The Turn Around

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Thrillers  |  House: Booksie Classic

Veronica always had a feeling that something wasn’t right and tonight was the night that that become abundantly clear.

She had seen the signs from a mile away. Late nights at “work”, the random text messages she’d see pop up on the phone, and the silence between him and her during the few times they were together. This had gone on for three months and each passing day got her closer and closer to the truth, he was sleeping with someone else.
Even though she had a feeling that he was doing so, she never got hard evidence to back up her inclination. That was until she got home from her friend Rebecca’s tonight. He had called her and said that he had to stay late yet another night at work, Veronica took that for what it was worth and decided she needed to get out of the house for a change. She hadn’t seen Rebecca in a while and figured that she needed some time with her best friend. 
It was about 10 pm when she got back home from Rebecca’s. Stomach full of wine and ice cream. She probably shouldn’t have been driving but fuck it, she needed it tonight. She slowly made her way up the driveway leading to her front door. His maroon Ford pickup was there yes, she expected that, but what she didn’t expect was was to see a blue Subaru parked beside it. “This is it”, she thought. Everything in the last three months was converging tonight.
She pulled up behind the Subaru that belonged to whatever the bitch’s name that was in her house and possibly in her bed where she spent many a nights laying next to him, and parked. Her headlights were still on when she nearly sprinted towards the front door. She turned the knob and the door stayed shut. “Of course it’s locked”, she thought out loud, “of fucking course”. She picked the house key from her keychain and inserted it into the lock, turning it with a force she had never done so before. She swung the door open and the house was nearly pitch black, the only light that she could see that was on was the lamp that her mother had given them before she had passed away, the small one with the mustard yellow lampshade. It was ugly as a bitch but it was one of the last things that her mother had owned towards the tail end of her life, after the Alzheimer's kicked in. Despite its ugliness, Suzan still kept it around because it was one of the few things that she had to remember her mother by.
She ran up the stairs like a bull in a china shop and quickly turned the corner to get to their bedroom at the end of the hall. She was moving so quick that she nearly knocked over the table with her mother’s lamp over, but stopped herself just sort of the table. She paused there for a moment, taking a look at the pictures framed on the wall. Photos of them during their trips to Florida, New York, even that one summer that she wanted to go to Alaska. She saw the photo of them posing at one of the many glaciers they saw on their cruise. Two people cheesing their asses off and enjoying the moment. Those were different times and different people, almost as if what existed in those photos were some distant reality that time had forgotten. Instead of the the sound of ocean waters pounding along the side of a large cruise ship, she now heard the pounding of the headboard of him fucking another woman inside her house. 
Veronica stopped at the door. She couldn’t fathom what she was about to see and what she was about to witness. Twenty years of marriage about to be thrown away. A lifetime with a person gone in sixty seconds. She took a long and drawn out breath, reached out her hand and wrapped her hand around the doorknob. She turned the knob and pushed the door open. The moments between the door opening and her seeing her husband in bed with another woman seemed to last a lifetime. Time had slowed down and became her enemy, forcing her to take it all in. No turning back now...


She had been driving for about an hour now. It was nearly midnight on a Tuesday so the roads were as busy as a church on a Friday. You would think that the mix of anger, sadness, and the little twinge of jealousy that she didn’t want to admit to herself was causing her to drive like a bat out of hell. On the contrary. She was going an even 65, slowly making her way to nowhere. Even though she was still pissed as all get out, the drive had given her time to cool down and come to grips with what she had seen. They were both naked, that is true. They were holding each other tight like lovers do in the heat of passion, both giving it their all. Simply put, he was loving her like he used to love Veronica. 
Maybe that’s where the jealousy was coming from. Maybe she was just wanting to be in that other woman's position. To be so madly in love that you risk everything just to be with the other person, despite the consequences. It would have been like being 17 again when she first met him. Her parents hated his guts, but something about him just drew her to him and they would spend all night driving around the little shit town they had grown up in talking about nothing in particular. Just being two kids who happened to be in love being together. 
She came to the conclusion that the reason she was upset, the real root of it all, was the fact that he hadn’t talked to her about what was going on. She acknowledged that it’s a pretty odd start to a conversation. “Hey honey, wanna know the reason why I haven’t looked at you when you’re naked for the last three months? Funny thing is, I’m actually seeing some other girls tits and I can’t bear to look at yours without getting sick to my stomach with guilt”, awkward and hurtful yes, but she would have been willing to try and save what they had. They had both put in too much work to just throw it all away now, but she couldn't foresee how they could turn around this fucked up situation. 
That was when she felt her phone vibrate. She had so much going through her mind that she had forgotten that she even had one. She reached into her jeans pocket and pulled out it out. The iphone’s display simply read “Robert” and gave her the option to accept or decline. Her thumb instinctively hovered over the green accept button, but she stopped herself from pressing it. She really didn’t want to talk to him right now. 
She tapped the red decline button and the call went to voicemail. She threw the phone in the cup holder of her Honda and kept driving. A few minutes passed and she noticed her phone screen again, this time it was a notification for the voicemail he had left her. Did she want to listen to what he had to say? A part of her didn’t want to give the piece of shit the time of day, a part of her wanted to keep driving until she reached fucking Canada, if she kept driving at this pace she’d make it to the border in about two hours. A part of her wanted to leave it all behind, cut the cord immediately and start over. 
But another part of her wanted to hear him out. To hear him explain himself. To hear him try to take back everything and see the guilty look on his face, almost like a dog who had gotten into the trash and knew that it was in big trouble. She got the feeling that now the power had shifted to her side. She controlled whether or not to punish the dog or not. Something about that feeling made her feel good, something inside her started to grow and the more and more she thought about it and allowed it to grow, the closer her hand got to her phone. The next thing she knew she was holding her phone and opening up her voicemail. There were now a few cars on the road with her, but one was at least a mile up the road while the other was a few miles in her rearview mirror, no need to worry about being on her phone while driving.
She called her voicemail and heard his voice immediately. “V, I know you’re there. Can you please come back home? I know this is fucked up and that I fucked up royally. I understand that you’re upset and If you decide to leave and never come back I understand, but i’d like to at least sit down and try to talk this out. I’ll be at the house if you decide on talking, I love you.”
Her voicemail reminded her of her options to keep or delete the message, but she didn’t bother with that. She just hung up. She already knew her options. He had sounded sorry enough, so much so that he had called her “V”. She hadn’t heard him call her that in a long time, not since their first big argument whenever they got engaged. It was an old nickname that he had given her and he used it quite often the first few years they were together. I guess when something of this magnitude happens in a relationship the first instinct is to revert back to the beginning. 
Which was maybe what was needing to be done. To go back and hit the big reset button on the whole thing, start from the ground up again. In her heart she knew that was ultimately what she wanted, yes she would get a temporary satisfaction seeing him beg and plead, but in the end she knew that Turning back would at least be the start to recovery. 
She saw an exit coming up on her right that would turn her around back towards their house. She took it and made her way back, mentally preparing herself for what was about to happen. 

