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Starting Over
Chapter 3
Hal gets his just dessert

by Eleanor Tylbor

What's for dessert?" he hollered from the den, "and bring it in to me. And this time watch how many spoons of sugar you put in the coffee. Better yet - add some of that sweetener crap you use. I gotta watch my weight - no thanks to you."

Sheila picked up the cake knife and stared at for a while, a feeling of rage building inside, but cut two slices of cake instead. One large one for Hal and a sliver for her.

She carried them into the den pausing at the door entrance to pose seductively in the negligee she had bought for their special occasion, allowing it to fall open.

"Do you want…cream with your coffee?" she asked, the tone of her voice inviting and alluring.

"You kidding? I just told you I'm watching my diet," he answered, his eyes never leaving the TV screen.

"Are you sure you don't want some…cream, just for tonight?" she asked, shifting her weight from one foot to the other, in an attempt to attract his attention.

"You deaf? I just this minute told you I'm trying to lose some pounds!" he answered, his voice was taking on a definite edge. "I swear. Sometimes I think you're deaf!"

Swinging her hips and moving provocatively in his direction, Amy didn't notice the empty dinner plate on the floor near his armchair, until she was almost on top of it. As foot met plate she skidded forward, hurtling the cake straight ahead where it landed on Hal's massive knees. Staring down at his lap he looked at the remnants of the cake and then at Amy.

"No milk in my coffee?" Hal said unemotionally.

Sprawled on the floor, her negligee ripped down the side, she felt she was on the verge of hysteria. A cry of agony born out of frustration was slowly forming in her throat.

"Do you know what just happened?" Amy screamed, slowly regaining her composure and standing up. "Are you blind or so indifferent to my presence that nothing about me affects you anymore?"

"Shoot! They're losing!" Hal said choking up, his voice on the verge of tears. "Our team is losing, Sheila! What are we gonna do?"

"That's really too bad," she commented, pulling herself to a standing position in front of him. "This will mean something to you, being a hockey fan and all. My version of icing."

She grabbed a handful of cake in each hand and smeared the chocolate topping across her husband's face.

"And this is a loose puck," she stated sarcastically, picking up the plate and hurling it at the television screen. "See? I learned that from you! At least you contributed something positive to our marriage!" Amy said calmly, turning on her heels and leaving the room. When she returned, she was fully dressed with a suitcase in her hand.

"I'm leaving you, Hal," she announced matter-of-factly. "Don't come looking or trying to find me."

Opening the door she hesitated for an instant, hoping for some type of emotional response or sign that would stop her exit, but it never came.

"Don't be home late," he responded dispassionately, staring at the smoking TV.

"By the way Hal - happy birthday," she said, closing the door behind her.

Walking down the hall towards the elevator she put her hand in her pocket and took out the business card Mike had handed her earlier in the week.

'Michael Pickering, divorce lawyer.' What was it that Estelle always said? A woman marries hoping he will change but he doesn't, and a man marries hoping she won't change and she does. Time for new beginnings. She flagged down a taxi and never looked back.

"173 Center Street," she told the driver.

One thing for sure - sharing the same space with Estelle would be interesting.

To be continued...
Go to Chapter 4.
Previous Chapters: Chapter 1 | Chapter 2
Drop by "Starting Over" - a continuing chapter-fiction story focusing on the trials and tribulations of Sheila, once married to a loser, who attempts to re-start her life.

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