Wednesday April 5, 1950
“You’re going to do what?”
“You heard me. Why do you always pretend that you don’t hear me?”
“I just can’t believe you’re man enough to meet him. That’s all. I mean, where were you for the last six months? I left clues about what was going on. Why do you want to meet him now? Is meeting him your ego thing? Do you want to feel that you’re better than Tom? Well, you’re not. That’s why I’m leaving you.”
I slumped into the chair behind me. Sally stood over me. She knew how to insert her knife and slowly, ever so gracefully, like the dancer she was, twist the blade as she pushed deeper into my soul. Momma warned me about Sally. “A dance hall girl without a proper background,” Momma said. “She’ll keep dancing long after the music stops.”
Thursday April 6, 1950
Where is he? It’s so damn dark in here, a fella can’t see his Bulova watch let alone meet his wife’s lover. He must have picked this joint ‘cuz this is where he meets all his shady business cronies. Hey, maybe that’s him in the corner?
I sidestepped between tables so closely arranged I could have walked across them if I were man enough. Zorro would jitterbug from tabletop to tabletop to defend a woman from this bum.
“Are you Tom?” My voice broke between octaves.
He extended his hand, a pinky ring clinked a nearby wine glass. “Yeah, I’m Tom. Can’t say I’m pleased to meet you, but damn curious why you’re here.” He gestured toward a chair in front of me. “Sit down. Care for a drink?”
A waiter appeared. My voice firmed. “I’ll have Johnnie Walker on the rocks.”
“Make mine a double Martini.”
I leaned toward Tom. “Let’s get to the point.”
Tom’s back stiffened. “What’s that?”
I sipped my scotch. Booze burned my throat. “What the hell do you think? I want you to get out of my life.”
“Why would I? Sally wants me. Not you.”
“Sally’s confused with you around. If you were out of the picture, things might be different. And what about our son? Do you want to bust up our family?”
Tom leaned back in his chair. “That’s up to Sally, not me. Whatever she decides is okay with me. It’s not my decision. This is a pointless conversation.” He reached for the bar tab like he grabbed everything that was mine.
With the flash of a lightning bolt Zorro’s arm flew across the table and seized Tom's pinky ring. His fleshy hand trembled in Zorro’s vice grip. I laid a five-spot on the table and stood to leave. “Not on my watch.”
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Richard Wilberg, MS, PLCC, ACC
Creativity Coach for Personal Fulfillment and Career Success
About the Author
Richard Wilberg writes fiction, creative non-fiction, self-development, and career counseling articles. He lives in Madison, Wisconsin.