My Husband’s Secretary
She does almost too good of a job, catering to my husband’s every whim.
I should have known there was trouble when my husband Derek hired the 25-year-old Cynthia Haven as his latest secretary.
When he introduced us, my eyes focused on the way his hand curved in its grasp on her shoulder. She was dressed smartly in a black pantsuit with white embellishments, and she was all smiles when she leaned forward to shake my hand.
“It’s a pleasure, Mrs. Ferris,” she said — and I hated her right that moment for her youthful exuberance. I could imagine the perkiness of her body beneath her professional attire. I was already in my mid-thirties, so of course my husband was looking for a fresher model in that ten-year itch of being with one woman too long.
“Likewise, Miss Haven,” I said, daintily shaking her offered hand.
A scatter of pink lighted up her cheeks. “Oh, please, call me Cynthia.”
My lips curved around her name, and it was sour to the taste. “Cynthia, I trust we’ll be good for each other.”
But maybe I had spoken too soon.
Three years into the business relationship between Derek and Cynthia, I tried not to fall into complacency. I wore designer lingerie every night when Derek was home, and I made sure to have his favorite whiskey stocked in our mini-bar at all times.
One lonely New Year’s Eve, I sat up waiting in the living room, reclined in my robe — underneath which I wore my latest splurge, red lace underthings that made my skin itch. In my hand sat a full glass of white wine.
Right before the clock struck midnight, the door to the suite opened, and I straightened — only to see Cynthia, wearing a snow-dusted black coat, enter.
When she glanced up from her phone and saw me, she immediately stopped. “Oh, Mrs. Ferris. I wasn’t expecting you.”
The familiar bitter taste in my mouth returned, a reflex every time I saw her. “I was waiting for Derek. I take it he’s been detained?”
For whatever it was worth, Cynthia looked apologetic. “He’s had a busy schedule the last few days. I have his itinerary booked well into the new year.”