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Tales from The Port

Liz & Jake

Scrolling through her account, Liz could see how Jake found her appealing enough to sleep with. Yet, she also felt a bit of pity as she read the captions noting the lack of punctuation, grade-school grammar, and the sad sugar baby manner in which she lived her life. Yes, she was attractive in a Pornhub sort of way, but the injected lips and dark roots were too basic for the suburbs and she was surely just the sort he’d have in the city. In one photo, she wore an Burberry coat that was exactly like the one that had gone missing from their home in the Hamptons last summer. Hinting that she had ‘nothin on underneath,’ Liz felt anger prick the back of her eyes with hot tears that weren’t allowed to flow just yet. The others were trying to be his next wife. She could see it in their shiny hair, photos with their siblings, and curated collection of photos that wouldn’t cause any problems should she be picked. They were the young ones seeking happiness with an older man who could give them the lives they would have to work for to get on their own. Yesterday, she dreamed she had placed a pillow over his head when he came home a little drunk smelling of a perfume that wasn’t hers. She wanted to see his legs kick and throw off the duvet as he struggled to breathe. Her arms felt tired as if she had actually finished him off, but his light snoring made her sadly sigh. The kids would be awake soon. She’d have to wash her face and put on a smile and pretend as if her world weren’t on fire. She'd become really good at lying through her teeth in the past few months. It was unlike her to be so quiet when she felt the need to punch people and things. But, time was what was important, according to most of what her mother told her. Her mother had warned her well before their wedding that Jake would cheat on her.

She had said, "I can smell it on him like I smelled it on your father. He isn't ripe, but it's there and it'll happen. Trust me." Being young and stupidly in love, Liz laughed it off and went ahead with the lavish wedding and the life that had followed.

The marriage had been subpar for quite some time. They talked about inconsequential things and he had stopped trying to make her laugh. At dinner most evenings, she sat with a bottle of wine while her children ate in their rooms, at their friends, or not at all. Jake was away most evenings claiming dinner with clients or having to stay in the city for some reason or another. She believed him at first. Most wives always did. Denial was far easier than sitting in the reality that their husbands were out fucking someone else.

Opening her eyes and swinging her legs from beneath the heavy down duvet, she felt a rush as she sat up. It would be okay. She could do this. The plush rug beneath her feet were an indulgence she allowed herself when they recently decorated. She had searched for them for months looking for the right material and experience for when she first woke up. Liz had spent the last three years renovating practically every inch of their 4,200 square feet home. Though it was perfect as it was, the meetings with decorators, contractors, and architects allowed her to fill her time and spend some of the money she had worked her entire career to earn.

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