Ugly | Self Esteem | Hell

UGLY By Thomas Fullmer It stretched the bonds of credulity that she, Jennifer Warren, could have done something

so stupid and insane. She sat on the edge of the bed next to her open suit case half-full of clothes. She held a lukewarm cup of Earl Grey, cupped in both hands as she contemplated what had brought her to the lowest of points in her marriage, indeed in her life. It was now a fact that twenty-five years of marriage had brought her nothing but a husband who didn’t love her. No love, no children, not even a cocker spaniel to lick her worn face and comfort her had come from this union. She felt deep down inside that she should leave him now, just get up and go. But another part of her said she should stay regardless of how he felt about her. After all, she did love him. But was that enough? It wasn’t for him, that was for certain. It was like a tug-of-war was going on inside of her and she was being torn apart, piece by piece. Maybe she should just bury her head in the sand and act like it never happened. She didn't know what she should do. She was distraught, and hurt, and at this point had already cried herself beyond tears. She was bone dry inside, like the Sahara. That was what this marriage had become, as bleak and as dry as the Sahara. That she loved her husband deeply was proof of the fact that she felt such deep pain and emptiness not to mention loneliness on this the night of her silver wedding anniversary. She felt lonelier than she had ever felt before in her life, and there had been many nights when Jon, her husband, had been away on business or working late nights at the office. Tonight she was like a tiny tree planted on a cold barren plain to give shade,

but finding no shelter itself quivers before each blast of arctic winter that descends upon it in a frozen rage. Many a night she’d sat at the dinner table alone, watching broiled salmon, pot roast or her famous lasagna grow cold on the plate across from her, as she picked at her own food. She always blamed herself for that. If she were more attractive… If her nose weren’t so big… If she were a full-figured woman instead of the scarecrow of a woman she felt herself to be… Who could love anyone as ugly as that? When was the last time Jon had called her beautiful? She could not even remember one time he had ever done that. She felt the deep pain of her loneliness without Jon here by her side on this most significant of nights, March 15th, the ides of March. The same day Caesar had been killed was the same day she realized the love she’d thought they’d shared was dead. It wasn’t just that she had proven to be barren or that Jon was allergic to cats and dogs. Children and pets would have been a small comfort on a night like this. It was that she now knew he didn’t love her. Otherwise he wouldn't be at the Windsor Motel. Instead he would be here with her. Is that why he’d gone through with it? So many questions gnawed at her mind, like vultures gnawing on a half dead carcass, ripping its flesh apart, spurting red blood all over the brown earth. Only, the things being torn apart were her heart, her self-esteem her self-confidence; her very self-worth. All were torn to shreds. It was all the worse to know that she herself had set up the little tryst between her

husband and the buxom blonde from Madame Bovary’s Beautiful Blonde Babes. At a thousand dollars a pop, they were guaranteed to please any man. And that was what he had wanted, to have one passion with a beautiful woman. Two years of marriage counseling with Dr. Pearson had revealed that he, Jon, merely wanted to make love to a beautiful woman. Apparently he had not viewed his own wife as being beautiful. If he had, he’d still be here with her. He had spoken the words: “I just want to make love to a beautiful woman, because I’ve never done that.” And she wasn’t it! Dr. Pearson had said, “Don’t you think Jennifer is beautiful, Jon?” His silence spoke volumes. She gazed up into the full-length mirror across from her, the one that covered the walk-in closet. A ghoul gazed back at her from across the narrow expanse. The bloodshot eyes were puffy from crying for hours at the realization that everything she had existed for was now lost. The circles around her eyes were from nights of wakefulness, as she worried herself ragged over what would happen if her husband went through with the little liaison the with beautiful blonde bombshell he had chosen. The straw-like hair that seemed to go every which way, like a scarecrow’s…The beak of a nose that could only smell defeat…The long, shapeless body that lacked even the slightest curve, and barely showed a protrusion of breast…The freckles that covered her face and made her look like an even uglier version of Pippy Longstocking… All these things led her to believe she was as ugly as they came.

