Isabel ran around her small apartment making sure that everything was neat and clean. She’d strategically placed twenty candles throughout the confined space. Realizing that she only had twenty minutes before Jacob’s arrival, Isabel ran to the bathroom for a quick shower. She’d bathed, lotioned, and dressed in record time. As she waited for the doorbell to ring, Isabel admired her reflection in the full length mirror. The sheer negligee hugged her curves and the six-inch stilettos were the perfect finish to her outfit. With only three minutes before Jacob’s scheduled arrival, Isabel went around the apartment lighting each candle. The doorbell rang just as she flicked the lighter that set fire to final wick. She posed herself in front of the door and swung it open with a seductive grin on her face.
“Not exactly who you were expecting, huh?” Asked the stranger standing in Isabel’s doorway.
The unexpected visitor was a five feet six-inch tall, slim woman with a gorgeous face, and a head full of beautiful, bouncy curls. Isabel didn’t know who she was and had no desire to find out why she was standing in her doorway. Frustrated, she tried to close the door, but the woman placed her foot just inside the apartment before Isabel could shut her out.
“Isabel, your phone is about to ring and it’ll be my husband telling you that he’s running late. But since I’m here now, may I please come in for a moment and speak with you?”
“How do you know my name and what do you mean your husband? I don’t know your husband, crazy lady!”
“You’re dressed like that for someone and unless I’m mistaken, it’s my husband, Jacob Bailey.” The woman could see a wave of shock was over Isabel’s face. “Isabel, let’s not do this in the hallway. I’m sure you don’t want all of your neighbors knowing your business. May I please come in?”
Isabel stepped to the side and allowed the woman to enter. “Have a seat,” she offered as she stepped away and wrapped herself in a bath robe. Isabel returned to the living room and took a seat on the opposite end of the couch. “What do you want, lady?”
“Ava, my name is Ava and I want you to stop seeing my husband. I don’t know what your motivation is for dating a married man or where you think this fling of yours is going, but he’s not leaving me. He’s not leaving our family.”
“Look, I don’t know how you found out that he was coming here, but if your little family was so intact, you wouldn’t be begging me to leave Jacob alone and he certainly wouldn’t be chasing me like a dog in heat. Maybe if you had been the wife you should’ve been, none of this would be happening. But Jacob is a great catch and this is my chance to grab a bit of paradise.”
Ava stood to her feet and with fire in her eyes she looked down on Isabel. “You sad little girl. Don’t you know that paradise is a lie? You think that this man is going to leave me, leave our children for a young girl that is barely getting by. You’re struggling financially, living like a pauper, and naïve enough to think that another woman’s husband is going to be your saving grace. Get a grip! You’re nothing more than a new piece of ass to him. We’ve been together for fifteen years, we are emotionally and financially tied to one another. My name is on every account, I know about every dime that he spends. So while you’re looking for your magical paradise, I’m living the reality of raising kids with Jacob. Helping him climb the corporate ladder, caring for him when he’s sick. I’m the one he shares his hopes and dreams with and I assure you that you’re nothing more than a jump off. If that’s what you want for yourself, if that’s the best that you can do, then you go on and sleep with him. But don’t say I didn’t warn you when you wake up alone and still broke in the morning.”
Isabel dropped her head and covered her face with her hands. She felt incredibly stupid and embarrassed. She didn’t want Ava to see the tears that filled her eyes. Through muffled hands she confessed, “He told me you all were separated. He said that you had left with the kids and he didn’t think you were coming back.” As Isabel began to wipe her tears, the phone rang. “Hello.”
“Babe, sorry I’m running late, but I’m only two minutes away,” Jacob advised.
Isabel hung up the phone and grabbed a napkin to try and clean her face. “Jacob is on his way up and he’ll prove one of us wrong. He’ll either leave with you or stay and give me paradise.”
It was only a minute before there was a knock. Isabel threw off her robe and opened the door. “Jacob, I’m so glad to see you. Please come and in tell her that you don’t want her anymore.”
Jacob stepped into the apartment, saw his wife and immediately wanted to run for the hills. “Ava, what are you doing here?”
“Giving you the opportunity to save your marriage or stay here and lose everything.”
Without hesitation, Jacob looked at Isabel and apologized. “I never should’ve led you on, but I cannot walk away from my family. My wife and kids are everything to me and this is a mistake that I’ll never make again.” Isabel was devastated.
The couple was almost out the door when Ava turned to face Isabel. “Remember what I told you, paradise is a lie. This is real life and I hope that you’ll learn to love yourself enough to not accept the false promises of another woman’s husband.
Stacey Covington-Lee, Author
Visit www.staceycovingtonlee.com for excerpts and purchase links to Stacey’s full length novels.