Wednesday, August 27, 2008

PAULA - Is Her Love Strong Enough To Save Her Marriage?

Paula: Excerpt #1 from The Truth About Love

One hour, huh?
Paula stared at the crystal chandelier suspended over the foyer. She turned it on along with every other light downstairs. The house was lit up like the biggest social event of the year was jumping off inside, but it was only her and the two children there. As usual.
As immaculate and expensive as the d├ęcor was, everything that night seemed to have lost its shine. The new photograph of the children that she’d set on the mantle was the only thing that made her smile.

When Darryl had finally arrived, he walked through the house, switching off lights.

“What’s done in the dark will always be brought to the light,” she said when he finally walked into the enclosed sitting area off the kitchen. Her temper rose from zero to boiling in three seconds.

“Who is she?” Paula screamed. The words burned her throat, but not as much as they burned her heart. She wasn’t supposed to be at this place in life. “Who is she that she can take you away from your wife and children?”

“I’m right here.”

“Your body, yes. But where’s your heart?” Paula pounded her hand on her chest. “Your heart, Darryl.” She circled around him. “You know the sad thing? The sad thing is that you’re W-E-A-K.” She sneered. She’d never heard herself sound like this. She guessed this was the fury of a woman scorned.

Act like a virtuous woman, not a scorned one. A gentle and quiet spirit is what I desire.

Paula ignored the voice trying to calm her. Being the quiet and composed wife hadn’t gotten her anywhere.

“It takes a strong man to nurture and satisfy one woman,” she continued. “Paula stopped in front of him. “And if you really loved her, you wouldn’t be here at all. You would call it quits with me and move on. But no, Darryl. You’re not man enough to leave.”

"What does that say about you?” Darryl asked.

Paula knew she should walk away, try to keep peace in the house and let God handle it. Maybe another day.

“Oh, it’s the money, isn’t it? You’re afraid I’m going to take you to the bank. Well you’re right.” In truth, Paula could care last about the money. What she really wanted – joy -- was priceless.
Paula followed Darryl upstairs to their bedroom.

“You know what? I have tried. God knows I’ve tried.” She willed the tears back. She wasn’t going to give him the pleasure of seeing her cry.

“Tried what?” Darryl slid his perfectly creased slacks on a hanger and hung it on the rack designated for all of his brown pants.

Everything in his life had to be perfect, Paula thought. Except for his marriage.

Paula turned off the light in the walk-in closet, leaving him in the dark. “Tried to keep this marriage together while you treat me like a stray dog from the street.”


I know he didn’t just grunt at me. “If you’re going to say something, say it. I’m tired of this.”

Darryl walked out of the closet, wearing only a white v-neck t-shirt and pair of boxers. “Well leave, Paula. Nobody is making you stay. Even God gives you free will.” He disappeared into the bathroom and Paula heard the buzz of his electric razor.

“You’re right,” Paula whispered. “He does.”

* * * *
Darryl didn’t think she’d do it. She knew he didn’t. But he didn’t try to stop her. Paula wasn’t sure herself until she left the entrance of her subdivision and pulled out on the main road. She didn’t even look out of the rearview mirror. It was her way of saying goodbye to the past. She wouldn’t return to the house as the same woman; if she returned at all.

Stay tuned for the next "literary episode" of The Truth About Love...