Christie put the note and the rose down on the bed carefully, and then went out for a walk. She walked around the city, barely able to contain her rage. Of all the miserable, two-faced. . . she had known things weren't going well with them, of course. They barely ever had sex anymore, even when she tried her best to get him interested by buying something slinky and sexy from that expensive lingerie store around the corner from their apartment.
But, for him to have an affair? It was something she'd fantasized about doing herself, but she never acted on it. She'd thought their marriage was something worth saving. She'd taken her vows seriously. Now she realized he'd played her for a fool, while she brushed hot tears out of her eyes.
All day she wavered between anger, despair, and forgiveness. Yes, strange as that may seem, she had moments when she wanted to forgive him. He'd been working so hard, and maybe she hadn't been understanding enough. He had a lot of pressure on him, and maybe, in a moment of weakness. . . but then the anger would course through her again, and she felt her hands twitching, like they wanted to close around his neck and strangle him.
As night approached, and she knew it would soon be time for him to walk in the door, she got very, very calm. She took a long shower, then dressed in her prettiest, sexiest dress, and took extra time with her hair and makeup. She prepared his favorite dinner, broiled steak, and got out a bottle of expensive red wine to go with it. It was eerie, how calm she felt. She had a sense that something big was going to happen tonight.
When Alex came in the door, he found Christie sitting at the dinner table, with a single candle burning, the dinner waiting on her best china, and the red rose in a long-stemmed vase in the center of the table.
"Recognize that?" Christie said.
Alex's face went pale.