So, there’s quite a few gaps between each of the pieces. That’s mainly because I haven’t really worked out the plot. Oops.
Nancy needed a reason to “stray”, and I decided that reason was her estranged husband, Larry. Things with Larry used to be good. Very good in fact. But his work soon became an obsession.
In this world I’ve created, there are people who become “experimentals” and those who choose the job of “disconnectors”. Experimentals are people who have undergone life-saving, but also life-changing experimental treatments. These treatments are considered blasphemous, “against God’s plan” (to the fanatics) and are considered taboo. Crispin is an experimental.
Nancy mostly lives alone because Larry is busy with his “research”. He has returned home suddenly, and this leaves her in a difficult position. She’s met Crispin, she’s cheated on Larry, and doesn’t know how to progress with her marriage from this point on.
So here goes:
The night was chilly and Larry was regretting his decision to not bring a coat along. When Nancy had run a bath he had slipped out. He had to be quick. Walking to the park was like an act of remembering – his legs took him there without him thinking about the twists and turns. They knew the way just as well as he did.
He stopped in front of the third bench he saw and sat down. The park was empty and quiet, except for the sound of dry leaves scraping against the pavement. He sat calmly, watching the breeze toss leaves into the air, catching on his boots and fluttering higher and higher until they dropped again, only to be stood on, or caught in the tail of another breath of wind.
“Larry,” he looked up, spotting her neat little black shoes, beige tights, a woolen dress, a beautiful figure and a full head of blonde hair.
“Miss Montgomery I presume?” She nodded.
“May I sit?”
They sat together, not looking at each other.
“I have no evidence,” she said, as she fidgeted with the strap of her bag.
“As long as you’re sure.”
“I think so. Look, I’ve heard the signs, right? Missing for long periods of time, poor excuses, sometimes there are physical changes… sometimes they’re psychological – these are the sort of things you should look out for?”
Larry turned to her. Her blue eyes were bright and concerned.
“Yes and no. But I’m not sure what you want me to do about this situation.”
“I’ve heard things. They tell me you’re a disconnecter.”
Larry blinked. She had done her homework. He sighed, running a hand through his thinning hair.
“You do know what that means ofcourse? Sometimes it means killing a person.”
Her mouth tightened.
“He just… left me. Left me. Left me to cope with this alone. He couldn’t even say it out loud.”
Larry frowned. “Miss Montgomery, not to make it sound like I sympathise with experimentals, but you can imagine how hard it must be to… admit weakness? Instead of living with defects, they choose abomination. How do you say that out loud without fearing judgment? Everything would change, don’t you think?”
He heard her sniff, and saw her dabbing her eyes with the sleeve of her dress.
“I’m just not sure what to do. There’s no one I can talk to about this.”
He patted her shoulder.
“Just tell me what you want me to do, otherwise we’re wasting each others time.” Larry waited, holding his breath. A feeling of excitement was rushing through his veins, his heart beat faster and he couldn’t help the smile that crawled onto his lips.
“I want him to pay,” she whispered.
“Do you have the information?” His whole body was in motion – his tongue shot from his mouth, wetting his lips, his fingers twitched, and he was leaning in, waiting, and finally a thick brown envelope slid into his hands and he stood up. He shook Miss Montgomery’s hand, watching her leave.
He looked at his watch.
He had been longer than anticipated. Larry turned and went back the way he came, a little skip entering his otherwise but surly steps.
She heard the door creak open. Nancy wiped her angry eyes and tiptoed back to their room. She had been sitting on the stairs waiting for Larry. But the click of the lock made her jump and move from line of sight.
She quickly switched the bedroom light off and crawled under the covers, her back towards the door. She closed her eyes and tried to steady her breathing, but all she could think about was “goddamned, fucking Larry.”
The first thing Larry noticed was the house was quiet. He climbed the stairs to the first floor landing, each footfall landing on a creaking stair and he cursed. The bedroom door was ajar and he peered in. He could see the curled lump of Nancy in their bed.
Larry pushed the door open silently and opened the cupboard doors. Suits were spaced neatly on the hanger, ties hanging on the rack, his t-shirts and jeans folded neatly. He smiled a little. Returning home was like returning to something normal, stable. Nancy had kept everything exactly the same. He pulled the envelope from his back pocket and stared down at it. Unmarked and hefty, he shoved it under a stack of t-shirts before closing the door behind him. He undressed quickly, folding his clothes and placing them on a chair next to the dresser. He walked naked to their bed and slipped under the covers.
He lay there for a while, staring at the ceiling. He was not the man he used to be, he thought morosely, but pushed the thought from his mind. He could feel the heat of Nancy’s body, and he reached out and touched her. His fingers met an annoying piece of satin.
He touched her hip, and he felt himself growing hard. She seemed fast asleep. He tried again, his hand a little more forceful this time, and she rolled onto her back, her head turning, their eyes meeting.
He pushed the satin slip up, baring her thighs and stomach, and he bent down to kiss her. Her lips were hard, but he was unrelenting, and soon she softened a little. His hand rubbed her breasts, skimmed her stomach and pushed her thighs wide.
“Larry, I’m not in the mood.” Her voice was steady, loud in the dark.
“It’s been a long day,” and she turned from him again.
Larry sighed. So much for thinking she hadn’t noticed he was gone. He rolled onto his side and closed his eyes.
Nancy pushed the tears from her eyes and fell asleep.