Two people that I watched from afar in my sisters second grade class, formulating their life in just a few seconds. This is their story from my eyes
“Cynthia, honey, those shoes don’t match.” Says Ray with a teasing and adoring smile. It’s his daughters first day of second grade and he has taken the morning off. Cynthia is wearing one pink shoe and one green, and looking mighty proud of her style choice.
“But daddy, I like them booooth.” She retorts, one hand on her hip and the other pointing to her feet.
“Why don’t you pick one pair for today, and one pair for tomorrow?”
Cynthia sighs in frustration, daddy will never understand the fashion sense of a seven year old. “Fine.”
Ray laughs as he watches her strut innocently back to her room.
His wife takes her place in the hallway “Good morning, Honey”
“Morning, Jill” He takes a sip of his cofee and doesn’t notice that his wife is wearing lipstick for the first time in months. Her shoulders drop in disappointment, It used to be his favorite shade.
Cynthia is back and in matching shoes. “I’m ready to go now.” She announces to the room, with her nose stuck high in the air and her eyes bright.
The school is a five minute walk from their house, and the journey’s soundtrack is Cynthia’s giddy rambling about who she does and doesn’t want to be stuck sitting next to. They find the classroom easily and when Cynthia let’s go of Ray’s hand to go find her seat, he looks up and his stomach drops to his knees. He shifts his eyes to the floor, hoping that his wife hadn’t seen him look at her. He subtly makes his way to the other side of the room, attempting to keep as much distance between them as possible.
Jill soils the attempt when she recognizes her and her husband. “Oh, Ray! Look! It’s our neighbors!”
Ray’s stomach drops to his feet
Jill raises her hand in a friendly wave. “Hi, how are you?” She starts walking towards her and Ray follows mechanically
“Hello.” He mumbles, offering his hand to hers, and feeling silly for the formality that has never passed between these two hands “My name is Ray.”
“I’m Kaitlyn.” she smiles, that familiar smile, the one that he would love under any other circumstances.
He pulls his hand away and their wedding rings scratch against each other, making him blush awkwardly.
“Oh, you two haven’t met yet?” His wife asks.
“No.” He says, at the same time as she does, both answer too quickly.
And at that moment, Jill’s chest seems to implode upon itself. She has finally found the woman that has been pulling her husband away from her, the woman who has sucked the affection out of his eyes, that used to be there every time he looked at her. The woman that has been sleeping with him.
Ray recognizes her change in posture, and the sudden ice that covers her golden irises. He can’t stand to hold her gaze so he looks away, thinking how stupid he was to think that she wouldn’t figure it out. Internally screaming at himself for letting it happen, and trying to remember when he stopped loving her and started looking other places for the love that was lost.
“Well we better be going.” Jill says, all friendliness frozen.
They both kiss Cynthia goodbye, and as they walk out of the classroom Jill grabs his hand in a facade of affection, her nails start to dig into his knuckles. “I want you out of the house by three o’ clock.”
This time, the five minute walk is silent.