A Month of Short Stories 2015, Day Twenty Two – The Other Wife

The last two years, for the month of June, I wrote about a short story that was available online each day of the month… you can see the list for 2014 and 2015 in the comments for this page. It seemed like a good idea at the time. My blog readership fell precipitously and nobody seemed to give a damn about what I was doing – which was a surprising amount of work.

Because of this result, I’m going to do it again this year.

Today’s story, for day twenty two – The Other Wife, by Colette

Read it online here:

The Other Wife

Today, in this modern age, in this best of all possible worlds, it isn’t unusual to be out with someone and run into an ex – either yours or theirs (or both’s). But in the time of Colette – not so long ago, really – it was probably a rare and uncomfortable occurrence.

Perhaps that’s the reason that seeing her new husband’s recently divorced wife at a seaside restaurant table leaves so big of an impression on a wife. I guess it starts with her slight vexation at finding he never mentioned that they both had blue eyes – though I bet she would have been more angry had he brought it up. I can assure you that his ex-wife is the last person in the entire world he wanted to see that day.

And for good reason.

There are subtleties of the heart that are beyond my ability to understand and convey. Luckily for us all, there is Colette.

She knows. She knows.

“She’s just difficult!”
Alice fanned herself irritably, and cast brief glances at the woman in white, who was smoking, her head resting against the back of the cane chair, her eyes closed with an air of satisfied lassitude.
Marc shrugged his shoulders modestly.
“That’s the right word,” he admitted. “What can you do? You have to feel sorry for people who are never satisfied. But we’re satisfied . . . Aren’t we, darling?”
She did not answer. She was looking furtively, and closely, at her husband’s face, ruddy and regular; at his thick hair, threaded here and there with white silk; at his short, well-cared-for hands; and doubtful for the first time, she asked herself, “What more did she want from him?”
And as they were leaving, while Marc was paying the bill and asking for the chauffeur and about the route, she kept looking, with envy and curiosity, at the woman in white, this dissatisfied, this difficult, this superior . . .

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