By Katina Pontikes
She received antique roses weekly, heavily scented, red and perfect.
Long romantic lunches were on Fridays; Wednesday nights were theirs alone.
They had a special relationship, forged in mutual need and satisfaction.
Both were passionate and content, wanted this to last forever.
He only rarely referred to his wife and her constant criticisms and demands.
She listened attentively, anticipating what he needed to offset his current concerns.
There were no noisy children to distract them or cause life stresses.
A perfect arrangement for several years, no glitches, no bumps.
On the tenth lonely Christmas Eve something wakened in her.
She no longer felt as valued, as special, and she knew she was aging.
She decided to pursue a different goal, gently, to change the situation.
They had “the talk” the day after Christmas, after their gift exchange.
He listened sadly, a weight suddenly on his shoulders, a change in his life.
His marriage had become one of convenience, his wife managing daily affairs.
The romance with his mistress was what motivated him, kept him virile.
Divorce became the only way to maintain that feeling of control, of manliness.
The marriage to his mistress followed quickly, and they were happy.
At first. Then, after a couple of years, routines started to exert themselves
into their daily bliss. Someone had to run the household, do the mundane chores.
Changes happened slowly, until they had extinguished all the heat and fire.
Now, she sits alone on Wednesday nights, afraid to ask where he is going.
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