Her Married Life. Short Story.

Tara leaned over and picked up the pair of underwear, they were red, lacy and were under the bed. She frowned, she didn’t own a pair like this, did she? She shook her head, she probably just forgot about them, but who knew how long they had been sitting there, or how old they were. She left the bedroom, the red panties clutched tightly in one hand. She went down the stairs and into the kitchen, there she threw them into the bin. They sat on top of yesterdays thrown out dinner, seeming to gloat. She folded over the top of the black plastic bag and lifted it up, the bin needed to be changed out, it was starting to smell. She carried the black bag outside and dumped it all in her wheelie bin. There. Good. It was gone now. She went back into the house and replaced the black bag, then she returned to upstairs, she needed to finish the vacuuming.

When the vacuuming was done she put it away, the next thing to do was the kitchen. She went downstairs and grabbed her cloth and started to scrub at the counters, Tara needed to make sure it was all nice and clean. She liked scrubbing, the repetitive motions always seemed to calm her, she didn’t bother listening to music or the radio while she cleaned, it was far too distracting. When she was done with the counters, she gathered her supplies, it was time for the bimonthly oven cleaning. Not that she minded that of course, she liked it when everything was clean, fresh. It made the house just feel nicer. Like getting into a bed with clean sheets. She paused, speaking of, she would need to clean the sheets. She had been out shopping only the day before, Jack had his day off and wanted to just relax, but she distinctly remembered the bedroom door being left open and Tara knew that Mittens, their cat, just loved to snuggle up in there. It would be better if she washed them.

With everything in the washing machine she turned her attention back to the oven. As always it was spotless in a few minutes. She stood back and admired her work. With that done she moved onto the floors, they needed a good mopping. She filled the bucket with hot, soapy water and got to work.

When she had finally finished with her cleaning for the day it was already three o’clock. The day had flown by without her really noticing, it always did when she cleaned. She wanted to make something special for dinner tonight, it had been a while since she and Jack had any sort of a date night, so that’s what they would do tonight. They would eat some food, have a glass or two of wine and just talk and laugh, like they used to.

Tara closed her eyes and let the hot water run over her face, she knew it would be better to have a shower now and get herself ready. That way she could get a straight run at dinner and have it all done for when Jack got home. When she was done she stepped out of the shower and wrapped herself in a thick, fluffy towel. She dried her hair and went into the bedroom, there she had a quick look through her wardrobe, trying to decide what to wear. Finally she settled on a nice skirt and a blue top. She remembered Jack had told her he really loved her in the colour blue. As she dressed she paused at her underwear drawer, she should wear something sexy, just in case. It had been a while since they made love. A few months now at least. Jack had been so tired and busy with work. She didn’t blame him of course, he was just trying to provide for them both, make sure they had a good life. She picked up a black lacy pair. A sudden flash of red raced across her mind. Tara brushed it aside, it was silly, she didn’t even own any red underwear, but maybe she should pick some up. Red was supposed to be a sexy colour after all, and it would do any harm to branch out a little and try something new, maybe it would be a bit more exciting.

Once she was dressed, Tara went down to the kitchen, there she turned on the radio and started to get things ready. As she cooked the steaks she sang along to the radio and danced around the kitchen. Tonight was going to be good, she could feel it.

Tara grabbed out plates and quickly set the table, there wasn’t much effort involved as the table cloth was already out, it was only a matter of getting the cutlery, napkins and candles situated. She glanced at the time, Jack should be home in about a half an hour or so, though he could be running late, he had been doing some overtime at the office the past few months, Tara secretly hoped he was saving up to take them on a vacation, maybe a cruise. It had been so long since they had done anything nice like that. She didn’t mind him being late, it would be no bother to heat the food. She had left the meat just a little underdone, that was always the longest part, so it wouldn’t over cook when they were reheated. If he came home on time it would just mean a few extra minutes in the pan for the steaks to finish. Tara had a look through the few bottles of wine they had before selecting one that would go well with the dinner, she grabbed two glasses and placed them on the table. She looked it over, everything was ready. All they had to do was light the candles, pour the wine and heat the food. She smiled to herself, it was a job very well done.

Tara’s stomach grumbled but she ignored it. She would wait for Jack, who was obviously running late. She glanced at her watch again, it was nearly seven. Usually the latest he would be home was half seven. She went into the kitchen and grabbed an apple to tide her over. He would be home soon, she knew it.

Half seven came and went, it was just past eight when she heard the car pull into the driveway. Tara opened the door, smiling, Jack smiled back, “Sorry I’m late, I got caught up in the office and I didn’t realise the time.”
“That’s ok, it happens, I’ve dinner almost ready, it will just be a few minutes.”
“Oh perfect, I was considering getting take out at the office, but decided against it, what are we having?”
“Steak”
“I’m glad I waited.”
He hugged her and gave her a brief peck on the lips. Tara caught a whiff of something off his shirt, something sweet, florally, almost like perfume. She shook her head, no doubt it was what ever sprays the cleaners in his office used. “Well, get yourself settled, dinner will be ready in about ten minutes. There’s a bottle of wine already out, help yourself.”
“Thanks hon.”
He walked past her and up the stairs, no doubt he was going to change into something a bit more comfortable than his rumpled suit. She looked down at her dress, he hadn’t seemed to notice, she crossed her arms as she went into the kitchen, maybe it was a bad idea to try and dress up, after all Jack was probably tired from his long day, he would probably just want to eat then go to bed early. It was silly of her to dress up. She turned on the stove, it would just be a few minutes to dinner. Her stomach grumbled again, she was looking forward to it. It didn’t matter what they were wearing, all that mattered was that they were together.

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About Alan James Keogh

I am a 24 year old writer who somehow tricked U.C.D. into giving me not only a degree in English and Classical studies, but an Hons Masters in Creative Writing too. Visit my blog where I post short stories twice a week (Monday and Wednesday) and an installment of a serialised novel on Fridays. I did consider writing this in the third person, as though it was written by someone else, but Alan is not comfortable writing in the third person as it seems kinda creepy and unbalanced so Alan decided it was probably best to write in the first person. He hopes it went well for him.
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