“Mirror, Mirror, on the wall, who is the ugliest of us all?” She answered her own question with, “Me, that’s who.” In disgust, she looked away. She was not beautiful. She had never been beautiful. And at forty-nine, she was less attractive now than ever, and grew more unattractive by the minute. Soon she would turn fifty, and it was down-hill after that, as her health would deteriorate along with the rest of her. What would Jon do if he were here with her tonight? What would he say to her now? If Jon were here they would watch movies together, maybe even one of his porn collection, he said he needed to get aroused. No wonder, given what he had to deal with. She didn't like television or his movies. When she was home alone she listened to music on the overpriced stereo he had bought her. When he was here they would watch his movies on his high definition flat screen television hooked up to his blue-ray player. They'd watch his favorite actors: John Wayne, Clint Eastwood, Harrison Ford, Robert DeNiro, Al Pacino, Anthony Hopkins, or Jeff Bridges. And then there was the younger stable of actors he liked to watch, Johnny Depp, Christian Bale, Robert Downing Jr., and of course Matt Damon. When he was home, they would watch his movies, not her small collection of Romance movies he labeled "chick flicks", nor her more classic collection of musicals. No, they watched his. When she was home alone she didn't usually watch movies or television. She listened to the music she loved. She listened to Sarah Brightman, Sarah

McLoughlin, Martina McBride, Sissel, and her most recent discovery, Katherine Jenkins. Right now the stereo played Katherine Jenkins' "Believe" CD. She listened to that beautiful Welsh opera voice that moved her so sing "In the arms of an angel." How she longed to be in the arms of her angel. But he held another woman in his arms now, and that made her feel even uglier. She put the cup of tea on the night stand—it had long since became unpalatable—and put her head in her hands, rubbing her eyes with her fingers to wipe out the image of her ugliness. What was Jon doing now? Nailing a beautiful, buxom blonde, that’s what. She couldn’t bring herself to believe that it had anything to do with love. It was sex and nothing more. A logical function with no true emotion involved whatsoever. What had Dr. Pearson said that had put the idea in her mind, this diabolical plan? That is, after Jon had outlined what he considered to be a beautiful woman. Dr. Pearson had said, “You can get that for about a thousand a night.” He said it jokingly, with a little laugh of mock derision, but it had stuck in Jennifer’s head. That had begun the wheels churning inside her. How could she make her husband happy? Provide one night of ecstasy, so his dream could come true. Her dream of a husband, who loved her deeply, was a broken one. But at least she could provide the man she loved with his dream. She loved him so much that she was willing to make this one sacrifice for him, that he might finally be happy. Only a woman who was full of self-loathing could do such a thing. Besides, it would be selfish, really, to deny him the one dream he had. But why

did it have to hurt so badly? It did hurt, gut wrenching, headache splitting, tear-jerking, heart-breaking hurt. She felt horrible, worse than anything she had ever experienced. It was worse than the pain she’d felt after that first miscarriage. Worse than the pain she’d felt after her would-be daughter was still born six weeks early. Worse than the realization she would never bear children after two difficult pregnancies had ended in disaster. Worse even than her own father, dying of a massive heart attack just a year ago, and that pain lingered like a phantom that still haunted her in the quiet moments of her life when no one was around. It hurt worse than any of those things, and she wondered if the pain would ever go away. Her husband wanted a stranger more than he wanted her. What could hurt worse than that? And the torment of waiting for him to return from his little tryst was almost more than she could bear. True, when she had suggested it, he had balked at it and said, “Honey I love you. I’m happy with you. I don’t want to ruin that.” But his words already had. It was a lie, and they both knew it. For all her failures as a woman and a housewife, the least she could do was give him what he wanted. “I can’t condone adultery,” he said. “It’s perverse.” “Oh, and fantasizing about it isn’t,” she had wanted to say but didn’t. “It’s not adultery if I condone it.” She knew this was a lie, even when she’d said it, but so did he, and he didn’t object to her sordid use of logic. “In fact, I’ll set it up and pay for it out of my travel fund.” She had over a

thousand saved up for the Alaskan cruise she hoped to take him on someday, but priorities were as priorities are. She’d always dreamed of going to Alaska, now she’d dream a little bit longer. “Honey, you don’t have to do this,” he said. “I’m happy with our life together.” He was a terrible liar. Even though she wanted to believe it, she knew it wasn’t true. “Look, Jon,” she had said a bit testily, angrily even, for all his pretense, “I want you to be happy. I’m okay with this.” Another lie, but at least she had a talent for it. “If your dream is to make love to a beautiful woman, I want you to do it. I’m just sorry I’m such a failure as a wife.” “Honey,” he said, reaching out and taking her gently by the hand. “You’re not a failure as a wife. You are the most selfless person I know.” She winced at the comment and tried to pull away. But he held her tight in his grip that was like a vice, or the jaws of a pit bull that, once clamped down, won’t release. “Let go of me,” she said in a cold bitter voice. “Honey, come on,” he said lamely, as he tried to comfort her and failed in the attempt. “I said, let go of me,” she was firm in her resolve and pulled her hand hard out of his grasp, leaving a scratch mark on her pinky finger. “Go make love to your beautiful, buxom blonde, and then maybe I can have some peace of mind, knowing I at least made you happy, if only for a night.”

