A DARK DISCOVERY: EXCERPTING “INTERIOR DESIGNS”

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Their early years were idyllic, but then Martha enters Hal’s office one day and makes a stunning discovery.  Excerpted from Interior Designs.

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Sometimes I think about those first six years of Meadow’s life as idyllic.  I loved mothering, just as I adored keeping up our house.  It all fit nicely into my interior design talents, I thought.  We had bought our own lovely home, with my parents’ help again, when Meadow was three.  I still loved the house, remembering how my own creative inspiration had filled the rooms.

 
Soon we were entertaining, luxuriating in newly developing friendships, and enjoying weekends at the cabin.

 
During the months before I discovered Hal’s affair, I had thought we were finally reaping all the fruits of our labor.

 
That’s why the news of his infidelity turned my world upside down and moved me in a desperate direction.

 
I’d been trying to get pregnant again for awhile, even after I’d learned of Hal’s affair.  I was pretty good at pretending, and ignoring the obvious.

 
So imagine my surprise and horror to discover still another of Hal’s deceptions.

 
Maybe I was just looking for something, just in case.  Something I could use for leverage.  Going through Hal’s files had seemed like the obvious place to find those clues.

 
Behind a tab marked “personal” and in a file with “medical” written across it, I hit pay dirt.

 
The invoices looked innocent enough, but several were marked with various codes, with explanations on the back.  Nothing very exciting here. They all looked like a series of routine exams until I saw the word “surgery.”  What?  Hal had never had surgery.  I studied it more closely, only to finally ferret out the kind of surgery Hal had had.  A vasectomy!

 
I felt the blood draining from my face, leaving me faint.  Little beads of perspiration broke out on my forehead.  Then I heard a sound downstairs and quickly returned all the papers to the file.  I locked the cabinet.

 
In the bathroom, I threw water on my face and carefully restored my makeup and brushed my hair.

 
“Hi, dear,” I’d called out cheerfully, almost skipping down the stairs.  I was the Happy Homemaker extraordinaire, and there was no way that I would tip my hand.

 
I don’t remember much about the rest of the evening, but I think I should have received an Oscar for my award-winning performances over the next few weeks.  Now I was more determined than ever to rip Amber Cushing out of my husband’s life.

 
That time in my life echoed the all-too familiar childhood feelings of being left out of my parents’ exclusive club.  The Club of James and Marie Scott.

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