“Phillip, I wanted to talk. Maybe we could grab a drink before you head home.”
I hear her behind me as I wait for the elevator to open. It takes everything in me not to turn and yell at her. Her mere presence annoys me, and I’m so fucking tired. I’ve caught her a few times trying to flirt with me. At first I thought maybe I was misreading her, but it has become clear that wasn’t the case. Thankfully, the elevator dings and the doors open. I walk in and turn, looking at her.
“I’ve told you repeatedly not to call me Phillip, and I’m not interested. Nor is it appropriate to get a drink with you. I told you to leave at five o’clock, so I’ll assume your timesheet will reflect that instead of the late hour. This is unprofessional, and I’ll be speaking to Mr. Arrow about this.” Reaching out, I press the button for the first floor and watch her face turn panicky as the doors shut. I don’t have time to try to figure out what that means. I’m beyond ready to get home to my Molly and see her beautiful face.
I end up hailing a cab home, not wanting to use a driver or take the train this late. On the cab ride home, I talk to Ryan and explain to him that Cary is a problem. He assures me that he will speak to her first thing and that she won’t be there after that. It’s the part of the job I hate the most, but it’s a necessary evil. Someone like Cary is looking to bed a rich man, and I didn’t spend years building my company so a piece of ass could drag the new leader of our company through the mud. There are plenty of willing men, and I’m not saying Ryan is a saint, but work isn’t where this needs to go down.
When the cab pulls up outside our building, I throw some money at the cabbie and climb out. My heart is racing already and I try to calm it. If it was up to me, I’d go barreling into the condo and sweep Molly up in an embrace, leading us to fuck like rabbits on the kitchen counter. I’d spend all night talking to her and telling her how much I love her.
But I can’t do that.
She’s probably already in bed, trying to get her rest from when I wake her in the night. Sometimes my need for her is so strong it overpowers my good sense and I wake her up, taking her when she’s still half asleep. I feel ashamed of myself that I can’t control my love for her, and I’m trying to do better. Last night I just sat in the chair by the bed and watched her sleep. I knew if I got into bed, I would want more, and she needs her rest. I don’t want her to think it’s all about sex.
I keep telling myself that when I quit and we have more time together, that this insatiable need for her will pass. We’ve been married for a year now, and I’m scared because it’s only gotten worse. The longer we’re together, the deeper my feelings get. But I’ve got a plan to stop working and start our marriage in a new way. It may be hard for her to spend so much time with me, but I’m hoping we can do things she likes together so she won’t feel like I’m a burden.
When I walk into our penthouse, I place my house keys and phone on the table by the door and feel myself frown. The picture I gave her for her birthday still hasn’t been hung. I’d taken a picture of the first place I’d ever kissed her and framed it. It was in the library at her father's house, a room I knew she loved. I didn’t explain the reason I took it because she seemed so disappointed when she saw it. I just stumbled over telling her it was because I knew she loved all the books. I thought that maybe giving her something that was hers to place in our home would spur her to put her own things around the house. Touches of her. I’d even told her where I thought the picture would look nice—where we walk into our home every day. She’d given me a tight smile, and the picture remains in a box in the corner of the room.
I told her she could do whatever she wanted to our space here, but she seemed uninterested in that idea. We’d talked about getting a place of our own, and that had excited her. She told me details about what she wanted, and so I hired an architect, relayed what she wanted and had him draw it up for me. I wanted to have a place built as the fairy tale she described, and then I’d surprise her with it.
That’s what this coming weekend has been about. Planning everything down to the last detail, all while wrapping up work. For good.
When I walk past the kitchen counter, I notice something there, but I keep on going. I’m too anxious to see Molly to stop and check out something I saw out of the corner of my eye.
Walking into the bedroom, I can tell something is off. I don’t feel her in the room. I flip on the overhead light in a slight panic, and when I see the bed is pristine, a nervousness falls over me.
“Molly?” I call, thinking maybe she’s in the bathroom. But as I start to search the house, I see that every room is silent and empty of her energy.
“Molly!” This time I shout down the hall, letting my panic set in. It’s time for her to stop playing games.
I hurry to the front of the condo, grab my phone, and go to the kitchen. I check my messages but don’t see one from her, so I send one, checking in. She must have forgotten to tell me she was out doing something tonight. Maybe I can meet up with her. I miss her so much already, and I don’t like the idea of her being out so late without me. I should have been here to go with her. I shake my head at myself.
I wait for just a moment, and my eyes slide over to what caught my eye when I first entered. It’s a small piece of paper, and I reach out and slide it toward me.
I feel as if someone has punched me in the gut. I look over to see her wedding rings on the granite next to it, and I fall to my knees. My heart is beating in my ears, and I can’t process what’s happening. It’s like I’m in a tunnel, but I’m falling. My breath comes out fast, and I see black spots in my vision. Just before the blackness takes over, the words flash again in front of me.