He barely glanced at her as he sipped his coffee and read the New York Times. She had gotten up early to fix a nice breakfast and to put on a bright sundress, with makeup skillfully applied. She was even wearing eyeshadow and a new shade of fire engine red lipstick. She fought back tears. What had happened to their marriage? They used to talk over breakfast,
enjoy their few minutes together before he headed off to work, discuss plans for dinner, kiss each other goodbye. with fervor, at the door. They seldom spoke at all anymore.
Once Jared left for college, it was as though their life had ended. Paul stayed later and later
at the office. He never called to say he wouldn't be home for dinner. The lovely meals she planned would sit, artfully displayed on the dining room table in a congealed mess, until she finally gave up and put the food away. Then, when he did come home, he would berate her for not having dinner ready.
Alissa stayed trim and fit, using her days to exercise, jog, enrich her mind. She could discuss current events, politics, world affairs. She was well read and the consummate hostess. Paul no longer wanted her to entertain and they gradually withdrew from their circle of friends. Alissa felt as though she was losing her mind.
She tried to reach out to him this morning. He lowered his newspaper and looked at her scornfully, "I'm leaving now. I have to get to work.....and, really, that lipstick makes you look like a whore!"
She waited until his Mercedes pulled out of the garage, then she went down to the basement and took out her suitcases. Once they were packed and put into the car, she returned to their glittering bathroom with its floor to ceiling mirror. She took out her new tube of lipstick and wrote firmly in fire engine red on the mirror - "I'm gone!"