Worldly

Prompt: Thea thinks her husband Neal is cheating on her but when she snoops around she finds a much bigger surprise.

Thea paced the dining room, glaring at the meal set out on the table. It was the third time that week that her husband Neal had cancelled their plans at the last  minute. The third time that week, the eighth that month, and the sixty-fifth time that year (and it was only September).

She gulped down her third glass of wine and her mind raced. She was a trusting wife but this was too much even for her. It was their first anniversary after all.

Two more glasses of wine later and she was more angry than she was sad. Angry enough that she contemplated something she never had before which was why, at a quarter to nine (four hours after Neal should have been home) she found herself humming the Mission Impossible theme song as she used a bobby pin to try and unlock the door to her husband’s home office.

“I really shouldn’t be doing this,” she murmured but then the door sprang open. “Or maybe I should.” And with that sudden change in her plan she slipped through the door.

It was like she was doused with something that soaked up all the alcohol in her system the second she flipped on the light and she changed her mind again. But just when she turned her back to his computer, resolving to talk to him about her concerns when she was sober, the computer chimed. Someone was trying to video chat with her husband.

Thea tried to fight herself and failed, rushing around the desk to accept the call. It was late and Neal had no friends so she could only assume it was either an emergency or something nefarious.

With a few clicks of the button she accepted the call and then froze. The image in front of her wasn’t human.

“Is this a joke?” Thea whispered. The other person, for it was human-like at least, frowned and chittered in a different language but didn’t hang up.

Thea was still trying to figure out what the person was trying to tell her when Neal appeared at the door.

“Are you okay? Did she upset you?” he asked as he rushed through the room. Only he wasn’t trying to comfort Thea, instead he knelt next to the computer and spoke to the other woman. In her own language.

Thea stepped back but froze when she heard the word “mom” fall from her husband’s lips. “Mother?” she echoed faintly.

Neal turned to her, an embarrassed, hesitant grin on his face. “Honey, I’ve been keeping a secret from you. Let’s just say…I’m not from around here.”

“This…this is not what I expected,” she whispered as she sank into the computer chair in shock. It was not what she’d expected at all.

 

 

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