The clock on the dash in the Honda read 12:04 a.m when she parked her car next to his, but it felt much later to her. It was already a long night and part of her just wanted to go ahead and go to bed, to deal with this in the morning. But she knew that they’d be up for a little while longer.
She walked in the house and she saw the kitchen light on. She turned the corner and saw him sitting at the little coffee table where they usually took breakfast in the mornings together, dinner was reserved for the TV trays and the couch in the living room. The smell of freshly made coffee ruminated the air and gave her a little jolt of energy. 
“I made some coffee”, he said.
“I can see that”, she answered back.
Five minutes passed. Silence. Nothing but her looking at him and him stirring his coffee.
Finally, “You want some?”
He got up and got her favorite mug from the cupboard, the one with the cat that looked like it just woke up from the longest cat nap possible. The picture of said cat was accompanied by the cheesy phrase “Mornings aren't purrfect without my coffee”. It was cheesy as shit but it always made her smile in the mornings, too bad it didn’t have the same effect tonight.
He poured coffee in the mug and brought it back over to the table. He sat it down and stood there. He had been listening to the news broadcast on the TV and before he went to turn it off she caught the last bit of dialogue from the anchor
“Tensions rise as U.S. become soul target for atta..”, the TV made a “Click” noise as he turned the switch.
“Care to sit down?”
“No thanks, I’m fine where I’m at”
“Don’t you think you should sit down for this?”
“You’re in some position to be barking orders, Robert”
He shrugged, huffed his shoulders, and replied “Guess I am”
“The only thing I want to know is, why? Why now? Why after all these years do you decide to cheat? Is this some mid-life crisis situation?”
“Don’t play psychiatrist on me Veronica, that’s not what i’m needing right now”
“What you need? Why should I be concerned with what YOU need? Last time I checked I wasn’t the one who was putting his dick inside some other woman” She tried to catch herself, she wasn’t wanting this to get too nasty. 
Silence again. This time it seemed to linger forever. Them looking at each other, unsure of what to say.
He spoke again. “To be honest I’m not sure if I can answer your question. I’ve been distant I know, but I can’t explain why.”
“How long? How long we’re you two seeing each other?”
“Almost a year. At first it started out as just a friendship thing, then the more and more we talked the more and more I seemed to pull away from you and us. It was if I was living a different life. One that I could easily go back and forth into whenever I needed. This lasted for a while until one day I decided to just turn on the autopilot on us. I’d come home and I’d be here, but I wouldn't be here. My mind would be towards her.”
“I see”
“My mind was so fucked up that I couldn’t see how it was affecting you, you didn't let on that it was hurting you”
“Robert you can’t be so stupid as to think that something like this wouldn’t hurt me.”
He was back to staring into his coffee, neither of them had taken a drink. “Maybe I am, but it wasn’t until I saw the look on your face tonight that I finally realized what I had been doing. The amount of hurt that I caused you. I know this doesn't mean shit to you right now but I’m sorry V, I’m really sorry” He looked up at her and she saw tears starting to form in his eyes. She could always tell when he had been crying because his normally hazel eyes would turn into a shiny green. She looked at him almost with pity. 
She met him eye to eye and told him, “Robert I appreciate the apology, but this isn’t something that can be taken back with a half-assed apology. I’m glad to hear that you are, but I think it’s best that we take some time away from each other and figure shit out.”
“Is this it for us?”, he asked.
“I don’t know. All I know is that I’m going to call Rebecca and stay at her place. Maybe for the next few days.”
He looked back down at his coffee, considered for a moment, and told her “I love you, you know that?”
“Right now, I’m not for certain”
She grabbed her keys out of her pocket and started to make her way towards the front door. That was when she noticed it, outside the kitchen window looking out towards the city. It was faint at first, but she could see it progressively get bigger, bigger, taller, and taller. It was starting to form a giant mushroom and tower over the city. The peak of the cloud went up and up until finally it stopped. All she could do was stand there. 
Noticing, Robert walked over to her and asked why she was still there. He saw shock in her eyes and he asked what’s wrong. Again, nothing. 
He turned around to see what she was seeing and finally pieced it together. The shock wave from the blast was making its way towards them and it would be there fast. 
They only had a few more seconds to live. Nearly a lifetime between the both of them about to be gone in an instant. They both looked at each other and could only think of one thing to do.
Hold each other, and hold on tight. 





Submitted: October 27, 2017

© Copyright 2021 Dalton Brock. All rights reserved.

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