“Let me know what happens. I’m sorry, man. I hate that you have to deal with this.”
From behind me, I heard his chair squeak against the tile as he pushed away from the breakfast table and headed toward me. Shooing Wayland away, he picked up the plate and set his own down.
“Okay. Call me then.” He ended the call.
“Becca?” I guessed, taking my plate from him and running it under the hot water.
“Yeah. She’s being sketchy with a guy at work. Aaron thinks she’s having an affair.”
I did quick math on their relationship. They were about to celebrate their third wedding anniversary, if I was calculating things correctly. “Cheating already? That’s quick.”
He rescued his plate from Wayland and passed it to me. “Yeah. I hope he’s wrong, but Aaron isn’t paranoid. Everything he’s describing sounds suspicious.”
And Easton wasn’t a suspicious guy. Both he and Aaron were, if anything, a little too laissez-faire with their trust. Not that I wanted an overbearing jealous husband, but I sometimes intentionally provoked him, just to get a glimpse of his alpha male side.
Maybe Becca was doing the same thing. Flashing red flags just to get attention. That seemed more likely than a scenario where she would cheat on Aaron. I ran the plate under the hot water. “What’s she doing?”
“She’s working out constantly. She’s started going out with friends and coming home late. She’s on her phone all of the time.”
I frowned. Becca’s friends weren’t the type to go out. And anytime Chelsea and I had ever invited her anywhere, she’d always staunchly refused, her social group focused on volunteer opportunities and cooking circles. I tried to picture a new version of Becca, one with a drink in hand, social media popping, without the extra fifteen pounds she’d picked up in college. I couldn’t see it.
“Here.” Easton came up behind me and kissed the back of my neck. “Let me do these.” He reached into the soapy water and stole the sponge from me.
“Okay.” I went to move, but he caged me in.
“Stay. I’ll work around you.” His chest settled against my back and he moved closer to the sink, pinning me in as he looked over my shoulder and into the sink. There were only a few items. The big spaghetti pot. The spoon and spatula. Our plates and silverware. I leaned back into his chest, letting him work and examining our reflection in the plate-glass window above the sink. So handsome, my husband. This lighting was good for me too. It hid my acne scars from high school and the bump in the bridge of my nose. He was always better looking than me, and seemed to be getting even more so with age.
“I just can’t believe she’d cheat on him. She was always so…”
I smiled. “So much of a prude. And so superior to everything.” Especially deviant behavior. When Aaron had passed out at his bachelor party and had to be carried home, she had flipped out and called us children, then fired Chelsea and me from bridesmaid duty.
“Well, people change. We’ve changed.”
Yeah, we certainly had. In seven years, how had I changed so much? When had I taken on so much stress? So much insecurity? I thought that I would become more secure as I grew older, but I felt as if I was untethered. Careerless. Childless. Useless. I felt, at rare and isolated moments, that I had made a mistake, in everything. And I saw the same fears in my husband. Maybe that’s why we held such a strong bond. Both of us continually afraid that we weren’t good enough for the other.
“To be honest, I never liked her anyway.” He ran the sponge over the big spoon in a careless motion that would require me to go behind him later.
“I just hate the idea that she’d do that to him.”
He didn’t respond, and my thoughts flitted back to my earlier hypothesis—that unless you experience cheating, it’s too fluid of a concept to really understand. My golden husband had never been cheated on, not by any of his college flings and certainly not by me. Despite my rampant imaginary scenarios, I would never cross that line, not when I knew the emotional pain it delivered. Prior to Jonah cheating on me, I’d been almost cocky. Emotionally indestructible. Fearless in my confidence with relationships and the opposite sex—like Easton still was.
“He’s having her followed, so he can see what happens when she goes out tonight.” He placed a short quick kiss on the back of my neck.
“Have you ever thought about cheating on me?” The question came out unexpectedly and surprised me as much as him.
He flipped off the faucet and turned me around to face him. “No. What made you ask that?”
“I don’t know.” I looped my hands around his neck and looked up at him. “Maybe you’ve had regrets that we got married. Or maybe you’re bored.”