She wore a navy blue suit that was entirely inappropriate for work. It clung to her, hugging every curve, revealing long, tan legs and ample breasts. Her chestnut hair was pulled back in a loose twist, and she wore almost no make up—she didn’t need any.
It was a warm day in June, and despite air conditioning, the office was never cool enough. And it was Friday—casual day. She could get away with it. That was her rationalization. That, and she wanted to upset her husband.
“You’re not wearing that Alene,” he said flatly. She had not even dressed yet. He’d come into the closet only to see her holding out the suit on it’s hanger.
“What are you talking about Jason?”
“That suit makes you look like a whore. You’re not wearing it.” His voice was calm, flat, emotionless as usual.
“You picked it out,” she challenged, knowing already that this was a losing battle.
“Yeah, for you to wear when you’re with me—only me.”
“Don’t be ridiculous. It’s fine.” The lack of confidence in her voice was embarrassing and she felt like crying. He moved close to her—uncomfortably close. There was no where for her to move inside the tiny closet. He cupped her chin in his hand and jerked her head back, forcing her to look at him. A slight smile played on his thin lips—it did not spread to his eyes which remained fixed on her.
“Aw, baby’s going to cry now?” After eight years he knew her well, could read her every emotion—she hated that about him. Not that he knew her, but that he played her like a game. She bit her tongue to fight back tears. She would not give him the satisfaction.
They stood close for a long moment. She could feel the heat from his body and it repulsed her. She wondered, as she did so often, how she could have married this man. And then he pulled her even closer, kissing her long and hard. When she did not respond he forced her mouth open with his tongue. He held her tight, too tight, his fingers digging into her soft skin. She whimpered in pain, but he pretended not to notice. And when he was done he pushed her away roughly, ripping the suit out of her hands and throwing it on the floor.
“I’m late,” he said calmly, glancing at his watch. “You’ll be home on time tonight?” There was only one acceptable answer.
“Well, have a good day then. Check in with me once you get into the office. You know how I worry.”
“Yes. I know.” And then he was gone.
Alene sank to the floor. She waited until she heard his car back down the driveway and speed off. And then she sobbed. Deep, guttural sobs that racked her body. She hated herself for being so weak. Hated him. She lay curled up in a ball on the closet floor, staring at their clothes all mingled together. His all neat and organized, color sorted and facing the same direction. Hers scattered about, inside out, thrown on the floor or balled up on a shelf. She had an overwhelming urge to ripe his suits from their hangers and trample them.
Instead, she pulled herself up and dressed slowly. The suit was a little wrinkled from laying on the floor, but she didn’t care. She’d show him.