Eliza Newson did not look like herself when she emerged from her cross-dressing best friend’s apartment. Passing by a mirror in the hall made her flinch. No matter how unnerving this felt to her it was for a good cause. She had been dreaming of being Eliza Newson-Durberry for three years now. When two weeks ago her fiance, Harold, had begun to act very uncharacteristically; his work schedule had not increased but his commute had grown longer and the times he never made it passed the couch to the bed quadrupled. The bells in her head had started to go off. What if there was another woman involved? What if he had another life on the side that she had never caught onto? She had to do something to make sure he was not cheating on her. This is where her plan of disguising herself and doing a little bit of spying rose up.
After sitting in her car for half an hour making phone calls to everyplace that she thought Harold might be, as she had done for the last two days. She drove down to his office. Every time she looked in the rear view mirror she had to check the backseat for someone who might look more like herself.
Everything about her was wrong. The brunette curly wig over her short black bob cut, the green contacts over her naturally brown eyes, even her cheekbones seemed out of place.
When she arrived at Harold’s office she stormed right up to his secretary. She demanded to see Harold.
“He is out Ma’am on a business meeting.”
“I made an appointment.” Eliza said truthfully having somewhat planned this out. The girl curled her finger drawing Eliza close so she could whisper something.
“He is down at St. Johns Hospital on 17th if you really need his attention that badly” the secretary said, Eliza was stunned.
“Couldn’t you get fired for telling me that?”
“I hate this job, what do I care? Plus my horoscope said to be helpful to the elderly. So there we go you got me my karma merit badge for the day.” The girl said. Eliza was infuriated but did not have the time to express it. She rushed out of the office, she was only twenty nine, she was by no mean elderly but as she caught her own reflection yet again she realized her costume was working very well.
She drove all the way down to 17th street pulling into the parking lot, not a single red light on the way, fate was on her side. She passed Harold’s car, then parked as far away from it as she could. Hustling into the hospital she was like a tornado. A male nurse sat at the greeter’s desk. He looked as if he had been badly beaten as a child, and or he was just born ugly. As he opened his mouth Eliza noticed four or five missing teeth.
“May I help you Ma’am?”
“Did a Harold Durberry sign in?”
“Are you a family member?”
“Yes, well I will be we are getting married in June.”
“Can I see your license Ma’am.”
“Yes.” She pulled out her driver’s license. When suddenly it clicked in her head she looked nothing like the photo. The male nurse pushed a button and then two security gaurds came over they took her arm and lead her down the hallway passing many open doors. Number 17 was open and as she passed she saw her husband to be. Harold was sitting next to an old woman, his grandmother. Eliza’s mind sparked. Harold’s grandmother had been sick for some time now and Eliza for some reason or another had blocked out Harold mentioning he was going to be visiting her. He had told her that the doctors said she didn’t have much time left. Guilt consumed Eliza as she told her story to the guards, a story her fiance would not hear for a good thirty years.
© Copyright 2016 Michael Lange. All rights reserved.
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