“We’re doing great, really great… I just needed to listen better… No, a kiss goodnight and in the morning… not a chance, my parent’s divorce ruined me… she’s their mother, man!… Sounds good, you too.” Calvin ended the phone call and put out his cigarette. He hung his head, then smiled and opened the sliding door. He returned to the bedroom.
“Oh my god,” said Bridget. She scrunched her nose and sniffed. “You smell like cigarettes.”
“You quit, not me.”
“Smells repulsive.” Bridget finished shimmying into her red party dress. “How do I look, baby?”
Calvin plopped down at the foot of the bed, hands in his pockets. “Great.”
Bridgette slipped her thumbs under her spaghetti straps and flipped her top down. She wiggled at the hips, so the two hills filling her push-up bra jiggled around.
“This better, baby?” she said with a laugh.
Calvin smiled. “Didn’t think you were dressing up for me.”
“You’re my husband!”
“…why don’t I come along, for a change?”
Bridgette scoffed. “We’ve been over this. You don’t do good at social events.” She tugged her red dress back up over her breasts, then smiled and pecked Calvin on the cheek. “You’re the one I come home to. You’re my protector and guardian… but sometimes I need you to protect and guard the kids.”
Her phone beeped. She peeked in her purse, then scurried with it out to the hallway bathroom.
“I was thinking maybe I could join you this time,” said Calvin.
“Why? It’s just me and people from the dealership.”
“But it’s a club, right?”
“You won’t let me dance now? God, give me a break-”
“Never said that, babe. But you’re going dancing, so I’m sure bringing a spouse is fine.” Calvin sighed, then dragged himself out to the hallway. He leaned against the wall with his arms crossed. “You said you wanted to spend more time together, right?”
“At the dinner table! The dinner table, baby! When I’m here alone, and you’re working, or whatever it is you’re really doing.”
“Ok… well maybe it would be fun, like the old days. It’s good to go out together sometimes… I already hired a babysitter and cleared my plans-”
“Aw, baby,” said Bridgette. She came over to Calvin and planted a wet kiss on his cheek. “You cancelled your date with your guitar, all for me?”
He forced a tight-lipped smile.
“I told Brody I’d be his date tonight,” said Bridgette, before glancing at Calvin through the corner of her eye. She scratched her eyebrow. “If you really want to come, I’ll let him know.”
“I do… You’re important to me.”
“Aw! You’re important to me!” Bridget smiled, then pinched Calvin’s cheek. “Fine… you win.” She grabbed her phone, tapped out a text, then waited for the response with her fingers in her lips.
“Who’s Brody?” said Calvin.
“Huh? Oh, my boss.”
“I didn’t know. You don’t say much about work.”
Bridgette’s eyes went wide. “I don’t say much about work?”
“I’m a firefighter… I work with all guys… Three days in a row.”
Her phone beeped. Bridget laughed so hard she snorted, then covered her mouth.
She grabbed her purse and left the bathroom shaking her head.
“You wanted this, not me!” Shouted Bridgette. She opened the front door and left the one-story house.
Calvin remained where he stood. He noticed something in their wedding portrait he’d never noticed before – Lying on the hill in the background was an old couple. Calvin squinted and moved for a closer look to be sure – the woman, easily seventy five, had her hand in her husbands pants! The husband, who might as well have had ‘grandfather’ written in wrinkles on his forehead, was smoking something that was far too fat and green to be a cigarette.
“You dirty dog…” said Calvin.
The front door swung open, and Bridget stuck her head back inside. “Well? Aren’t you coming?”
“Yeah, sorry,” said Calvin. He met her on the driveway then followed her out to the curb. Calvin plucked out another cigarette and lit it.
“Let me,” said Bridget, summoning the pack with her fingers.
He lowered an eyebrow, then handed her the lighter.
“The cigarette,” said Bridget.
“I thought you quit?”
“I did,” she said, then nabbed one out from his pack. She sucked half the life out with one puff. “We’re in for a show tonight, babe.”
“Brody’s bringing his wife,” she said, exhaling a stream of white smoke.
“Oh,” Calvin said.
Bridgette pet down his hair. “She’s a bitch, honey. Imagine Cruella de Vill’s vagina. Everyone at work hates her. If Brody wasn’t such a sweetheart, he’d have divorced her already.”
Calvin lowered her wrist away from his hair. “Maybe he feels marriage is his best option… No matter what.”
Bridgette cracked up laughing and soon was in tears. “Yeah, right. Brody? Honey, he’s got more options than he can count! His wife’s a leech… married him for his money. Plus she’s dumb as a rock. Words won’t do justice, you just have to see for yourself. I kind of feel bad for him. Even her. She’s what’s known as ‘Fugly’.”
Calvin nodded. He lit another cigarette, but Bridgette plucked it from his lips. She smoked it, tossed it on the ground and stomped it out with her heel.
“No more smoking. We’re in this together.”
Calvin twisted his lips, then rocked back and forth as he waited with his hands in his pockets. Bridget texted.
A long black limo pulled up and parked by the curb. The driver walked around the vehicle and opened the door for them.
…To be continued.
- Thomas M. Watt