The Beautiful Wife, Part 2
Summary of Part 1: A woman, Genevive Bordole, got word of her husband’s latest mistress. Worried about the affair’s effect on her children, Genevive, together with her young nanny Senovia, vowed to take action against her husband.
It’s going to be OK,” Genevive whispered, trying to convince herself, just as she had convinced Senovia, wondering what she was dragging the younger woman into.
It was Senovia who came up with idea of taking Jim out of the picture in the first place. It was Senovia who first found the lipstick, overheard a telephone conversation and came up with the idea of taping all calls. She was there to remove the girls when they would undoubtedly argue. She of- ten kept the girls busy in another room during parties so they would not hear whatever rumors were going around.
Seemingly endless, the road was said to have been paved over the original path to the village where the Santee people fled after being attacked by coastal tribes who had become allies of the English in 1761. They were a peaceful people: farming maize, hunting deer and gathering nuts and berries. The women worked with their babies fastened to their backs. They lived in tranquility, but greed has a way of finding that which it has not yet destroyed, and the Indians were found guilty of the heinous crime of being there first.
Some Indians were killed, some were jailed and others were sold into slavery. Those who were left were sent on the trail of tears where many more died from starvation and diseases brought by the settlers.
A doe poking her long and slender neck through the underbrush, her brown eyes glowing in the headlights, snapping Genevive back into the present. She swerved right into an oncoming fork in the road, paranoid that she had made a wrong turn somewhere. After all, Jim’s journals didn’t say anything about a fork in the road. Before she had a chance to turn around, the road opened into a graveled parking lot.
Spacious and surrounded by trees, the place could have been somebody’s home had it not been for the vast parking area. A log cabin with no windows stood to her left. It was slightly longer than the others she had seen, with a porch the length of the cabin. A serpentine path of red brick ran from the spring to the cabin steps. Portulacas and marigolds graced many areas, including the clay pots on the porch, the gardens and bordering of the Venus fly traps indigenous to the area.
She found Jim’s car next to a teal Buick, and parked on the far side so he wouldn’t be able to see her car until it was too late. The license plate read “EZ4U”.
“Well!” she said, shaking her head in consternation. “You don’t have to advertise.”
She often wondered what makes some women become mistresses and what makes men cheat.
As a divorce lawyer, she’d heard all of the excuses from the many men and women who needed her to defend them, saying whatever they felt necessary to make her take their cases. She wondered what they would say to a trusted friend in complete privacy. The most common excuse was that the wife was not as beautiful as she once was.
The already quiet engine purred to a stop, leaving her alone with the sound of her own thoughts. They yelled at her from their rotten prison of pain deep down inside.
Staring into silence at her red clutch, thinking about its contents, she knew the moment of truth had come. No longer would she have to deal with his girlfriends calling at all hours, fearing the girls might pick up the phone, feeling the pain of hearing her own husband speak to another woman in that voice he once reserved for the bedroom.
Reaching out with her perfectly manicured hand, she gripped the clutch, opened the door of her car and let her red high heels sink into the gravel. Her nerves were frayed more than they ever had been. The music did not soothe her, maybe the water would.
She walked slowly toward the spring. No longer in its original state, the spring was set in a garden of pink water lilies. Just nearby, the Venus fly traps bloomed vibrantly. Jasmine grew wild in various parts of the perimeter.
A boardwalk had been built so that patrons could enjoy the spring without getting wet, but Genevive knew that many women liked to take their shoes off and walk into the soothing waters. At least Jim’s women did. She had read all about it in his journal, page after agonizing page. She straightened up again and held the purse tight to her bosom. Was she really going to go through with this? She didn’t see any other options, and she’d spent the night lying alone in her bed thinking about this moment, weighing the pros and the cons.
She thought about her girls, and, suddenly, as though some unafraid entity stepped in and took over her body, she slipped her slender feet back into her shoes and pounded up the redbrick path which lead to the double front door.
No one greeted her when she entered. No maitre d’ came toward her with a menu. In fact, if it weren’t for the decor, she would have thought the place was abandoned.
The walls were a burnt orange stucco surface, and the linen and trim were a pale sage. A large mirror, framed with ornate wrought iron, held eight votive candles. Candles were everywhere. More than 80 percent of the lighting came from candles. The tables were lovely, with pale sage linen and shiny silverware. Set for two, each one was partitioned off to ensure some semblance of privacy. She took her shoes off so as not to make any noise while she wandered around, looking at the faces at each table. Some she recognized, but she moved along fast before any had the chance to recognize her. When she finally found Jim and his date, she was quiet no longer.
“How could you?!” she yelled.
Her voice was so full of anger, hurt and resentment that it frightened the other men. A sound resembling a stampede echoed throughout the restaurant, but Genevive held her attention on Jim. Tears she had been holding in for such a long time rolled down her cheeks. She couldn’t think about her own feelings though. In spite of lingering love for him, she opened her purse and reached inside.
“No!” cried Jim. “Genevive! My God, I love you!”
“Oh shut up!” she screamed. “You’re so full of it! I am so sick and tired of this charade you call marriage. I want out in the worst way, so just shut up and sign before I show up here with a Glock in my purse.”
As she pulled out the divorce agreement she typed up in her office the week before, another paper fell out onto the floor. The smiling face of a familiar blonde stared up at her. The headline read, “Black Widow Mistress Spotted in Local Restaurant.”
While Genevive was busy with the photo and Jim wiping the sweat from his brow, his date had slipped her hand into a burgundy tote with thick straps, pulling out a different kind of divorce agreement; a more permanent one at that.
“No!” Genevive screamed, grabbing the gun by the barrel and thrusting it upward. It went off, but merely grazed the other woman’s forehead. Looking her husband in the eye, she just had to ask, “Are you really that stupid that you hooked up with a serial killer?”
No sooner than she had finished asking, she was walking out the door, leaving him with the black widow, the divorce papers and a few minutes to figure out what he was going to tell the police.
The next morning after eating break- fast with the girls, Genevive and Senovia sat in the breakfast nook, drinking coffee and reading the newspaper, Senovia handed Genevive the local section of the paper. The headline read: “Local Man Saved by His Beautiful Wife.” THE END