She ripped it violently from the vase. A lone flower, beautiful but meaningless. How could he? How could he cheat? Do this to her? The kids? Six and eight, how would they ever understand? She remembered the passion and romance they’d shared at the beginning. She had sensed a future end, even then, which she supposed now meant the whole thing was a mistake, from the first date to starting a family. Her parents had been married forty years this past fall; she couldn’t make it beyond ten. Why had he strayed? Was he coming from her house the night he brought that flower? He must have been, men never arrived with fragrance and petals ‘just because.’ She stared at the disaster gripped inside white knuckles, wishing it never existed. Such a dirty plant. She’d known things weren’t going well, but what did she do to deserve this? And a tough patch still didn’t give him the right, did it? It was her fault, too. She could have brought it up. Two thorns, and she’d been stuck. Tears welled up, she walked up the stairs, bending the plant and feeling the stem snap within. She threw it in one of his damned heavy, thick psychology books, tossed it in the back of their closet and collapsed on their ruined bed in tears.
November 1, 2007