Unrestrained spasms rocketed through her body. Her small frame jolted as it cascaded lifeless onto the cold floor. Glazing red eyelids shuttered down, closing the doorway to large green pools of bottomless darkness, void of emotion. Warm water rapidly escaped forming running streams of grey surrounding the lifeless bundle.
Ahhh! Cold water stung her face. Eyes fluttered wide as she stared straight into the face of the prison officer, who was poised, ready to dash more water. Staggering, her hands grasped as she stumbled against the soiled basin in her cramped quarters. Her legs wobbled to a twisted stance. Still weak, she noted the name, “Tamika.”
“You alive?” Tamika sneered. “I been trying to wake you forever, thought you were dead.”
Rae climbed onto the hard mattress, curling into a fetal position, and quickly recoiled, from the stench that exhumed. She looked over her shoulder, closing her eyes as Tamika walked away.
Her thoughts drifted back, less than twenty-four hours earlier, they were enjoying a late evening stroll. Foamy white waves rolled up immersing into the soft sand. Soft breezes kissed their faces; Rae’s hand entwined in Matt’s as they paused, staring at the starry sky. It was breathtakingly wonderful.
Dinner had been delicious and dancing in Matt’s strong arms, her head resting on his chest had been heavenly bliss. She jerked, as he disengaged his hand at the shrill ringing of his cell phone. Then he turned, whispering huskily into the phone as he stepped away.
“Everything OK, hon?” Rae asked as Matt rejoined her, making no effort to take her outstretched hand. Wrinkled lines appeared on his forehead.
“Wrong number,” he responded dismally.
Rae marched ahead, enveloped in riotous silence; her stomach somersaulted defiantly as they headed back to the hotel.
Matt was stretched on the satin comforter, fully clothed, as she walked back into the bedroom. She had slipped on sheer almond silk lingerie (Matt liked her in white and almond, saying it complimented her honey brown skin and short, cropped, reddish brown hair). Rae’s parents were African American. Her grandmother on her mother’s side was Irish. She had a unique attractiveness. At this moment, she felt utterly unattractive and unwanted as she tried unsuccessfully to arouse Matt.
His cell phone rang again. She turned to saunter away, feeling hopeless. Unthinking, she picked up the phone. “Hello?” Silence … “Hello. Who is it?” Rae glanced at her watch. It read 11:55PM. Frustration took over. “Who is this?”
“Wouldn’t you like to know?” A female voice chuckled. “Click”. The phone ID log showed “Private caller.”
“Oh, no, she didn’t!” Rae yelled, as the phone dived into the toilet. Quickly retrieving the phone and shaking it dry, she marched back into the bedroom; his cell phone soared ahead …landing with a thud.
“Matthew! Matthew!” Rae grabbed his shoulders.
“What’s wrong with you? I’m tired. Stop yelling.” Matt shrugged Rae’s hands off his shoulders.
“You liar. You said it was a wrong number. Who is she?” Rae asked, face flushed, chest heaving as she gasped, trying to grab him.
His tall frame hoisted as he gently pushed Rae aside. Brown eyes stared, flashing slight distaste. “It’s Trish.” He was calm. “Her water pipe broke. She was hoping I could fix it.”
“That’s the best you have, Matt? Calling at this late hour! Yeah, her pipe broke alright. What are you, her Mr. Fix It? Why didn’t she call a plumbing service? You really think I believe that lie? Didn’t you tell her we were out of town? Does she know that we are celebrating our wedding anniversary?” Rae paused, breathless.
“Rae, I told her we were out of town. Stop yelling, and calm down.” Matt studied her from across the room.
“I’ll calm down when you tell me what’s going on. Are you sleeping with Trish?” Rae trembled, dreading his response.
“Relax, Rae. Don’t be crazy. You know Trish is a friend.” Matt heard the trembling in her voice. His response was husky and controlled.
Rae strutted into the bathroom. Dressed in a T-shirt, jeans, a red linen jacket with black walking shoes, she marched back. Grabbing purse, cars keys, and Matt’s cell phone, she stormed off.
“OK. Now, I’m crazy!” The echo of the hotel room door chased her down the stairwell. In the parking lot, Rae quickly got into their black BMW. Tires screamed as she sped away. Hot tears blurred her vision. Exhaling, she realized she was speeding at 110MPH. She had subconsciously exited onto the highway, running a red light. There were no cops in sight. She sighed in relief.
Forty minutes later, Rae screeched to a halt at home in Brandon, a drive that normally took an hour.
Rummaging through Matt’s briefcase, she found a $200.00 receipt for a pair of diamond earrings. It was dated over six months ago. Rae had not received these earrings. Matt’s cell phone bills showed several calls to and from the same telephone number each month, up to the previous month.
Rae had been here a few times in the past with Matt, when they had visited with Tim and Trish. A light came on in the living room. Trish stood in the open doorway in an oversized burgundy bathrobe. Tumbled hair pulled back, exposing elf looking ears, feet snuggled in matching fluffy bed slippers. She appeared pale and tall.
“Rae. What a surprise. Why are you pounding down my door this time of morning? You lost something?” Trish sneered.
“One question, Trish. Are you sleeping with my husband?” Rae’s hands twitched deep inside her jacket pockets, itching to slap the smirk off Trish’s face.
Trish stepped forward, taunting. “Matt’s in love with me, you don’t satisfy him. Why you think he comes running to me?”
Trish fell suddenly, knocking Rae over, her body pinning Rae’s legs.
Pulling her legs free, Rae staggered to her feet. Dazed, she noticed blood on th