She never meant for it to go this far. The whole thing began in innocence, I suppose it often does though. The road to hell is paved with good intentions, right? She just thought she needed something, something more, something else . . . She felt selfish at the thought of it, but the feelings of need and desire only intensified with the passage of time. The more she tried to quell her longings the more they grew until the intensity was too much to bear and she gave in. It wasn’t the first time. She knew too well how it could all end.
She began to steal moments in the day while the family she loved was away to feed her hunger, to satiate the desire that burned within, and for a long while she was satisfied. She felt no true remorse; no one knew what she did during those fleeting moments in the light of the afternoon sun. What they don’t know couldn’t possibly hurt them right? Soon though, it wasn’t enough. She began to take chances. Late into the night when she was certain her love was sleeping sound, she would sneak from their bed for a midnight rendezvous.
The old flame had been rekindled within her and once again she felt the rush only secrecy can hold. She began to grow careless, every so often a giggle would escape and float down the hall, she hoped the closed door would spare her husband the sound of it. It was only in those moments she felt the slightest twinge of guilt, knowing what she was doing was wrong. Knowing when the morning came she would be weary and the day would be long, but the thought of what the night held for her was stronger than those moments of guilt.
Days, weeks, months went by before she realized something was wrong. She had no idea she’d woken her husband with her carelessness many times. She had no way of knowing how many nights he spent, listening through the door, wondering what he should do. He made the decision to confront her, to catch her in the act. When the night came, he kissed her sweetly and whispered his love to her. He closed his eyes and feigned sleep until she slowly slid out of the bed, tiptoed across the room and quietly closed the door behind her. He waited. Patiently, giving her enough time to begin doing what she had snuck out to do. He slowly opened the door just as quietly as she had closed it and made his way down the hall until he could see her shadow, glowing in a soft, flickering light.
His heart sunk. It all made sense now. The tired mornings, the hastily prepared meals and earlier bedtimes . . . All of her energy was devoted to the night, he wasn’t going to lose her to this . . . thief. No, he would not be robbed of his precious wife, not again. He was going to save her, just as he had done before. He approached her; gently placing his hand upon her shoulder. She jumped and tears began to fall when her eyes met his.
“Why?” is all he could manage to say. She hadn’t an answer to give, not one that could make him understand. In that moment she realized she was tired. So very, very tired. She looked into his bloodshot eyes and softly said she was sorry. He knew she was. He motioned to the object of her obsession and she knew what she had to do. She reached her shaking hand forward, gently moving the mouse until the arrow was atop the ‘shut down’ button. The screen seemed to beg her not to, but she had to. She knew she had to.
She closed her eyes and did it. The click of the button was deafening as the room went dark. She took her husband’s outreached hand and followed him back to bed. She closed her eyes and slept. It was a beautiful sleep. She dreamed of writing and blogging and Facebook and Pinterest, of all they to offer, the freedom to express herself, the joys of acknowledgment, the recipes, the silly cat videos, the motivational sayings . . . they were always there for her. Now there would be no more midnight visits to the vast world of point and click.
She awoke the next day, refreshed and ready to take on the world. She stared at the computer, remembering an email she was waiting for. She didn’t think it would hurt to quickly check. The minutes passed quickly, the hours even faster. Her husband came home and found her wide-eyed, fingers flying across the keyboard. He had been beat. He decided to give up. He ordered pizza for the kids, gently kissed her forehead as if to say he understood. She didn’t even know he had come home.
Crystal R. Cook