The Grass Is Always Greener.

Today’s Prompt: Write a post inspired by a real-world conversation.

The door to the restaurant flies open and in walk Eve and Patrick, they’re the kind of couple that other couples aspire to be like. They really seem to have a handle on this whole being an adult business, they’re the kind of couple your Mother would want you to be friends with. Both beautiful and stylish people, oozing with sophistication, both enjoying immensely successful high powered jobs. Travelling all over the globe and finding time to throw incredible dinner parties in their grand Cheltenham townhouse. They have got it all.

Eves’ eyes quickly scan the room to find us, when they land upon myself and my husband Alec, a smile spreads across her glowing cheeks and her eyes light up. She effortlessly slips from her coat and with perfect timing Patrick catches the garment and hands it to the waiter whom he is having a lighthearted joke with. They join us at the table, Eve caresses my hand and whispers, “my darling you look divine.” I know she’s being polite, I feel as though I’ve just rolled out of bed and thrown on some rags, Eve is as stunning as ever. Patrick unbuttons his jacket and orders wine for the table, Eve straightens his tie and declares, “you are the shabbiest man in England! How is that at thirty six years of age you still can’t dress yourself?” She smiles and kisses him quickly. 

Hours fly by as we enjoy each others company along with plates of rich Italian food being brought to us. “Yes, you both must join us, we know this delightful little chateaux just outside of Lyon. It’s simply unreal how beautiful it is, we could spend the weekend there and gorge ourselves on French bread and wine, doesn’t that sound stupendous?” Eve takes an excited sip of her coffee, “of course we’d hoped to go there next weekend but unfortunately Patrick has to be off to Berlin for a work thing, terrible bore.” She rolls her eyes and mimes a yawn. 

Alec coughs and splutters coffee down his shirt, I rub his back and offer him my serviette, “I’m fine,” he wheezes, “just went down the wrong way.” I wish he could be suave, behave more like Patrick. Eve grabs Patricks arm and exclaims, “Isn’t that Carina? Over there by the bar! Oh we have to go say hello!” With that she pulled his arm and lead him toward an attractive red head perched daintily at the bar. 

I turn to Alec and hold his hand, “do you think we could go to France with them? I’m sure we’d have a lovely time and they’d show us all the fabulous places to visit!” Alec doesn’t respond, he seems distracted, staring towards our friends with a pained expression. I look over to them and I see no cause for alarm, Eve has found a seat next to her friend and with expressive hand gestures is discussing something with her. Patrick is chatting to the barman presumably ordering another bottle of wine. 

“What’s the matter?” I ask Alec.

He sighs and fumbles with his napkin, “if I tell you do you promise not to freak out.”

I feel a lump in my throat, I swallow hard and promise to stay calm.

“That woman, Carina, she works with Patrick.” He hesitates for a moment, “and erm, he’s going on that business trip to Berlin, with, her.” 

I look at Alec perplexed, “okay, that’s a problem because..?”

He takes a deep breath, “it’s not for business, it’s more for, well, um, how shall I say, pleasure.”

I sit up bolt right, “are you trying to say what I think you are?”

“Don’t freak, you promised you wouldn’t.”

I lower my voice, “so he’s having an affair? How long has this been going on? How long have you known? Why didn’t you tell me? Should we tell Eve?”

Alec exclaims, “God no!” Remembering where we are he whispers, “he’s been fooling around with her for about a year. Those trips he takes to ‘Stratford’ every month are spent with her.” 

“Wait. Carina?” The name suddenly rings a bell, I search my mind looking for a faint memory of it, “didn’t Eve say they took a Carina to that chateaux last year?”

Alec raised his eyebrows, “ahuh, that’s where this all began.”

“Whilst they were under the same roof as Eve? How can we not say anything? This horrid Alec, this would kill her.”

“Which,” he emphasised each word. “is exactly, why. We can’t say anything. They’ve been together for ten years, how can we break that up?”

Just as I took a breath to state my argument Eve came rushing back to her seat, alone. “Sorry about that,” she sang, “had to say hello, Carina is a chum of Patricks, she is to die for. I mean look at her she’s absolutely gorgeous! Maybe I should keep an eye on Patrick, I mean he’s only human. Ha!” She threw her head back and laughed.

I feel Alecs hand squeeze my thigh under the table, he stares harshly into my eyes, in my mind I can hear him screaming, “this is not the time!”

Eve has her back to Patrick as she chippers on about what a lovely girl Carina is, I can’t pull my eyes away from him. He leans against the bar close to Carina and he is whispering something in her ear, she smiles and bites her lip. My heart is breaking for Eve.

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