Finding Lisa

Carolyn LeVine Topol

 

Chapter 1

Lisa Singleton let herself quietly into the house, leaving her purse and jacket on the table in the entryway. She’d surprise her husband with a kiss and an invitation to spend the rest of the day—her birthday—in bed, getting reacquainted. He could work at home again tomorrow—the new market research reports could wait. Today would bring the fresh kick-start their marriage needed.

Inching her way toward their home office, she heard unexpected sounds from the master bedroom.

Her brow furrowed, Lisa slowly opened the bedroom door. She froze in the doorway, unable to move or speak. It was as if she’d fallen into a porn film. There was her husband, thrusting into some shapely woman whose face was buried in the crook of Robert’s neck. His eyes were closed as he sucked on her neck, moving in and out with a fervor and vivacity Lisa had never experienced.

Lisa’s mouth hung open as she watched her husband’s hands clutching at the slut’s breasts as he moaned, “Oh fuck, you’re so damn hot. I knew it, I always knew it would be like this. You get hotter every time we’re together.”

Gripping the doorframe with one hand and holding her stomach with the other, Lisa felt the bile eating away at her insides. Lisa wanted to run, to scream, but she couldn’t take her eyes from the sick scene playing out in her own bed. With one last thrust, Robert, her husband, climaxed. “Oh God, you’re amazing!” This man, this highly erotic and sexual being, was a virtual stranger Lisa had never seen in their bed.

Watching as the woman whimpered through her own orgasm, the spell was broken. Lisa found her voice. “How could you do this?” she screamed.

Robert’s head snapped up. The movement was so sudden it would have been funny, if this had been a film. “Shit! You weren’t supposed to be home for hours.”

“I didn’t realize you had plans while I was out,” Lisa spat.

“Just get out,” Robert said, coldly dismissive. “I’ll be with you in a minute.”

“I want to see the face of the whore that seems to have more of your attention than I ever did.”

The woman buried her head under the blanket.

“Get out!” Robert bellowed.

“The hell I will.”

And that was when a shiver ran up and down Lisa’s spine. The car she’d casually noted outside…it suddenly registered. “No!”

This couldn’t be happening. She had to be hallucinating. Today at the country club had been so lovely, with friends gathered to celebrate her forty-second birthday, she was grateful for their devotion and loyalty, feelings she returned as best she could. Everything in Lisa’s world was falling into place, and now this. In her excitement to get inside her home, she had barely registered the car parked just one house away; Jessie’s sporty red Mustang convertible.

Robert’s voice brought her back to the stark reality of the present. “Lisa, get out now! Don’t make this any harder than it already is.”

“It’s obviously much harder than I ever saw it. Jessie, I thought you were my friend!” Her voice choked off, silent tears streaming down her face.

“Lisa, please, let me explain.” Flushing, Jessie sat up, clutching the sheet to her chest. Surprised by her own reaction, Lisa fought back a bubble of hysterical laughter and fled to their home office, unsure if she was more upset about Robert’s betrayal, Jessie’s betrayal, or the possibility that it didn’t wound her as much as it should. Lisa balled her fists, unable to take time to explore her convoluted reaction. Running on some kind of instinct, she opened the safe and, with shaking hands, grabbed all the cash and bankbooks.

She ran from the house, grabbing purse, jacket, and car keys as she fled. “Don’t go!” she heard Robert call as she reached her car. “Don’t go, let’s discuss this like adults!”

Adults. Robert and Lisa, the perfect country club couple, two children, a beautiful home…where her cheating husband was better at pleasuring her best friend than he ever had been at making love to his wife. The picture came into painful focus. Robert and Lisa: rich, mature, disconnected, and so incredibly boring that their marriage was more of a habit than a relationship.

Lisa slammed the car door and threw it into drive. She had no idea where she was going. All she knew was that she had to get away, run away, be as far away from her ridiculous charade of a life as she could possibly get.

She made one brief stop at her bank to clear out two of their joint accounts, and then drove on with no clear destination.

As her eyes filled with tears once more, the world beyond the windshield blurred. Lisa swerved into an empty parking lot and huddled over the steering wheel, her hands clenching around the hard plastic as she fought to regain her composure. Releasing the wheel, she pounded her balled fists against her legs, trying to bury the emotional pain in physical hurt, clamping her jaw to hold it all in.

It was useless. The tears poured out, unstoppable, and her neck arched back in a cry somewhere between a shriek and a moan. Everything vanished but the hot, wet pain of a double betrayal, and the anger that accompanied it. Alone and lost, she sat there in her car and hammered the steering wheel until her hands ached.