The Spaces Between Your Fingers

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My mom had known for a while that something was going on. He would go on runs around town for hours at a time, but she would never be able to find him. His excuses for tardiness would be paper thin. She’s too smart to be fooled that easily.

    Doreen leaned against the car, arms crossed, as she stared at the door to the Holiday Inn. It was a fluke that she’d seen him go in. She was on her way out of their Holiday Inn when Doreen saw him pull into her hotel. She knew what was happening here. It wasn’t the first time, but this time...this time she’d caught him.

    It took ten minutes for him to come out. Rob had a pep in his step as the doors slid open for him; a pep that turned into a stumble when he saw her.

    “Hey, what are you doing here,” Rob said, catching himself and giving her an effortless smile.

Doreen’s stomach was in knots, but she managed to match his grin. “I was going to ask you that.” She tried her best to force calm into her words, but it sounded just that: forced.

“Oh, “ he said conversationally. “I forgot where we were staying.”

“You drove us here though. You know the address.”

“Y-yeah, but- I had a long day. Just got confused I guess.” He smiled at her, showing no sign that he heard the tremor in her voice.

“Confused. Sure.” They both knew who was in that hotel. The fact he was pretending they didn’t just made it worse. She lifted herself from the hood of the car, climbing into it.

“I’ll meet you back at the hotel,” Rob said.

Strike One

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