“I should get a job,” I blurt. “We need the money.”
Michael kisses me on the forehead. “I have you. I have the baby. That’s all I need.”
“Okay,” Michael amends. “We’ve got each other. We’ve got the baby. We’ve got our dog. That’s all we need.”
“Bella’s eighteen months old. I was supposed to take six weeks of maternity leave, not quit.”
“You love being a stay-at-home mom. We’re fine.”
We’re not fine.
“Have a good day, you two,” he says. “No digging in the backyard while I’m at work.”
“I swear I won’t.”
Michael winks. “I was talking to Zippers. I just don’t understand why he’s started the digging.”
Five minutes after Michael leaves, there’s a tap on the back door. I open it and pull Scott in. His strong hands grip my hips. He backs me against the wall. His mouth finds mine in a way Michael’s has forgotten how to. His hands get tangled in my hair.
I pull away, realizing I didn’t close the door. Zippers slipped out.
Scott’s hand caresses my neck. “Just leave him out there.”
“He might dig under the fence and escape. Michael would never forgive me.”
“Babe, the dog whines outside the door. It’s a buzzkill.”
“Would you rather him come in and watch?” I arch my eyebrows.
Scott groans. Then he gives me that look that makes my knees weak. “Master bedroom?”
“One day, I’ll convince you.”
Probably. But today is not that day.
I bring Zippers inside. He whimpers when I shut him out of the guest room.
I spend most of my time with Scott trying to ignore the guilt, trying to ignore the fact that I might love this man who is not my husband.
“Come with us today,” Scott says, buttoning his shirt. Since the weather has turned cooler, he’s been walking Zippers for me.
“What?” I ask.
“I have something to show you.”
“But Bella. I can’t leave her alone.”
Or take her on a stroll with my lover.
“We’ll be gone ten minutes. I’ll call your cell. Leave it in the nursery. We’ll take mine so we’ll hear if she wakes up.”
With a kiss, he persuades me.
We sneak out the side gate. A wall of shrubs conceals us as we make our way into the woods behind the neighborhood.
Zippers trots ahead of us, as if he knows the way.
We walk until the path ends.
“Let’s go back.”
Scott holds up his phone, the call still connected. “She’s fine. Sound asleep. Besides, we’re here.”
In front of us is a trench, wide and deep.
Zippers yanks at his leash, trying to get to it, causing me to nearly trip over a fallen limb. Scott steadies me.
“What is this?” I ask.
Scott grins at me. “A grave. For Michael.”
I recoil. “What?”
“I trained Zippers to dig,” Scott says. “Saved me a lot of manual labor.”
Zippers wags his tail, proud of himself.
- : Flash Fiction