It niggles at me, the way he enthuses about his new colleague. I dwell on little things now: the transactional way he proposes sex, disappearing into our en-suite, always bothering to turn the lock.
He comes out standing tall.
In shock, and support of the man I’ve loved for twenty-three years, I welcome Alex to dinner. I pull up a three-legged stool and perch awkwardly.
We dust off a fondue set, gifted to us at our wedding. Our daughter stands by me to assemble the platter: strawberry, tangerine, mango, kiwi. Our son displays a striped flag with pride.
I think about rainbows and about what happens next. I think about the part where the colours drain slowly, then disappear completely, quietly, so that no one seems to notice. Then I creep out through the sliding patio door and rain engulfs me.
This story was a winner in the Micro Mentoring Comp.
About the author: Laura lives in London, where she works in a secondary school pastoral role and relishes exploring the therapeutic potential of the arts with young people. Her own creativity has always supported her to navigate painful moments and she is beginning to take the first tentative steps in sharing her work. Her writing has been published online through 50-Word Stories and she has a piece upcoming with The Phare Literary Magazine.