Opening the wardrobe, he cleared the assortment of clothes from the bottom, reaching to the back of the wardrobe, his fingers deftly found the switch he had installed, and the false bottom slowly opened. Quickly, he pulled out the briefcase that nestled there, and left an identical one in it’s place. Pressing down on the bottom secured it again, the clothes were replaced and he reached for his suit, still in plastic wrappings from the dry cleaners, just as his wife popped her head around the door. He wouldn’t need the suit, but it added legitimiacy to his alibi.

He draped the suit over his small case, and looked up at his wife, the face of his son peeking through her legs. Pulling Caden up through her legs he swung him onto his shoulders as he leaned in to kiss his wife, his rather full beard scraping at her soft cheek.

“Leaving already?” she looked at him accusingly, a pit of guilt filled his stomach, but what else could he do?

“I’ll make it up to you when I get back, but, I… I just can’t get out of this.” He knew she knew he was lying, but the truth would be so much worse, so he continued his lie. It was only a few weekends a year, after all, although recently the need to get away had come more often, especially as his eldest, Christine, was growing into a woman so fast.

The baby began crying for his feed and, as his wife hurried down the stairs, Caden in tow, he took the opportunity to check the contents of the briefcase. Everything was present and correct, he ran his hand over the familiar textures and felt his features relax. Throwing some magazines on top of his precious cargo, he snapped the case shut, grabbed his luggage, and followed his wife downstairs.

Ruffling his daughter’s curly hair, he gazed at her longingly, the curves just beginning to show under her still childish clothes. He saw so much of himself in her, it tugged at something deep inside. Her features were so much more similar to his own than his wife’s, features he hid under his beard as he feared to look into the mirror without it. He dreaded the day she would be showing off that figure, he wasn’t sure he would be able to live with it, or himself for much longer.

The goodbyes, and accusing looks of his wife over, he settled behind the wheel and began the long drive to the hotel, he was more than ready to meet her again, become acquainted all over again.

***********

Looking in the mirror, he caught a glimpse of her, staggeringly high black heels, those firm legs encased in fishnet tights, the simple leather mini. His eyes travelled upwards and he sighed, truly he wished he could build up the courage to complete the outfit, as he tucked his old black t-shirt into the skirt, ran his hands over his beard and ruffled his curly hair. The heels felt good though, the familiarity of the fishnet and leather against his legs, he felt like himself. He smiled, the weight of the lies lifting, and made his through to reception, passed the two girls making eyes at each other, the lady in the fabulous costume, and the ordinary looking girl with the huge smile on her face, waving as went by, they all waved back, unphased and unconcerned by his appearance. He was greeting friends, old, new and yet to meet, the weekend had started; she was home.

Advertisements