Chapter no 51

The Housemaid's Secret (The Housemaid, Book 2)

Step 4: Realize You and Your Husband are Completely Wrong For Each Other

One Year Earlier

Douglas steps into the dining room of our Long Island home and stops short when he sees the two place settings.

“Where’s the rest of our dinner?” he asks. “In the kitchen?”

“No.” I am already seated at the table, a napkin on my lap. “This is our dinner. Blanca made us a salad.”

Douglas eyes the bowl of greens like he has been served a bowl of poison. “That’s it? That’s the whole dinner?”

I sigh. I remember noticing Douglas’s double chin the first time I met him; I vowed that night to get him in shape so that it would disappear. But if anything, he’s even more out of shape than he was that night. Honestly, it’s like he doesn’t even care.

“It’s lettuce and tomato and cucumber and shredded carrots,” I point out. “Eating salad every day is what keeps me from ballooning up. You should try it.”

“Wendy, you’re a stick figure,” he points out. “You’re terrified at the idea of eating anything that isn’t a lettuce leaf or a celery stick.”

I stiffen. “I’m just staying healthy.”

“I’m worried about you.” He frowns as he sits down in front of the offending salad. “You never eat anything. And you passed out after your run yesterday.”

“I didn’t pass out!”

“You did! You looked so pale and then you sat down on the couch and I couldn’t wake you up. I was about to call for an ambulance.”

“I was tired. I had just had a long run.” I brighten. “Why don’t you go with me on my run tomorrow?”

“Jesus, I don’t think I could keep up with you.”

I cock my head. “Hmm. So which of us is unhealthy then?”

Douglas scratches his dark hair. “Also, maybe being so skinny is what’s keeping you from getting pregnant. I read that it’s not good for fertility.”

“Oh God,” I groan. “It always has to come back to that, doesn’t it? We can’t have one conversation anymore where you don’t blame me for not getting pregnant yet?”

Douglas opens his mouth to say something but then seems to change his mind. “Sorry, you’re right.”

He drops his eyes down to the salad in front of him. He crinkles his nose. “Is there dressing on it?”

“It’s a fat-free vinaigrette.” “I can’t see it.”

“It’s colorless.”

He digs his fork into the crunchy lettuce and spears a few pieces. He shoves it into his mouth and chews. “Are you sure there’s dressing on this? Because it feels like I’m eating the grass outside our house.”

“I told Blanca just a splash. It’s fat-free, but not calorie-free.”

Douglas continues chewing. His Adam’s apple bobs as he swallows the mouthful of salad. After he’s done, he scrapes his chair back on the floor and rises to his feet.

“Where are you going?” I ask him. “KFC.”

“What?” I rise to my feet. “Come on, Douglas. You can do this. We’ll do it together.”

“Why don’t you come with me?” he says. “You’re joking.”

“We sometimes used to eat fast food while we were dating,” he reminds me. It’s true, although I’ve tried to forget those awful memories. “Come on. We’ll do the drive-through. It’ll be fun. I heard they have a sandwich where the bun is made out of fried chicken. Don’t you want to try that? Or at least, see what it looks like?”

My fast-food days were supposed to have ended when I married a tech millionaire. I shake my head.

Douglas gives me a sad look, but he doesn’t stop. He leaves the house, gets in his car, and drives off, presumably to get a sandwich with a bun made out of fried chicken.

It’s at that moment I know that I can no longer be faithful to my husband, because I no longer respect him.

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