Mitch buzzed Ted into his apartment and sat back down. Ted entered.
“Hey, you just missed an amazing game,” Mitch said and drank from his beer bottle. Ted walked up to him, rage boiling inside him, his hands fisted.
“What’s up, buddy? You look intense.” Before he could blink, Ted’s fist landed on his face.
“What the hell?”
“How dare you touch my wife?” Ted asked, panting heavily.
“What are you talking about?”
“Why did you come back here?”
“For business; we had to tie all loose ends, you know that.”
“And my wife?”
“What about your wife? What did she tell you?”
“She told me what happened when she was away…with you.”
“Listen…it is not what it looks like; I assure you.” Ted hit him again.
“Ted! Listen to me! I didn’t do anything with your wife…”
“What’s with you and coveting against the women in my life? The first time, I was willing to let that go but my wife? I thought you staying a bit longer was for us to repair our damaged friendship but that was just the cover story, wasn’t it? You came here to hit on my wife, didn’t you?”
“I didn’t even know she was your wife till I got here, Ted. All this is some twisted coincidence, Ted. You have to believe me.”
“I’d rather die than to ever trust you again.”
“What can I do to make this right, Ted?” Mitch asked.
“Get on the first flight tomorrow and get out of here. And I don’t ever want to set my eyes on you again.”
“Come on, Ted…”
“Don’t let me repeat myself, Mitch. If you’re not out of here by 10a.m., I’ll just have to make a call to Mr. Wilson and you go back home to find yourself out of a job,” Ted warned and walked out of the apartment. Mitch winced when he touched his bruised face.
Lucia stood when the door opened and Ted entered.
“Where did you go?” Lucia asked, wiping the tears from her face.
“I believe you have a fair idea,” Ted answered without looking her way and started up the stairs. Lucia followed.
“Ted please let’s talk about this.” Ted entered the bedroom, Lucia followed suit and closed the door. Ted loosened the tie from his neck and took it out. He threw it on the bed.
“I don’t really remember what happened that night. I had drunk too much wine and the memories are all blurry…” Lucia tried to explain.
“But the bottom line is, you slept with him, right? No matter how you want to spin the story, it will always end with those words, won’t it?”
“I don’t even remember if I did, Ted.”
“And is that supposed to make me feel better? Because it doesn’t! I knew you were upset about me keeping Anita at our company but to retaliate by sleeping with some random guy who turned out to be my old estranged friend who already has a history of taking away a girl I used to like is too much for me, Lucia.”
“I know and I’m sorry. I don’t know what came over me.”
“Oh should I remind you?” Ted asked coldly, walking towards Lucia. Lucia went back, afraid of the look in his eyes.
“Maybe he was the sweet, smooth type,” Ted said, touching her face. Lucia’s breath got caught in her throat.
“Was he? Because he can be like that sometimes. Was he gentle?”
“Or perhaps he was a little rough,” he said, his tone changing as he seized Lucia and threw her on the bed. Lucia screamed in shock.
“Because I hear the good girls usually enjoy the rough ride,” Ted said, forcing Lucia down.
“Ted, please don’t do this,” Lucia pleading, struggling to get out of his strong grip.
“Oh he wasn’t rough?” Lucia gasped when she heard her garment tear away.
“Ted, you’re hurting me!”
“Maybe you wanted to try something new…” He succeeded in pinning her down.
“Ted, please…you don’t want to do this.” Ted paused and watched the tears run down her face, her chest heaving with each strained breath. Lucia stopped sobbing and watched him staring at her. Her breath got caught again when Ted’s hand landed around her neck. She put her hands on it, fearing for the worst. But Ted didn’t apply any pressure, he just stared at her, panting heavily. Slowly he leaned in and kissed her. There was no desire, no passion…all Lucia could feel was pain and anguish. Ted got off her and walked out of the room. Lucia exhaled deeply and kept her hands on her neck, surprised that she was alive at all. She heard the door to the guest room open and close. She sighed in relief. At least, he was not going to storm outside. She sat up and found herself trembling all over. Her wrists hurt. She looked down at her ruined garment. Was this the beginning of the end?
Lucia was up on the bed, hugging herself around the legs when Ted entered the bedroom the following morning.
“Good morning,” Lucia greeted. She got the slam of the bathroom door as a reply. When he came out, Lucia asked, “Are you going to the office?”
“Where else would I go?”
“Well, considering the fact that we obviously couldn’t sleep last night, it would be better if we both stayed at home,” Lucia suggested.
“So I can finish with what I almost did last night? I’m sorry about that. I went mad with rage. But I do stay in, I might really hurt you and I don’t want to do that.”
“Okay…I’ll come later then.”
“No…it would be better if you don’t report to the office today and for the next few days. I need some space to clear my head,” Ted said. Lucia nodded. Ted finished dressing up and got ready to leave.
“And if you want something to do to keep busy, why not go take a paternity test and spare us all the heartache?” he said and walked out. Fresh tears ran down her face when she blinked.
“What have I done?”
“We need to talk,” Anita said when she saw Ted entering his office.
“Not now, Anita,” Ted said, putting his suitcase on his desk and sitting down.
“What do I hear of you ordering Mitch to go back home?”
“And how is that any of your business?”
“If you care to know, Mitch and I were mock-dating.”
“Yeah, trying to see if dating would work.” Ted shook his head.
“His work here was done.”
“That’s odd because I remember you telling me he was going to be here for this entire week.”
“My bad; I must have miscalculated,” Ted said, switching on his computer.
“Miscalculated, my foot! Tell me what’s going on, Ted.”
“I don’t owe you any explanations, Anita. Now go back to work before I displace my anger towards you.”
“You just had to take away my happiness away before it could blossom, huh? You can’t stand to see me happy with someone else, can you Ted?”
“Oh wow, my wife ends up cheating on me with my estranged best friend and you make his departure all about you, don’t you Anita?” Anita gasped.
“Monique cheated on you with Mitch? Wow, even I didn’t see that coming.”
“Leave the office right now, Anita or you’re not going to like what’s going to happen in the next sixty seconds,” Ted warned. Anita conceded by raising her hands and walked out. Ted placed his elbows on the desk and leaned his head on his intertwined fingers.