Roz opened the door to her home and, with a sigh, walked inside. She kicked off her shoes and leaned against the wall.
‘Babe, is that you?’ called Jerome.
‘How was your day?’ he asked. He was standing at the opposite end of the hallway. ‘Oh…’ his voice trailed off as he took her in. ‘Don’t answer. Just come and get a drink.’
‘I’ll be right there,’ Roz said gratefully. Her eyes burned from unshed tears. All day she’d kept them from spilling, chewing the inside of her cheek from the stress.
She walked to her bedroom and peeled off her clothes. Standing in the shower, she let the steaming hot water cascade over her hair and body. Only after her skin felt raw, and redness sprouted over her breasts and legs did she turn off the taps. She reached for her towel and wrapped herself in it.
Jerome was waiting on their bed, with a huge glass of red wine. ‘What’s wrong?’
‘I heard a rumour today,’ she responded, taking a sip from her glass. She busied herself with finding fresh pyjamas and towel drying her hair. She didn’t want to say it out loud.
‘Yes?’ he prompted.
She sighed. Paused. ‘Can we talk about it later?’
‘Of course,’ Jerome responded. ‘Come and have dinner. It’s ready, just have to serve it.’ He was staring at her, she could feel it.
Roz avoided meeting his gaze. Her gut swirled, anxiety tossing like a ship on a stormy ocean. She felt bad for him. She really should tell him what she’d heard. She come this far. It wasn’t fair. She took her place at the dining table as Jerome served their dinner. He’d lit a candle. Somehow he must’ve known she’d had a bad day.
‘How’d you know?’ she asked, nodding in the direction of the candle.
‘That I’d had a bad day.’
‘Oh I didn’t. I’d just heard a traffic report, saying to avoid High St. Thought you might have trouble getting home.’
‘Yeah, I heard that too,’ she murmured. ‘That’s not it.’
‘Go on,’ he said, placing her plate in front of her. He sat beside her, sipped his own glass.
‘Merryl and the Brent, the CEO, have been having an affair. At least that’s what we’ve heard. Apparently, they’ll be sacked tomorrow.’
‘God, is that all. I thought you were going to tell me you’d lost your job,’ Jerome responded.