The Man In The Mirror

By: Georgia Le Carre

“Wait!” she called.

I stopped and watched her dispassionately as she righted herself with some difficulty. When she was able to stand on her own she addressed me without a shred of shame or guilt.

“You almost scared me to death,” she accused, one hand on her slender hip, and the other holding tightly to the railing for dear life.

“I can’t remember the last time I saw you sober,” I remarked.

She cocked her head and gazed at me in drunken contemplation. “I can’t remember the last time I saw you without your mask.”

I shifted my weight onto my other leg. It had started to throb. “How do you expect to care for Zackary if you’re out getting drunk all night and asleep for most of the day?”

“You’re a fine one to talk. At least I’m around for him.” She staggered, but managed to catch herself in time. “But you’re never around for him. He needs you too, you know?”

Her war of wit was infuriating and in her present condition any rebuttal would have been a pointless exercise, but I couldn’t stop myself. “I would love to be around Zack, but as you are clearly aware, he’s terrified of me.”

“He’s not the only fucking one,” she muttered under her breath, but I’d heard it … as clear as day. A few years ago, it would have cut through my ego like a knife, but now it sifted through my consciousness like air. Inconsequential. I couldn’t give a damn what she or anyone else thought.

“Get your act together,” I said harshly. “Otherwise I’ll step in.” I whirled around to leave, but her words came after me, defiant and taunting.

“How dare you talk to me like that? I’m not your servant. I’m your wife, and the mother of your child.”

“Then behave like one. Be a mother to that poor child.”

“I have needs too,” she cried.

“I am sure your needs are being met.” My voice was cold and uncaring. The whole conversation bored me. All I wanted from her was to be a good mother to Zackary.

“What I need from you is a good fuck, but since you have relinquished even that basic duty, I’m forced to find other ways to keep myself alive. I know you saw what happened outside. Did you enjoy watching?”

I continued walking away, but at her next statement I screeched to a halt.

“I’ve hired a nanny if you care to know.”

I turned slowly to face her. “What?”

“Of course, that would get your attention,” she hurled. There was gloating triumph in her beautiful face.

“Why does Zackary need a nanny? Are you planning on going somewhere?” My voice was soft.

She raised her chin defiantly. “No, but I need the help. He’s growing, just in case you haven’t noticed. He requires more time and attention, and my life can’t continue to simply revolve around him.”

I thought of the dark-haired man with his fist inside her. “What then will your life revolve around?”

Her snort was bitter. “You’ve always been so condescending towards me. I’m nothing in your eyes, aren’t I, Mr. Gazillionaire. But you know what? You deserve the misfortune you’ve got. The only person who didn't was my father … he got the brunt of your misfortune, didn’t he? If my father saw the way you treat me now, he would turn in his grave.”

She continued her ascent up the stairs, and I let her go past me. I did not trust myself to speak. I was furious at her crass mention of Stanley. How dare she say that? He had spoilt her rotten so she never knew real love for him. He was just there to pay for everything. If he was turning in his grave it would be because of how she had turned out.

“I’ll keep myself and Zackary away from you, don’t worry,” she said. “The nanny will be here on Monday.”

“Will she be residing here?” I asked from between clenched teeth.

“Of course, but don’t worry, I’ll be sure to warn her to stay away from you. You can just relay your instructions the same way you do with me. Through your esteemed intercom service.”

“Goodnight husband,” she said sarcastically as she passed, but then she stopped when she was at the entrance of the corridor to her wing. She glanced back at me, her face sly. “I wasn't joking earlier. I am drunk enough, but I wouldn’t mind doing it once more for old time’s sake? Your chill is just what I need to put me to sleep. Anyway, don’t you want to know if your cock still works?”

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