So he had agreed.. She didn’t know it would hurt her so deeply until he had said he would do it. She didn’t want him to do it, not really. She wanted him to see her as beautiful. But she was ugly, and they both knew it. How treacherous he had been. How unworthy of her forgiveness was he. But she had to forgive. It was her idea. Yet she didn't know what it would do to her, she thought as Katherine Jenkins sang: "On the list of hearts that have been broken, it’s not hard to find a place that bears my name..." How true that was now, especially for Jenny. How fitting that these words came out of that beautiful, blonde's mouth even as her husband made love to his own beautiful blonde bimbo. She felt like falling, falling into a deep abyss, from which she would never find escape. But it was her own fault, but that knowledge didn't help. She had set the whole thing up herself, and he had gone to his tryst of debauchery, one he would, no doubt, foist off as lovemaking. She was firm and unwavering in her resolve to make certain their night of nights was at least beautiful for him, and all the nagging pain in the world couldn’t keep her from making certain his desire was filled. The whole Time she was setting up the romantic interlude, she felt she was digging her own grave, a grave for their marriage. It could never be the same again. She could never look at Jon the same way again with her adoring hazel eyes. A chasm now existed between them as vast as the Grand Canyon that could never be bridged. She looked around their bedroom as Katherine Jenkins began to sing in Italian, the theme from the Godfather. Everything reminded her of Jon including that. Her eyes

rested on the entertainment center to her right, at the foot of the bed, perched next to the wall opposite the bed. Jon had a collection of Al Pacino movies, which included the one the beautiful blonde Katherine Jenkins now sang about. She picked up the remote that lie on the bed next to her and shut off the stereo. There on a shelf of the entertainment center was the blue-rah player that was attached to the high definition, flat screen television on which he watched his classic western movie collection of John Wayne and Clint Eastwood, his personal favorites next to his erotica collection. The entertainment center was full with his blue-ray movies and her CDs. She looked around the room and was surprised to find it littered with things that reminded her of Jon. There were his three bookshelves full of books he hadn't read, but always meant to. There was his dresser covered in clutter that he promised to take care of and never did. There was the broken central processing unit from an old computer that contained such vital information that he could not just throw it out. She had no idea of what it contained, but he claimed he was going to download the hard drive to a flash drive, but never got around to it. Then there was a model of the tall clipper ship she had given him as a token of her token of her love when they had gone to Barbados as a twenty year anniversary gift to each other. Was it her imagination, or did he seem to flirt with every cute waitress who waited on them at every restaurant they had eaten at? And why had he spent so much time on the beach after her sunburn made it impossible for her to join him there. He

claimed it was so soothing to watch and listen to the waves roll in. Something told her that wasn't the only thing he'd been watching He did this all while she went from shop to shop looking for a special gift for him, a small token of her love, with that silly broadrimmed sun hat she'd worn to protect her from the ultra-violet rays. The hat that latter on when she saw it in photos looked frumpish. He told her that it fit her so well. She'd always wondered about that comment, what it implied he thought about her. But, of course, she'd never asked, as with so many things. Did this also explain why he'd return to her from a day at the beach to ravage her ugly body with his passionate desire? She had always though it was because he loved and missed her so much after a day away from her and just wanted to be close to her. Only now did she begin to wonder if some big breasted floozy had flipped his switch to the point that he had to find release, and she just happened to be convenient. The messiest part was the stacks of credit card bills and receipts that were scattered all over begging to be shredded, which he'd claimed he'd do someday. But someday never came. The whole room was alive with the memory of Jon. While inside her heart she was a corpse waiting to rot into nothingness. Then her eyes moved across the room to her side, which by comparison was so pristine. There were a few glass figurines that she'd collected over the years, including the beautiful blue glass unicorn, reared back on its back legs, as it front hooves pawed the air. He'd given it to her on her fortieth birthday as a token of his love. Then her eyes fell on the eight-by-ten photo of their wedding day, twenty-five

