Forgiveness. By Martin Green.
Herb Adler stepped out of the shower, whistling. No doubt about it, although the trip had been worthwhile, in more ways than one, it felt good to be home. In his bathrobe, he went into the bedroom, where his wife Sara was holding one of his white handkerchiefs, which had a bright red lipstick mark on it.
He almost smacked himself on the head as he remembered. Brandi, Sandy, whatever her name was, the leggy blonde sales rep had planted a kiss on him when shed taken him to her hotel room. Hed quickly rubbed it out with his handkerchief, then stuffed the handkerchief in his pocket, then, in the tumultuous activity that followed, hed forgotten all about it. Now he was caught red-handed, or red-lipsticked It didnt matter; hed been incredibly stupid. The question was: could he get out of it?
Anything to say? asked Sara, holding up the evidence, exhibit A, he thought, if this was a court trial.
Its not what you think, he said.
What is it then?
Herbs mind raced frantically, like one of those clunky old calculators. It was Doris. You know, our marketing VP. Wed gone way over our quarterly quota. She was so giddy she went around kissing everybody.
Doris? You must be kidding. That cold fish wouldnt kiss anybody if she won a million dollar lottery.
Damnit. Hed forgotten. Beth had met Doris at the last Christmas party. Hed have to come up with something else. Okay. Youre right about Doris. But we did go over our quota. Everyone got a little drunk. We were celebrating, you know. This sales rep, she kissed me.
Thats all. I swear to it. She came on to me, but I said, Nothing doing..
Herb, you sound so sincere. I know youre lying. I called you at the hotel last night, late. You werent in your room.
Herb sat down on the bed. Maybe we fooled around a little bit. I told you, I was drunk. I dont remember.
Uh, huh. Herb, Im going to pack my suitcase. Im going to my mothers.
No, wait. Sara, you cant do that.
Sara, you know I love you. Okay, I admit it. Maybe we went to bed. I really dont remember. But I shouldnt have gone to her room. Im weak. Im a no-good bastard. Im sorry. Please forgive me.
Herb, this isnt the first time. Ive had enough.
Herb stood up, then knelt in front of his wife. Please, Sara, Im begging you on my knees. Ill never do it again. Please forgive me.
Sara looked down at her husband. He looked so pitiful. And she knew what her mother would say. I told you so. All right. Ill forgive you one last time. But if youre ever unfaithful again
I wont be. I swear.
All right. Get dressed. Ill make breakfast.
Thanks, honey. You wont be sorry.
Sara left the room. As he got dressed, Herb thought about the next business trip coming up, in about two months. He wondered if the leggy blonde would be there.
* * * *
More stories from Winamop
Copyright reserved. Please do not reproduce without consent.