Bossed Three Times

By: Madison Faye

Chapter 1




The door to the garage slammed shut, startling me from the book I was reading at the dining room table. I’d heard the familiar sound of Jason’s car pulling into the garage a few minutes before, followed by the familiar sound of the automatic garage door grinding back down. But the fury in the door-slam and the mutterings down the hall told me something was up.

It also told me he was drunk.

I sighed and dropped the book to the table, rubbing my temples. I glared at the time and at then at the dinner I’d made, now sitting cold on the table.

“Everything alright, honey?”

“It’s fine,” came the sharp response from the hallway, followed by my boyfriend’s stomping steps to the kitchen. Another sigh escaped me as I glanced down at the copy of Honing Your Resume I’d been paging through while waiting for him.

I wasn’t working these days, since Jason had insisted that it was his job to “provide” ever since we’d moved in together the month before. I’d gone along with it, because you do things you never thought you’d do when you think you love someone.

I wasn’t so sure of that after a month of playing second fiddle to Jason’s career — “career”, or rather, his propensity for going out to drinks after work and leaving me bored and stir-crazy back at home. I had a damn masters degree, for crying out loud, and here I was playing housewife all day while my boyfriend was out half the night getting wasted. I’d thought about getting back into the workforce, but the number of job offers I had before we moved in together dwindled, until there was nothing but an empty inbox waiting for me every day.

“The hell are you reading, Arianna?”

I glanced up to see Jason swaying in the doorway, holding a fresh beer from the fridge and reeking of whiskey even from across the room. My eyes dropped to his collar, and suddenly my blood was boiling.

Lipstick.

There on his shirt collar, like the most ridiculous cliche out of a movie.

“Where were you,” I said evenly, ignoring his question.

“None of your damn business.”

I stood and felt my hands ball into fists at my sides, glaring at him.

“Well it is my business, actually, because I’ve been sitting here with dinner waiting for you.”

“Such a fuckin nag,” Jason muttered, swigging from his beer. My gaze moved from the lipstick on his collar to his messed-up hair, the smug look on his face, and I rolled my eyes.

I wasn’t even shocked at this point, just mad at myself for staying this long. Of course this was how this debacle of a relationship was going to end. The zero communication and all his secrets, the fact that he had all the time in the world to go out with “clients” but no time for me, and the fact that after three months of no sex or any intimacy at all, I was starved for some physical attention And he came home with the lipstick of some other woman on his collar.

“Oh fuck you, Jason, you think you can just—”

The slap came hard, knocking the wind out of me and leaving a stinging heat across my cheek.

The room went silent and still for a second before I whirled back at him, hand on my cheek and my jaw dropped in shock.

“Are you fucking serious?”

Jason suddenly paled, as if suddenly sobering enough to see clearly.

“Shit, baby.” His eyes were wide and he shook his head.

“Baby, I’m just drunk is all,” he mumbled. “I’m sorry, baby, you know I lov—”

“Don’t.”

My voice was ice cutting through his words.

“Don’t even say that, Jason.”

Because that moment right there in that dining room was like a puzzle piece clicking into place. Right then, everything made sense.

“Actually,” I hissed, shaking my head at him. “Don’t ever say it to me again.”

I stormed off to our room before he could even say anything else. I grabbed a suitcase from the closet, half expecting him to run in and stop me, and not at all surprised when he didn’t. Five minutes later, I was stalking towards the front door with a suitcase rolling behind me.

Jason laughed when he saw me.

“You’re leaving?”

“Yeah,” I hissed, jabbing a finger at him as I snatched my resume book off the table. “Yeah Jason, I’m leaving.”

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