Bitter and Sweet

            The white chocolate latte was scorching as it drenched Sarah’s blouse. “Ahh fuck!” she groaned, exasperated. Just what she needed before this meeting with her attorney. She could just imagine Brett’s face when she walked into the room, a smug look on that perfectly scruffy face of his. She hated him. She already wanted to smack off the grin forming on his face and could hear his piercing laugh.

            She felt for a napkin in her Coach purse and tried to wipe the steaming coffee off her white blouse, which she had ironed diligently this morning. She quickly hit the “close” button on the elevator before anyone else could get on.  It seemed so ironic that she was a mess right now when she usually had it together. She still felt the hot embarrassment of telling her mother two months ago that she and Brett were getting a divorce. It didn’t help that she still felt attracted to the bastard. But she couldn’t bear to be with him any longer.

            It’s not like Sarah couldn’t blame him.  Starting her own advertising agency had really put a damper on their relationship.  With the finances alone, it seemed like they had constantly been fighting.  They hadn’t slept together for what seemed like months.  She was so busy and tired with work, it was hard to feel sexy anymore.  She could feel him pulling away, working more nights at the office, falling asleep on the couch, having more “guys’ nights.” Sometimes she didn’t mind—she even enjoyed the solitude.  But once being alone was more comforting than being in the same room as him, she knew something was wrong.  She considered therapy. But when it was brought up, his face grew pale and he stammered, saying “we aren’t there quite yet.”  Many late nights brought her to a bathtub, eyes sore from tears, wondering…what had she done wrong? She went to college, got a degree, met a man she loved, got married. She was willing to fix this. Sarah was good at solving problems.

            It wasn’t until she decided to surprise him for lunch at work and walked in on him with his mouth on another woman’s neck that she realized it was over. She could feel her throat tapering in and her breath tearing in her chest. She remembered his face, how it drained her with its empty stare.  The woman ran out of the room, holding her loose dress around her bare body. She later learned this woman was a newly employed intern, fresh out of college.  It only took Sarah two weeks and many bottles of wine to file for divorce.

            And now here she stood, wiping hot milk off her shirt, feeling the flutter of a sob in her gut as the elevator lurched upward.  She took a deep gulp of air and pushed down the urge to cry. Not today, she thought. He won’t see me cry today.


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