The Glass vase smashed into a thousand pieces as it hit the wall. The shards hitting the floor, beating out a rain tattoo on the hard wood floor, lying there twinkling in the evening sunlight like the diamonds she would have preferred. Like the diamond earrings she knew he had bought because she had seen the receipt two days before. Finally a birthday present that didn't make her feel ninety. Something that showed he though of her as a woman and not just as his wife. When he had given her the large box she has though it was some kind of joke. The large box with a smaller box inside and then a smaller box in that and so on until the small velvet jewellery box was discovered. She had though how clever he had been to make it feel heavy. And then she had opened it to find that bloody vase. He hadn't even bought any flowers to go in the bloody thing.
That had been twenty years ago and she had kept her feelings hidden and joked how he would have to buy flowers now so it got plenty of use. He had done for quite a while. Big bunch of flowers every Friday, much more attention and the sex had be fantastic. She had read somewhere that people who had affairs then also had more sex with their spouses. Why had she not left then? Why had she not confront him about the earrings as soon as she knew? She didn't know. Things had gone back to normal after about six months and she wondered if the affair had ended. Then around Christmas there had been a receipt for two bracelets. Why two? One for the lover and one for the wife? But come Christmas Day there was just the usual slippers, bathrobe and smellies.
She had convinced herself she would be no better without him and that as she didn't work she would have not been able to support herself. She had launched herself into clubs and local events and became something of a village celebrity. She didn't even notice him that much. He was a way to keep her house and in that respect was she any better than a mistress? She had never given him children and they liked it that way. No ties, they could do what they wanted when they wanted.
The receipts had continued through the years and she always made sure she bought herself something of equal value. As he earned all the money he was still buying it for her and as she got to choose the pieces were exactly to her liking.
Today she had been on one of her charity jaunts and had ended up in an area of town she had never been too before. As she had finished her meeting early she had decided to treat herself a coffee.
'Mr Jones. How are you today?' The waiter ran passed her to great what was obviously a favoured customer.
'Very well thank you Luigi. Are the girls here yet?' That voice. It was him.
She sat at the back of the cafe in the dark so he couldn't see her. After about 5 minutes two very beautiful women appeared. He got up and kissed them each on the cheek. As she watched them it was obvious they knew each other very well. Both girls were wearing identical bracelets and one had a beautiful set of diamond earrings.
She slowly drank her coffee and then ordered another. Not wanting to leave the restaurant as she would have to have walked passed him. Just as she was thinking she couldn't hold out much longer they left.
She then signalled for the bill.
'Can you tell me who that gentleman was sat outside earlier? I am sure I know him but I can't remember where from,' She nonchalantly asked the waiter.
'That was Mr Jones and his daughters.' The waiter proudly told her. 'He comes here every week with the girls. They have been coming here for years. It was very sad when their mother died last year, but they seem to be pulling through. It is good that there are so close.'
She had smiled at the waiter, fighting back the tears and had rushed home. How could he have betrayed her like that? After all these years, those girls must have been at least twenty years old. She realised who all the gifts had been for. She had been living a lie for the last twenty years and now it was time to stop.
She packed a bag, transferred half of the money in their joint account into her savings account and started to leave. She wanted to leave to note to explain she knew what had happen but she couldn't find the words. As she picked up her car keys from the table in the hall she saw the vase and knew how to make him understand.