearest metropolis like all of my friend’s husbands? No, not Trent. He has to prove himself. Predictability and tedium have no place in this family.

I place the exposition on the entry table. It’s conspicuous, and Trent will see it when he picks me up tonight. I debated throwing it away. Feign my ignorance and resist the urge to throw him in the sea. It’s possible he sees it and tucks it into his pocket. Nestling the card amongst the golf receipts from this afternoon, which he plans on throwing away in the laundry room’s wastebasket. Twelve hour work days call for furtive five-hour jaunts on the green.

I read the words over again. I assure myself I’m not missing something imperative that doesn’t implicate him with such reckless degree. I’m not so much stuck on the money aspect as I am at the covertness of his efforts. And, the mention of this mystery person, Austin, who can not wait for Trent’s arrival. Ben, Trent’s advisor, and college friend sent the card. My mind wanders through the circle we ran in in college. The name does sound familiar, though not someone we ever hung out with on a regular basis. Ben and Trent must have known him in at our University…..

-Donna

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