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To say I was dreading the dinner party would be the understatement of the century. If I wasn’t so damn cheap, I’d just not go, but at $450.00 a ticket, I planned to at least get a meal out of my humiliation, while of course giving all the slap-dick wives something to chit chit about during their next tennis match. We’ll call that my gift to society. Gossip fodder. Glad I could at least contribute something.
As I dabbed on makeup and stuffed extra padding into my bra, I made a valiant effort not to think about King Henry, as I liked to call him, since didn’t one of the Henrys kill off his wives or something? Fucking Henrys. They’re all the same. It’s funny, because while I was busy NOT thinking about him, my body was still having a physical reaction to the fact that he would be there tonight. You know, the ol’ pounding heart, cold sweat, and unsteady hand trick. Ridiculous. I have nothing to prove to these people, and as far as Henry goes, I figured it’d be unlikely we even run into each other at all. But if we do, I’d be ready. If we do, I’d be on his mind all night, I was going to make sure of that.
By 7:55 it was dusky and nearly dark in the house, and as I pushed a sparkly earring into my ear, I peered out the lace curtains of my front window. A shiny black Lexus waited there at the curb outside the townhouse, exactly where and when it should be, and yet somehow its presence seemed to solidify my fate and/or pound the proverbial nail in my coffin. My heart dropped into my stomach with no warning. Why didn’t I just give up my ticket? Why didn’t I just not go? It’s a charity dinner, after all. Charity! I could just write this off as a selfless donation and call it a day. But who are we kidding. These things are never selfless. They’re an excuse to show off how much you’re making and who you’re fucking. Of course, I’d be showing off none of those things, so my presence there would be laughable at best. But it seemed like defeat, to not go. I’m not sure which would give them more to talk about, being there and looking happy, composed, and amazing, or not being there and letting Henry win.
I pushed open the heavy front door and stepped out into the night.