Red Lipstick

“Talk to me,” he brushed the hair out of her face.

She looked down, “No, you can never know.”

He reached out to hold her but she pulled away. “ I don’t know what to do for you, I never knew how to make you happy.”

Tears formed in his eyes, she could hear the quiver in his voice. He never was good at acting angry. Her body trembled, her heart beat rapidly. “I’m pregnant Gordon, you are not the father.”

A blow to the chest, not the father, he took her words in. “Not the father,” he repeated out loud.  He closed his eyes, he didn’t move. She stared at him for a long time without speaking. She hadn’t seen him like this in ages. Not even a twitch. His mind burned in a catatonic haze as he stood there motionless. She knew not to touch him. Never touch a man lost in emotion.

She walked into the kitchen to make some tea, she heard footsteps in the living room. Her heart raced, “Stupid, stupid, stupid!” she repeated over and over as she looked through the cupboards for her favorite mug. She was too short to see inside the blasted cupboard. She moved her hands around until she felt it, the biggest mug.  “Lipstick,” she mouthed as she looked at the side of the mug. A perfect implant of lips. Red lipstick. 

There was a jingling of keys, What is he doing, she wondered. “Red lipstick,” she mouthed again.  The water whistled inside the kettle. Gordon walked into the kitchen as Samantha poured herself a giant mug of tea. “Do you love me?” he asked.  His voice was hoarse. Once again, it quivered. Samantha stared into his chestnut brown eyes.  

“Gordon, love is the complicated question. I love you in some forms, I do. I can’t love anyone in all forms. This I know, we started out with so much hope for life. I was okay with the fights, the conflicts, the missteps along the way. I wasn’t okay with the way you stopped saying I love you or the way my every clumsy bit of movement gave you such deep surges of twisted irritation. I wasn’t okay with how you told me you supported me and turned around and hated me for the very support you claimed to have. I do love you but this is done. You have known this for a long time, the red lipstick Gordon. This started with the red lipstick ten months ago. I am ready to know, tell me about her.” 

Gordon walked over to the window next to the kitchen table. He opened it, a warm breeze swept through the room. Freshly cut grass hit the tip of both of their noses. Gordon sat down at the table. 

“Gordon I want the truth,” Samantha sat opposite of Gordon. She stirred her tea with two teaspoons of honey, her eyes stayed fixated on her spoon.

“Samantha, she showed up out of nowhere. I didn’t ask for her, I wasn’t expecting her.  She showed up one night while you were gone. I told her she needed to go, she wanted to stay. I was lonely, I wasn’t thinking straight. You being gone two weeks at a time for the past year hasn’t been easy.”

Samantha’s eyes widened, “You were the one who left me!  You stopped showing up for me as soon as I moved in! You get high off infatuation!  You don’t know the first thing about sacrifice!”

Gordon stood up. His knuckles clutched tight, he could feel his nails cut into the palm of his hand. He held back from screaming, “Sacrifice, I work what do you do all day? Nothing that’s what, not one damn thing!” 

Samantha took in a breath, “I am in school, you knew I would be in school. I told you I would work, you told me no. It always comes back to the money with you, the money you have plenty of!”

Gordon gained composure, “I know how the real world works while you live in a cloud and now you’re pregnant!” 

Samantha smiled. The glare in her eyes made her look like an evil step queen. Sarcasm dripped from her lips, “Gordon, you know what, I am pregnant. The red lipstick, you don’t need to explain any further. Enjoy her, me, I’m leaving.”

“Who is the father Samantha?” Samantha rose from her chair. She knelt down to face Gordon still sitting in his chair. She took his hand, and kissed it. 

“My things are packed Gordon. I am leaving now.” He stared into her dark green eyes, she was serious this time.

She started for the door, he followed behind her. She paused but didn’t turn around, “Red lipstick was always her favorite color Gordon. She was my friend first, I knew her smell when I stepped into our bed months ago. I know Erin, maybe not like you but I do know her.”

Samantha stepped outside before Gordon had time to respond. She got one last look of him, his left hand covered his face, his head was bowed, he looked defeated. She made sure to close the door gently behind her. Slamming it would do her no good at this point.

Gordon’s baby, she thought. Her body shook as she turned on her tightly packed car.

If I keep this child, I would be attached to Gordon and this place for the next twenty years, if he believes my baby isn’t his, I can get far away from here. Maybe I won’t keep it. She pulled out the driveway half wishing Gordon might chase her down. A thousand apologies couldn’t make things go back to the way they were.

Her thoughts turned to Erin, he didn’t deny it. If she were wrong he would have screamed his innocence. He didn’t. It must have been Erin. At this point, that no longer mattered either.

No, the next question was rather simple, now where?

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