A Letter in the Desk

Martin opened the door and composed his shock in mere seconds when he saw who stood on his doorstep.

“Kelly. I didn’t know we were expecting you.” Martin held his arm out to gesture Kelly into the house. “I believe Olivia is upstairs.”

“Olivia didn’t tell you? We have a lady’s who lunch meeting this evening. We weren’t going to go, but they made this one mandatory. And I offered to drive Olivia, since we both live on this side of town. And I know how she gets about driving at night.”

Martin nodded, half-listening to her ramble. “Well, I’ll go see if she’s ready. I’m sure she’ll be down in a moment. She won’t want to keep you waiting.”

“Oh, thank you. I’ll wait in here.” Kelly gestured to the sitting room off the hall and sat on the couch.

Martin hurried up the stairs and out of sight.

Olivia stood at the doorway to their bedroom, still in her bathrobe and hair in rollers. She jumped when Martin reached the top of the stairs and waved her hand to rush him into the room before closing the door.

“I’m sorry. I need you to stall her. I’m not ready.”

Martin put his hands on his hips and raised an eyebrow at his wife. “Clearly. Do you even know what you’re going to wear?”

Oliva smiled and shrugged. “I didn’t really want to go. But then I decided I did and I’m trying to hurry. But I also forgot how much of blab she is and now I don’t want to go again.” She unclipped the rollers in her hair and shook out the long curls.

Martin rolled his eyes. “And how exactly am I supposed to stall her? Give her refreshments? Make small talk?”

Downstairs, Kelly sighed and stood again. She could hear them talking in low voices, and she worried they were fighting. She should have called when she was on her way. Maybe it would have given them more warning.

She paced around the room, looking closely at the picture frames on the shelves. Then she checked the time. They might be late if they didn’t get going soon. She hoped Martin wouldn’t tell Olivia she wasn’t allowed to go to the meeting. It would be something he would say. She remembered how he’d acted like he owned her when they were having their –

She shook her head and kept pacing. That had been years ago. And it probably wasn’t anything even remotely like the relationship he had with his wife.

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