Prompt 222-Cheated

Have you ever been cheated on?

The doorbell rang in three quick successions. Only one person abused Shay’s bell like that, her airy voice calling after the ringing. “Hello! Shay! It’s Lise!” She moved something heavy on porch and made a triumphant “aha” as she revealed the spare key’s hiding place.

Shay sighed. Her sister would stop at nothing to get into her house. Certainly not after the voicemail Shay had left her. “It’s open!” she hollered from her couch.

The handle turned and Shay heard Lise giggle. “So it is.” She kicked off her shoes in the entryway and scolded her sister for leaving it unlocked even in the daytime.

“Pointless words coming from the idiot who didn’t put the cat statue back after exposing my spare key cache to the whole neighborhood.” She always teased her younger sister for being a bit ditzy but her words had more bite in them than she usually used. It wasn’t her intention and it wasn’t Lise she was angry with.

“Well maybe if you had more décor than that hideous gargoyle, it would be hidden better.” Lise grinned to lessen the sting of her barb. She ducked back out and returned the guardian to its original position. “There, now that’s settled, how about something to drink?”

Shay waved her towards the kitchen. “There’s lemonade in the fridge. The Keurig should still have some kcups next to it, though I don’t know if you like that dark stuff I drink. If you want harder stuff, you know where it is.”

“You made lemonade?”

Shay shrugged. “The weather has finally started to feel warm. I was feeling a summer drink.” She’d had to do something with all those lemons Jason had left in her fridge.

“That does sound good,” Lise said. She rummaged in the cupboard for a glass and got out two.  She filled both with ice. Before getting the pitcher out of the fridge though, she went hunting in the liquor cabinet. She poured a generous shot of Jack Daniels into each glass. Shay cringed involuntarily. Those were going to be stronger than she liked.

Lise brought the spiked lemonades back into the living room and set them on the knitted coasters on the coffee table. Each one looked like a different cat from behind, complete with a dark center. Lise had given those to Shay two birthdays ago because she thought they were the most comical things she had ever seen. She had teased Shay back then that she was destined to become a Crazy Cat Lady one day. Maybe she was right.

“So,” Lise said, taking a long sip from her whiskey lemonade and staring at Shay over the edge of the glass. She let that word hang in the air between them for a long moment, deferring to her older sister. When Shay refused to rise to it, her demeanor shifted. Her cheery, nonchalant attitude became reserved, serious. “You wanna tell me about that voicemail?”

“Not really,” Shay said, taking a sip of her own drink to punctuate her point and doing her best not to choke. It really did burn going down.

Lise was not having it though. “Why are you moving to Charlotte?”

That was not the part of the voicemail Shay expected her to harp on first, though it was probably just as shocking. It was 800 miles away. “They’re looking for a new manager in the Charlotte office. I’m the top candidate.”

“And it has nothing to do with Jason moving out?”

Shay barely tightened her grip on her glass. That hadn’t hurt as much as she thought it would. “No.”

Lise leaned back in the recliner and sighed. “Ok, what’s really going on? You didn’t want a transfer two weeks ago and now Jason is suddenly out of the picture? What gives?”

“It’s a good opportunity, the pay is good, and the city is really nice,” Shay recited like a mantra. “It will be a good change of pace for me.”

“Did Jason not want you to take it? Is that why he left?”

Shay shook her head. “He didn’t know. And he didn’t just up and leave. I kicked him out.” Lise blinked back in surprise. A grim smile tugged at Shay’s lips. She must have worn a similar expression when she’d seen Jason leaving that other woman’s house. “Don’t worry, I didn’t just throw him out in the cold. He had somewhere else to stay.”

Realization dawned on her younger sister’s face. “Shay, I’m so sorry.”

“It was such a stupid thing, you know?” She laughed at her own expense. “I never drive home that way, but there was a bad accident on my usual route and I was just trying to get around traffic. I didn’t even believe it was his car on the side of the street at first, but then I saw him on the porch.”

“No way it was just a misunderstanding?” Lise’s tone was pitying, not hopeful. She knew Shay wouldn’t have issued judgment on a possible misunderstanding.

“They were pretty well entangled in each other’s arms,” she said, barely refraining from spitting the words. “No, I confronted him about it when he got home. To his credit, he didn’t try to deny it. He even apologized as he was leaving.” She sniffed back a sob. “Insufferable bastard.”

Lise joined Shay on the couch and wrapped her arms around her. They sat in silence for a while as Lise comforted her older sister in her heartbreak. When Shay had cried herself out, they finished their drinks and toasted each other. Lise poured a second round while Shay made popcorn and picked out a cheesy action movie to make fun of.

“So, you serious about Charlotte?” Lise asked about halfway through the film.

Shay nodded. “I think it’s meant to be.”

“Well, I guess it’ll be nice down there. So, when do we leave?”

“We?”

Lise’s mischievous grin returned. “What? You didn’t think I was gonna let my big sister move halfway across the country all alone, did you?”

Notes: I don’t really know how to wrap this up so I’m just going to end it there. Man it feels good to be feeling good again. And writing! Honestly the worst part about being sick was how little mental energy I had to write. Had my first 0 days of the year, but that’s ok! I’m still ahead of pace for my 200k goal! And sometimes it’s important to take a day off. It just means I get to start my streak anew.

I don’t really have a lot to add to this one tonight. Relationships are work. People screw up. You have to know the boundaries and communicate with your partner(s) so that you’re all on the same page. Getting cheated on sucks, it’s a betrayal of trust and those boundaries, but sometimes the relationship can survive. It all depends on the people involved, the severity of the betrayal, and their willingness to work through it. But just because it can survive, doesn’t mean it should, and that’s something you have to figure out too.

That’s enough rambling for one night. Time for me to get to bed. DST is kicking my butt because it’s still dark when I wake up now. But I do enjoy the later light. Win some, lose some. Have a great night, folks! See you tomorrow!

PS-Like these prompts? Like the short stories I write based on these prompts? Want to show your support? Give the blog a follow! Leave a comment! Buy me a coffee! I put a lot of time and effort into these posts and your support means the world to me! Ok, now go out there and write!

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