The ladies gathered around the bracelet, their eyes glinting with jealousy at the craftsmanship of the gorgeous piece of jewelry. As Charleen was helping fasten the bracelet around Jane’s wrist, Bev piped up, “You have the most amazing husband. How are we even friends anymore? I am just so jealous!“
Lisa lightly tapped Bev, “You know we wouldn’t still be together if it weren’t for Jane and her picture perfect life. Your husband might be a bore, but her’s knows how to keep the spice in their life. I’m single and loving it.” she winked at Jane and grinned.
Jane’s cheeks flushed, then sighed softly as she lightly touched each jewel on the bracelet. “I’m not sure it’s so picture perfect.“
All the girls hushed and gathered around her, moving her from the kitchen to one of the lounge seats in the sitting room. Charleen whispered, “What do you mean, sweety?“
Jane began divulging to her friends about her fears and worries, the disappearing money. Then she started telling them about his random disappearing acts, his leaving for work at random odd hours that made no sense. As she talked, she began to cry. Her face becoming contorted in a wretched mess of wrinkles and tears. When she got to her visit with him at his office, the girls let out a gasp of surprise. She told them about the strange phone call, and she was certain it wasn’t the first one he has had. It was only the first one she had caught.
Charleen wrapped her arms around Jane’s shoulders, hugging her tight. “I am sure everything is fine, honey. Maybe he is setting aside money for a nice cushy retirement?“
Jane’s body shuddered with her sobbing, “I don’t know, I mean, wouldn’t he talk to me about it? He hasn’t said anything about it, and I looked at the ledger. I compared it with our banking information, it isn’t adding up.“
All four girls now had embraced poor Jane, trying to say encouraging words to her.
“I’m positive he has a good explanation.” Lisa quipped positively.
Amber suddenly jumped up and squealed, “Maybe he is planning a big vacation for your anniversary!“
“You didn’t get to have a honeymoon, so that could be it!” Bev reinforced, nodding her head in agreement with Amber.
“You did say he was taking large portions of his checks out, so it’s entirely possible sweet heart.” Charleen added, looking at Bev and Amber.
“I don’t know, maybe. I just don’t know what is going on anymore. This past few months have felt like there’s some great divide between he and I. Usually we plan our anniversary together.” Jane began wiping her tears, smudging her eyeliner. Sniffling, she glanced at the time. “Oh great, it’s almost 8pm. I guess I’ll be ordering take out for when he gets home, if he goes home.“
As she stood to depart, Charleen gave Jane a tissue and ushered her to the bathroom to clean her face up before leaving. “You shouldn’t drive if you can barely see.” she smiled softly, trying to be reassuring. Jane nodded, allowing herself to be led to the restroom.
After getting cleaned up, the girls all gathered around and shared hugs and heartfelt goodbyes. They stood and watched as Jane departed from the driveway, then went back to their wine.
As Jane pulled into her driveway, she parked the car and sat there for a while. Her arms against the steering wheel as she rested her head on her arms. She heaved a heavy sigh. After she had managed to calm down, she looked up and noticed the garage door was already open. There in the garage was Will’s car. A look of surprise came over her face, mixed with a faint glint of confusion. Getting out of the car, she then saw that the lights in the dining room were on. Curiosity peeked, Jane walked in through the garage side entrance.
Will was moving around the kitchen, looking as though he were cooking. The very sight was a surprise to Jane, she couldn’t recall the last time he had cooked something. As she set her bag down, the keys clanged against the metal of the chair. Will jumped, startled. Clasping a hand to his chest as he turned around, his face became a large smile. “Welcome home, dear!” His eyes seemed to glint faintly as he took in her appearance. His face fell as he realized her cheeks were tear streaked. Putting down the utensils, he moved over to his wife. “What is wrong, hon? You’ve been crying?” Will’s expression became that of earnest worry and concern. He pulled out a chair for her to sit in and knelt by her side, “Talk to me, hon. Why have you been crying?” His voice was soft, and his tone was worried.
Jane looked into her husband’s eyes, the worry she had been holding in coming back to the surface as she felt tears forming again in her own. “I was looking at the bank records…” she started.
Will looked down at his feet and quietly said, “I can’t tell you about that.“
She lifted his head with both hands on either side of his face, “Why? What is it that you are hiding from me?“
He sighed, “I can’t tell you.” his voice was low, resigned, but unwavering.
Jane started to cry, “Why can’t you tell me? Would it jeopardize our marriage? You’ve been acting strange for the last couple months. I only recently noticed, but you’ve been withdrawing sums of money every time you’re paid. Then today, that mysterious phone call!” her voice started to raise, cracking as she sobbed.
He could not make his gaze meet hers. Placing a hand on her knee, he whispered softly as he began to rise, “Do you love me?“
Through her tears she nodded and managed to say, “Yes.“
“Then trust me in knowing I cannot tell you.” He said, simply and matter of fact. Will stood and went back to the kitchen and turned off the burner, “I made you dinner.” Without even looking at her, he then exited the room and went to bed.
This is all I’ll be writing for right now. Hope you enjoy! For those reading for the first time, you can find the beginning here.