"Two beds. Can you believe this, baby?" George gestured at the offending pieces of furniture, which sat there silently and took the abuse. The tastelessly striped blankets drooped forlornly over them, like a sheet laid over a recently deceased hospital patient.
Joan laughed dryly. "Why, Mister Campbell, were you hoping to share a bed with me tonight? That just wouldn't be proper, sleeping next to a married man." She picked at the corner of the tablecloth.
George twisted the gold wedding band off his finger and put it down on the dresser. "Don't know what you're talking about. Anyway, who said anything about sleeping, baby?" He tugged his tie loose and unbuttoned the top of his crisp white dress shirt.
Joan winced. "I wish you wouldn't call me that."
George blinked at her. "What, baby? Why the hell not?"
"I'm a grown woman, that's why. You're not calling your wife 'baby,' are you?"
He rubbed at his forehead a moment. "Why are we talking about my wife again? What's with you today?" He walked over to the glossy black phone on the bedside table. "I'm going to get us some food. You see a room service menu anywhere?" He rummaged around in the top drawer and pulled it out triumphantly.
Joan tugged at her hair. "I'm not really hungry, George."
He set the menu down and stared at her for a moment. "Alright, what's going on, Joan? Are you sick or something? I can call down to the front desk, see if they got a bottle of Anacin or-"
She shook her head. "I'm not sick, George. It's just that ... look, I don't think we should see each other anymore, is all." She'd unwound a length of thread from the tablecloth with deft fingers and was playing with it idly.
"Hey, what?" George crossed the room and sat down across the table from her. He plucked her hand from the tablecloth and the thread and held it between his own. "What are you talking about, Joan? I thought everything's been great with us. Jesus, if you weren't happy you shoulda said-"
She ran her thumb across the empty space where his wedding ring usually sat. "I've been happy. I'm just afraid things will be different. I-"
"Hey, baby, come on, I - Christ, Joan, I forgot, sorry - things aren't gonna change, okay, I'm crazy about you and-" He stopped. "You didn't have anything to drink with dinner, did you? Oh hell, Joan." He squinted at her face. "That's it, isn't it? Well, that's nothing to worry about! I'll take care of us, don't you worry. I'll divorce my wife, I'll marry you, we'll have a family ..."
She tugged her hand free of his and shook her head. "I don't want all that, George. I'm not keeping it."
He sputtered for a moment. "Not keeping - Joan, it's our baby! We could all be happy together, I'm telling you."
"And what did you tell your wife?" She sighed. Her fingers were working the thread again. "I don't want to be your wife, George, I like being the other girl better."
They were silent across the table for a while. A song filtered in from the room next door, and footsteps and laughing. People were dancing.
"You know, George, I think I'd like some room service after all. Why don't you order us a bottle?"
He looked at her silently, and got up and walked to the phone.
This website uses marketing and tracking technologies. Opting out of this will opt you out of all cookies, except for those needed to run the website. Note that some products may not work as well without tracking cookies.Opt Out of Cookies