years earlier, the one that sat on her dresser as testament of her love of Jon. He had been so handsome on their wedding day, so fit, and hot in the blue tuxedo. She looked away, but she knew that he was gorgeous that day, more beautiful than she ever had been. He had held her so close in that picture, that the distance between them now left an aching in her heart. How Jenny wished that he were here now to hold her in his strong, gentle arms and take all her pain away. Instead he held a young, vibrant, beautiful bimbo in those arms. The kind of woman that would turn men's heads as she sauntered past, her but swaying in the hot, horny air, exuded by the lustful perverts. Who latter would go home and so turned on by the bimbo, make mad, passionate love to their lonely wives. Was that what Jon had done every time they had made love. The frequency had dwindled with age. She shook her head to get the images that haunted her out of her mind. She put her head in her hands and cried gut wrenching sobs that made her shoulders shake until they ached. The long cry left her insides torn and shattered, as if she were some fragile glass doll with a crystalline heart. Sullenly put her face in her hands to wipe away the grief from her tear laden eyes. And she thought she had none left. SURPRISE! After crying for what seemed like for hours, so long that there was not a tear left inside of her to mourn her dead message, her eyes ached, and her head throbbed. Her stomach was in knots. Perspiration dripped from her forehead. Suddenly, she bolted from her perch on the bed and hurried for the bathroom. She made it to the toilette just in Time, relieving herself of the tea she’d been drinking and the raisin bagel with cream

cheese she’d eaten earlier. It all came up in a rush. After relieving herself of all the bile that had built up inside because of her angst, she rinsed her mouth out with mouthwash at the sink. As she gazed into the mirror at her bedraggled face, a bit of vomit on her chin, she was uglier now than she’d been in the bedroom. Her freckles were like brown blotches on her overly white skin, attesting to the long winter spent indoors, curled up with her favorite romance novel. It was actually better, she thought, that she had planned the tryst, because this way it was out in the open, and he didn’t have to sneak around and have an affair behind her back. He could do it with her knowledge, and that brought her some solace… Not much, but some. She felt so betrayed, so dirty and violated. She was desperate for the pain to end, desperate to have it all over with, desperate for her very life to be finished. She was unloved and uncared for, with nothing to show for twenty-five years of marriage but a broken heart and busted dreams. Death would be such sweet relief. At least then she could be at peace. At least then she wouldn’t have to live with the shame of her paltry existence. At least then Jon would be free to pursue his romantic interests at will. She opened the door to the bathroom medicine cabinet. There, staring her in the face was a bottle of sleeping pills her doctor had prescribed. The pills seemed to reach out to her and say, “Take me, swallow me whole, take me and end it all.” Could she? Of course she could. That was a stupid question. Would she? She reached up, plucked the bottle gingerly from the shelf and examined the label. She knew from experience that one of these magic pills would put her out for a couple of hours, but two would knock her out

for a full night’s rest. She didn’t like taking them, though, because she always felt groggy in the morning after taking two. She could just imagine what a whole handful would do to her. Peace! That was all she wanted, and for her pain to end. Here in her hand was the means to achieve an end to the torment. She hesitated. Should she off herself? Part of her, a small part, wanted to live. A larger part could see no other way out of the shame and torment she drowned in. This may be a bit extreme. All would call her insane, but she knew better than to believe that lie, like she had so many others. She was perfectly sane. Not only that, it was all so logical. The coldness of the logic frightened her, as her cold dead body would Jon when he found it. As she considered her options, which were few, she felt like she was in the eye of the storm, with whirlwinds all around, making her dizzy with the confusion of voices, clamoring for attention. She saw a cup on the back rim of the sink that seemed to be waiting there just for her, to fill with water and drown her sorrows in a fistful of sleeping pills. She reached for it and quickly filled it up. She poured out a handful of pills, threw back her head, and took a mouthful all at once. Some of them bounced off of her cheek and onto the floor, but the bulk of them she sent down her throat with a cupful of water chasing them. She nearly choked on the mass of pills in her mouth, but the big gulp of water caused them to go down her throat. She fought back her gag reflex and knocked the nearly empty bottle of pills into

