By Vita Forest
Stella wants to scream. She just cannot believe it. Yet it is absolutely no surprise. It could have been predicted. Anyone else could have predicted it. But she was in love. She would always give him the benefit of the doubt.
She felt ashamed. And blindingly angry. Enraged. Absolutely. Brimming. With. RAGE.
She stalks up and down the room. This used to be her sanctuary. This used to be her home. She had made it their home. She had put her work aside, her ambition, to make this their home. Doing all the mundane things that needed to be done so he could concentrate. What a fool she had been!
She had let her in. Stella had let her in. Stella grabs a cushion from the sofa and screams into it, pressing her face into it, smothering herself.
But not enough. She feels a small hand on her leg.
Stella breathes into the cushion one more time, then puts on her happy face.
Must not frighten the children. Must calm down.
She picks up the small soft creature and hugs him to her.
“Can I have a drink?”
She dances him over to the fridge and pulls out the bottle of milk. She swings over to the shelf and finds his favourite blue cup with the kitten on it. She pours him some milk. He kicks her gently and slides down to the floor, reaching up for the milk and trotting away with it. She leans on the counter and remembers.
“I need to focus, can you take the children out?”
“I have to go to this silly show, publicity you know. You don’t need to come. It will be late.”
What a fool she was. What an idiot! She had enabled him to pursue this new, shiny thing. This unattached, adoring person who was never tired, never drab, never anything but alluring.
And he had gone out again now. Right after he had told her. He would give her some space, he said. She rushes to the sofa and beats and beats and beats it. And now it was the witching hour. Bath time, dinner time. Time for tears. But not hers.
Stella grabs her phone and rings him.
“Come home, I need to go out.”
She hangs up.
Marlena… no Sophie. No they would be busy too. No, she needs to be alone. She needs to think. He better get here soon, he at least ought to show her that courtesy. What was he doing? Untangling himself from her grip? Toasting his bravery?
Stella wants to scream, but instead she marches to the bedroom. Under the bed, her pencils, her sketchbook. She pulls them out. She will draw it all out like she used to. She will exorcise all these emotions through her fingers. She will drive away and find a table somewhere, anywhere and draw.
Stella wants to scream but instead she will scribble. Instead she will do something she had given up. Something there was no time for anymore.