SERIAL FICTION: Don’t Tell Mrs. Donahue (Part 2)
This is Part 2 of “Don’t Tell Mrs. Donahue”, an on-going work of serial fiction. Check out Part 1 here.
Jennifer walked out the door without another word.
Greta sat back down. “Mr. Donahue, you have to stop,” she said. “I’m sure having an affair is fun and dangerous and exciting, but that doesn’t make it right. When you got married, you made a promise to your wife to be faithful to her always, didn’t you? Well, didn’t you? You need to put an end to this right now and tell Mrs. Donahue what’s been going on. She deserves at least that.”
“I’m not going to tell her.”
“Well, if you won’t, then I will.”
“Please just stay out of this. Don’t tell Mrs. Donahue a thing.”
He picked up the bowl of blueberries and walked into the living room. He sat down on the couch and turned on the television. “I want to start watching a new series,” Nick said. “I just finished Breaking Bad. Do you have any recommendations?”
“What do you think you’re doing?” Greta said. She walked into the living room and ripped the remote out of Nick’s hand. “We’re not done here.” She turned the television off and set the remote down on the end table next to them.
Nick put the bowl of blueberries next to the remote, stood up, and gently caressed Greta’s arm. “Listen, Greta, I understand that you’re upset about this. And I appreciate your wanting to help, but this really doesn’t concern you. Why don’t you go home and relax? Take a nap or a bath, whatever. Just relax. I promise that you’ll feel better.”
“I’ll tell her, Greta, okay? I’ll tell her. I just need a little bit of time to think everything over.”
“You’re just saying that to make sure I keep my mouth shut.”
Nick paused. “Love is a very complicated thing,” he said. “There is nothing simple about love. People make mistakes sometimes. But people don’t do things for no reason. It might appear that way, but it’s… I don’t know. What I’m trying to say, as kindly and as tactfully as I can, is that you’ll never be able to fully understand, well, anything, I guess.”
Just then, unbeknownst to Nick and Greta, a red pickup truck T-boned a blue SUV at the intersection of Girard Avenue and Front Street.
“So by that rationale, no one is ever responsible for the things they do.”
“No, I’m not saying that,” Nick said. “I’m saying that it’s often very easy to overlook certain factors when considering a particular situation. You never get the full story. You can never fully understand. Does that make sense?”
“No, Mr. Donahue, it doesn’t.”
Nick started breathing very heavily. He picked up the bowl of blueberries and threw it against the wall behind Greta. The bowl shattered into a million pieces. “What the hell do you want from me?” Nick said. “I told you that I’d tell her, but you didn’t believe me. I tried to explain myself, but you didn’t understand. For God’s sake, what the hell do you want? Money? How much?” He ran back into the kitchen and began searching the drawers for his checkbook.
“I don’t want money,” Greta said. “What I want is for you to really realize what it is you’ve done. I want you to legitimately acknowledge your impropriety. Your wife deserves some respect. She deserves a heartfelt apology, but she’s never going to get that unless you’re willing to acknowledge the severity of your wrongdoing.”
Nick walked back into the living room. “Greta,” he said, “I’m begging you. Go home. Please. Go home, and don’t tell people things they’re better off not knowing.”
Check back next week for Part 3 of “Don’t Tell Mrs. Donahue. •