the sink. The bottle hit the sink with a clang and the remaining pills went every where. Though she was certain she had taken enough, she frantically tried to pick up pills before they dissolved in the patches of water in the sink so she could finish the job. She was only able to pick up a few when headlights flashed in her bathroom window. She turned to look and listened intently, her heart raced as she heard the sound of a car engine pull into the drive way, stop, and shut off. “Oh, Lord!” she said. “Jon!” He was home, earlier than expected. She’d paid for the whole night, but a quick glance at the clock radio on the bathroom counter told her it was two-thirty in the morning. The time had evaporated like the mist before the dawn. Suddenly, she was gripped by guilt and the realization of what she had attempted. She would have taken the remainder of the pills and finished the job, but Jon was here. She felt embarrassed. She desperately did not want him to know what she’d done. Find her dead body on the bathroom floor, yes, but catch her in the act of suicide, no. She took the pills in her hand, rushed to the toilette and flushed the remainder of the pills down the bowl. If Jon caught her, it would be the psycho ward at the local hospital for certain. There they’d watch her like a hawk. The remainder of the pills in the sink she washed away. She placed the empty bottle in the cabinet, put the cup on the back of the counter, turned, and went back into the bedroom to lie down. She especially didn’t want Jon to know she was still awake. That would alert him to how miserable she’d been and how deeply the whole situation hurt her. Before she could make it to the bed, the bedroom opened and in walked her big,

burly, Teddy bear of a man, Jon. “You still up?” he said rather gruffly, a note of concern in his gravelly voice. “I had to use the bathroom,” she said as she fidgeted uneasily. She wanted to ask him so many questions, but uncertain how to proceed. She didn't even know if she wanted to hear the answers. He crossed to the dresser on the opposite side of the bed and threw his keys on it. The sound of metal, clanging together and hitting wood with a thud, seemed to resound throughout the quiet room. Jennifer just stood there, holding her breath, as if she were afraid to make a sound to disturb the deep silence. He proceeded to take his shirt off, draped it over a chair next to the nightstand, and then took his wallet out of his pants pocket. He placed it gently on the dresser, undid his pants, took them off, smoothed them out to make certain the crease was preserved, and draped them over the chair. It all seemed so strangely mechanical. After he was undressed, he pulled back the covers of the bed on his side, the right side, and got in as if nothing had happened. He acted as if he’d just come home from a long day at the office, not as if he’d been out on a romantic liaison. This was strange, very strange. Not what she’d expected at all. Were they to continue with their lives as if nothing had happened? She couldn't do it, not with the nagging doubts that plagued. She needed to know what had happened. It was her right as his wife to know He seemed to gloss over it as if nothing had happened, and she didn’t think she could accept that. She knew she couldn’t.

“Coming to bed?” he asked in a robotic tone. She didn’t say anything for the longest time. She just stood there staring at him. Finally, in a weak, barely perceptible voice, she spoke, “Was she beautiful?” “Yeah,” he said, as if it didn’t mean anything, oh so nonchalantly. “She had a rich, classy beauty, kind of like that Opera singer you rave about. What is her name? "You mean Katherine Jenkins?" "Yeah, like Katherine Jenkins, only with giant jugs." “Was it everything you hoped it would be?” she asked, tossing her head back indignantly, as her voice quavered. “Look Jenny,” he propped himself up on an elbow and fixing her with his steel grey eyes, “I’m only going to say this once.” “Yes,” her tone was ripe with dread. “We talked for a while. We kissed for a while. Then we talked some more. Then I left.” Had she heard him correctly? He left! He didn’t make love to her! Was that true! “What?” she said weakly. “She was beautiful, I’ll give her that, but somewhere between the talking and the kissing, I decided on one thing.” “What’s that,” she croaked out, already near tears of joy or relief… She wasn’t certain which. “I decided I wanted to make love to not just any beautiful woman, but to the most

beautiful woman in the world.” “What do you mean?” Her feelings of doubt and disappointment were washed away from her like the tide on the beach that washed away footprints in the sand. Now, at least, there was a glimmer of hope. “So, I came home to do just that,” He was so tender, or at least as tenderly as a big, three-hundred-pound gorilla-of-a-man could be. “I came home to make love to the most beautiful woman in the world. I came home to make love to my wife, to you Jenny, only to you. You’re the only woman I want to make love to. You’re the only woman for me.” She stared at her husband across the room, uncertain what to say. She hardly believed what she had just heard. Suddenly, she felt very dizzy and woozy. Her legs were wobbly. She tried to steady herself, but it did no good. She felt helplessly out of it, as her legs seemed to disappear and her body crumpled to the floor. “Dear God, the sleeping pills,” echoed through her mind as the world went black. In the depths of the darkness, she saw a light. And from the light, she heard a voice calling her by name softly, “Jenny, Jenny, Jenny.” She reached out to the light, uncertain as to what she would find. She knew only that she wanted to reach out to the voice and find out what it wanted of her. She went toward the light, toward peace. She slowly came out of the dream she had been lost in floating over some serene, peaceful lake surrounded by an evergreen forest in the mountains somewhere. She

