The speckled shadows swarm her as she dizzied trying to collect her nerves. Unexpected trips and tumbles take a surprise shape to her morning routine. as she desperately begs herself to pull it together while hoisting herself up by scaling the ornate blue chair near her vanity. She was getting ready for a confrontation she was not ready to have. However, she deemed it necessary to protect what she had worked for 20 years. She wanted to show that woman who thanks to her wifely senses, intelligence, the secret is out, and she knew for the past five years. She felt it was time to sit pretty while exposing that woman as if she is a flower blossoming, then violently plucked from her root, Stunting growth and development. Certain, it was time to rip open her layers and show the world how truly of an empty woman she is. She picked up the phone with authority.

“Hello, may I speak to…”

She arranged for the meeting to take place in an open, yet secluded stage in the park. She wanted to get all of her feelings out without coming across someone who knows her maiden name. She grinned as she thought ‘this would be a good time to shout out’- things she never would dare when she was the lifeless arm candy at rudimentary black-tie affairs. Nevertheless, she did not want to leave herself exposed to her state of vulnerability. ‘It would not be a good thing for a wife of her power and stature to go out and make herself a mess in public’ she thought. She reminded herself of her mother’s telling: never going out cheap with an expensive dress on. ‘You want to show them everything without showing or saying anything.’ She remembered her breathing exercise her life coach provided her in times of stress as she sashayed down her house into her car garage.

Her driver, always on duty, opened her door for her. “No thank you, Parker” the woman warmly waved to stand down. “I’ll be driving myself today.”

She waited on the nicest bench in the filthy park under two gargantuan oak trees placed side by side behind the bench as if they had front row seats to every example of the human destruction that went on in the park. She noticed the trees the silent power they commanded while giving comfort and protection to anyone that sought their solace. Bullet holes and grazes burn the trees like fingerprints. Each 40oz lay casually at the bottom of the trees also struck Janice with disastrous delight, they looked like little watering pots. She snapped back to reality when she realized where she was romanticizing art.


Suddenly, a younger woman walks up to Janice. Her brown skin and engaging eyes washed Janice over with a sudden lust for jealous murder. “I’m glad you can meet.” The young woman greets as she extends her hand. Janice glares at it with chilling eyes. The young woman retreats into her hand slowly. “I got your call about you want to talk to me.” The woman sits on the far side of the bench. Janice quickly skooches away from her as she clings to her designer purse tightly. “Well, you know Frank.” Janice chides. The woman looks off into the horizon and back at Janice with revealing eyes. “Well, he was my husband, you know that right?” Janice condescends The girl shook her head lightly as she raised her shoulders. “He told me he was single.” the woman’s pure innocence in her revelation killed Janice inside “I’m sorry little girl he lied to you to get into your pants.” Janice huffed as she rolled her eyes. “…but…” Janice shrugs her shoulders carelessly—, “….he used your body to get off, you need to learn how to close your legs to a married man, but I wouldn’t expect much from someone who lives out here.” Janice opens her hands as if she is introducing the woman to her surroundings. “Listen, I’m sure my husband gave you some money for your troubles” Janice bobs her head side to side. “I’m sure you have children you have to feed, so I guess you do what you have to do right. Use your tiny waist and ample curves right?” Janice moves her hands to shape the woman’s body. “you don have much of a face, but you have a body. I can give you that.” Janice looks over the woman one more time as she shakes her head.

“Claudia is my name” the woman gets up. “Your husband said he divorced you the long time ago. Sorry, he lied to you.” Claudia remarked flatly. “Are you shortening your name for me?” Janice hissed. Claudia rolled her eyes as she begins to walk away.

“You’re very disrespectful.” Claudia scoffs as she slings her purse over her left shoulder.

“Well, I wanted to meet you today to tell you Frank died. No more free ride for you anymore.” Janice stuck out her left hand to highlight a huge diamond ring. “He leaves the earth and you get nothing.” Janice boast. “I was his faithful wife of twenty years, I get what I put up with. I earned it.” Claudia grins as she looks down on the ground. She looks back up at Janice with a sorrowed look on her face and she walks away, saying nothing. Janice walks back to her car. Satisfied.





3 years pass and Janice live comfortably without her husband. she secretly seethes and replays the instant when she noticed Claudia coming to meet her in the park. She couldn’t believe her husband would sleep with a woman of Claudian’s kind and stature. Janice completes her home workout as her head maid comes and informs her the family lawyer. Marv Penny is waiting for her. Janice freshens herself in the mirror and hops along the hallway to meet her lawyer. ”Marv” Janice smiles and gives Marv a kiddish kiss on the cheek. Marv, however, is cold and strict. “We need to talk, Janice.” His voice low and rumbled.

Janice was impatient. “Merv, tell me what is going on.” Confusion ran over Janice like a Mach truck. she didn’t like this stuff man she saw before her. Marv paused and cleared his throat, “Frank left you with nothing in his will. He left everything to a woman named Claudia Shippers.” Marv pulled out the paperwork and piled it in Janice’s hands like he was putting of hand cuffs. Shocked, Janice reads that her husband did, in fact, divorce her and left nothing to help Janice sustain her current lifestyle.

“Claudia…” Janice dreamily whispers the name repeatedly as she releases the papers carelessly on the ground.