A while ago, I wrote this fictional story that I posted on Zoetrope to get feedback on. Zoetrope is an online community of filmmakers, writers and other artists where they share their work so others can provide constructive criticism and reviews. As always with the members of Zoetrope, I received some very good comments and suggestions.

If you have the opportunity, read it and let me know what you think.

Without further delay…

What’s the definition of cheating?
by Carlos S. Del Castillo

“So where are you again?”

“I’m at work honey. I just called to say that I was going to be a bit late.” You tell her for the fifth time this week.

“You know I don’t want this to become a habit for you” She sounds hurt.

“It’s not. I have this project that has steps that can’t be stopped once they are started” It’s the truth, even if you feel guilty saying it.

“OK, what are you working on again?”

See this is no good. You never have an answer when she asks these kinds of questions. You hear music in the background. You try to deflect, “What are you listening to?”

“Oh, it’s the new album by Jack Wisharegeen. Pretty cool huh?”

“Yeah sounds catchy. Listen, I should go or I’ll be here longer” Anxious to end the conversation before another question.

“OK, Love you.”

“Love you too” You hang up the phone, put it back in your pocket and sit back in your car’s leather seat.

Through the living room window, you see her put the phone down and then pick it back up. She dials. Listens. Then a smile erupts on her face. When was the last time you saw her smile like that? You can’t remember. You do know that it’s been a long time though.

She puts the phone down and skips out of view. Skips! — You catch glimpses of her as she rushes from one room out of view to another. Probably from the bedroom to the bathroom.

Every glimpse you catch of her she’s in a different outfit. It’s like she’s trying to decide what to wear.

She has finally chosen to wear the outfit you love so much. Actually all the outfits that are like this one, the ones that show off her washboard stomach, you love. There have been many a night that you dream of finally resting your head on that beautiful flat stomach of hers. She on the living room window sill. Looking out expectantly. Luckily you just had deep tinted windows installed.

A car drives by slowly and parks several houses ahead. A few minutes later, a dark silhouette is walking down the street. Can’t make out who in the dark, but you can tell that whoever it is is walking cautiously.

The person looks up and down the street, and then turns up the driveway. He gets to the door and you can hear the doorbell in the silence. The world has stopped existing for you. The only thing you know is this street, this house, and the inside of this car.

They greet each other by hugging and kissing right there on the front porch. She pulls him inside and has him sit down on the couch in the living room.

Damn! She doesn’t even wait for him to sit, before she’s on his lap. She starts pulling his hair out of the ponytail he has it in. Then starts taking off his jacket–He starts undoing her blouse. He…. He….

This sends you reeling. How could she! You had your suspicions that she was seeing someone. But suspicions are nothing compared to seeing it with your own eyes. You are now sitting in your car, confused, bewildered, and unable to breathe. What are you to do?

You do the only thing you can. You start the car and drive back to the office.

Once there you can’t concentrate. You pull out a folder from your desk drawer to try and get your head into your work. Instead, you pulled out her folder. The one with all the pictures you have taken of her, at the market, in the park, leaving the mall with arms full of shopping bags (in this picture she’s wearing another one of your favorite outfits). This isn’t helping, You finally decide. It’s time to go home.

You drive up your driveway and sit in your car for a minute. You are dreading going inside. You get out of your car and start towards the front door. You have to get off the walkway and walk on the grass because the bush in front of the living room window has grown wild. Your wife has complained that she can’t see the outside from the living room anymore.

“Boy, it has gotten pretty bad” you murmur to yourself as you realize that you can’t even see the window behind it. “Need to definitely take care of that this weekend.”

You reach the door and ring the bell. You have the house keys, but you have never used them (why start now).

“Hey honey, wow I wasn’t expecting you so soon” Your wife says with a towel wrapped around her.

“I know, I just couldn’t concentrate after I got off the phone with you. So I decided to just come on home”

“Well, I am glad” She says leaning into you and giving you a kiss on the cheek.

You put your arm around her and lay your hand on her wide belly. “So how are my babies doing?”

“Active, wouldn’t let me take my afternoon nap today.” She says, her face radiating.

“Well, it won’t be long now.” You tell her apologetically.

“I know, I know, I can’t wait. Close the door and come inside– You can help me dry off” She winks and turns to go to our bedroom.

You close the door and all the while you are thinking what you are going to do to her the next time you see her. “That cheating bitch!”