seemed to be swallowed up in a bright light that blinded her. She must be dead and she had a faint hope that she had gone to heaven. Hell could not be this bright. Hell was a dark and dismal place. Hell was where demons dwelt with fire and brimstone raining down on the damned. But this wasn’t even hot. In fact, the temperature was comfortable here. It was neither too hot nor too cold. It was just right. So this must be heaven; and she had arrived where her Jesus was. But didn’t people who committed suicide all go to Hell? That confused her for a moment until… “Jennifer! Are you all right? Are you okay? Get the nurse; she’s coming out of it. Oh God Darling, we almost lost you. Thank Jesus you’re coming out of it. You’ll be all right dearest Jennifer. Just wait and see. Everything will be all right.’ It was a vaguely familiar voice that she knew she should recognize, but whose was it? Suddenly it hit her, like having cold water thrown in your face to snap you awake. “Jon?” She was bewildered. “Jon, is that you?” She felt something grasp hold of her body and pull her up, as wetness graced her cheeks. “Thank God, you’re back!” Jon’s voice broke through muffled tears. She knew he was crying. But he never cried. Why would he do so now? It was as if a light came on, and she remembered. “I don’t know what I’d do if I lost you!”

The sleeping pills! She had taken the sleeping pills to die. Now why had she done that? He held her close to him, close enough that she could smell his cologne, mixed with something else, something…A flowery scent, like a woman’s perfume. Why did he smell like that? Like another woman’s perfume. It wasn’t her perfume. She was certain of it. Her mind was in such a fog that she could not think straight or remember what had happened exactly. “I am so sorry Sweet Jennifer! I am so sorry for not being there for you on our nights of all nights, our silver wedding anniversary. I was wrong to do it. I was wrong to accept your gift to be with another woman. The only woman I want to be with is you, Dearest Jenny, my love. You are kind. You are compassionate. You have such a gentle manner and quiet grace, that bespeaks of beauty within such as is rare in this crazy world of ours. All of these have endeared you tome. I have seen your beauty, and it is beautiful beyond compare. I only want to be with you my love, my Jenny.” Then it came flooding back to her as her eyes slowly fluttered wide open, and slowly came to gaze into his wise gray eyes. They were so full of worry and love and concern that it really touched her deeply. She knew the words he spoke were true, straight from the heart. She also knew it wasn’t her perfume mixed with his cologne. And she remembered! She remembered how he had wanted to make love with a beautiful

woman…another woman…not her! She remembered her gift to him, one night of debauchery he couldn’t get from her. She remembered how he had left her on the night they had been married twenty-five years ago. She remembered he had gone, and actually been with the other woman. He had kissed her! He had kissed the beautiful woman of his dreams who was not her. She remembered all of this, the betrayal of her love. And she remembered her pain. "I'm so sorry I did this to you! I had no idea what I'd put you through/. I was so selfish. But I'll make it up to you, if it takes the rest of my life. That is my vow to you. Can you ever forgive me? That was the real question wasn't it: Could she forgive him? She realized if she couldn't they might as well end it right here, right now. Is that what she really wanted? "I don't know," she croaked. "We'll have to see." She knew she would in time, but not today, not now. "Do you want a divorce?' His voice was full of emotion and broke as he said it. And he sounded so muck like a contrite little boy who had just broken his mother's favorite, antique vase. All he wanted was redemption. She thought a moment about this. He had gone and betrayed her by kissing that beautiful, blond bimbo. But he had said she was beautiful, actually spoke the words. And for the first time in her marriage, even her life, she an inkling of what it must be like to be beautiful. Oh she knew she was no beauty, not be society or anyone else’s standards. But there was more to beauty than being skin-deep. And in that moment the kernel of

hope and belief was planted, that maybe some how in someway she might be beautiful,, at least in her husband’s eyes. But she de feel loved, in the depth of her soul she felt it. And she knew she loved him, more than he knew. She didn't lie to him. She would never lie to him, the way he had done to her their whole marriage. She knew he desired reassurance and craved forgiveness; but she couldn't give it to him, not just yet. "I don't know," she whispered. She turned her head to the side so she didn't have to look him in those soul searching hazel eyes of his. "We'll see." Again with the teas that stained her cheeks. He held her tight against him, as her body shook from the gut wrenching sobs that emanated from deep within his soul. He pressed his lips to her cheek and kissed it lightly. "No matter what dear Jenny, you are my only love." And she smiled lightly, as if she had seen the most beautiful rainbow on the horizon after the storm. Maybe there was hope for him yet.

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