He stood there in the open doorway, thinking about roses and rain. Last night it had rained cats and dogs and as he lay there in the bed, staring up at the ceiling while Linh slept, he thought of the time when Marguerite and he were making love in her room.
On the nightstand was a vase of a dozen red roses which he had given her for Valentine’s Day, their sweet fragrance filling the room. Outside the rain fell hard and steady. It beat against the windows of the room, as if trying to drown out the sounds of their moans and the creaking of the bed.
Closing the door, he sighed in despair. How much longer could he continue doing this? Why didn’t he just tell Linh that their marriage was over and that he wanted a divorce? Setting his face like flint he made up his mind that he was going to do just that. In the morning when Marguerite was in town running errands, he would talk to Linh.
It was after eleven and the house was quiet. He hoped she was sleeping because he really wasn’t in the mood for having sex with her. If she was, then, he would sleep in the guest room with the excuse of not wanting to wake her.
He was tempted to go to Marguerite’s room. How he longed for her. His body ached to feel hers against it. It was sheer torture knowing that she was just down the hall but he couldn’t go to her because of Linh. Three weeks had passed since she arrived. Two more weeks to go. He sighed and quietly made his way to the master bedroom to check to see if Linh was sleeping. Thankfully, she was. Relieved, he left the room and headed for the guest room.
Marguerite wasn’t sleeping. Sleep was difficult for her whenever Thao’s wife visited. She had been waiting up for him and when she heard his car she glanced at the clock on the bedside table. It was eleven-fifteen. He had to go to Portland, Oregon on business and must be tired. She was tempted to go to him but thought better of it. She lay there in the dark room with the faint light of the moon coming through the windows. While he was in Portland, she had to put up with his wife’s snide remarks and hostile looks.
“I really don’t know why he needs a live-in maid,” she said to her.
“I’m the house-keeper, not a maid.”
“Whatever. I think he should have hired someone who can do everything during the day and then go home in the evenings. Don’t you have your own place?”
“Why don’t you rent an apartment and then arrange with Mr. Pham which days you can come and work for him?”
“Mr. Pham prefers this arrangement.”
“Well, I don’t. I’ll talk to him about it.”
Marguerite didn’t answer but inwardly, she was fuming.
“By the way, Mr. Pham and I are going to spending the day at San Juan Islands. I’d like you to iron the outfit I have laid out on the bed.”
“Yes, Mrs. Pham.” Marguerite mumbled before she walked out of the room. Thao was taking his wife to San Juan Islands. She should have been relieved that she would have an entire day to herself but she was upset.
Why couldn’t Mrs. Pham go to the islands by herself so that she and Thao could be alone together? Even as she thought it, she knew it wasn’t possible. Mrs. Pham would never go anywhere by herself. Besides, this was her opportunity to spend as much time as possible with her husband while she was in Seattle.
Marguerite sighed. Two more miserable weeks to go before Mrs. Pham returned to Da Nang.
Marguerite buried her face in the pillow now, not wanting to think about tomorrow.
Morning came and while Marguerite was preparing breakfast, Thao left the guest room and went into the master bedroom. He heard the shower running. He went inside the bathroom to brush his teeth. Grabbing his towel and robe, he went to the main bathroom and showered. When he was finished, he went to the kitchen where Marguerite was.
She turned when he entered. “Good morning,” she said. “Do you want to have breakfast in the dining-room or on the terrace?”
“Good morning, Marguerite. The dining-room is fine.”
“All right. What time are you and Mrs. Pham leaving?”
He stared at her. “Leaving?”
“Leaving for San Juan Islands. Mrs. Pham said that you and she were spending the day there.”
He had forgotten. Damn. “Yes. We’ll leave right after breakfast.”
“What time do you think you’ll be back?”
“I don’t know. Maybe around six. Marguerite…”
“Good Morning!” Linh’s voice was like an intrusion.
A muscle pulsated along his jawline as he turned to face her. “Good Morning,” he muttered before he excused himself and walked out of the kitchen.
Marguerite continued preparing breakfast.
“What were you and Mr. Pham talking about?” Linh asked her. She felt as if she had interrupted something.
“I was asking him when you and he would be back from San Juan so that I would know when to prepare dinner.”
“Oh. It’s possible that we might have dinner before we return.”
“If that’s the case, then Mr. Pham will let me know.”
“Let Mr. Pham know I’ll be on the terrace. We’ll have our breakfast there.”
“Mr. Pham said that the dining-room would be fine.”
“I’m sure he won’t mind having it on the terrace. It’s a lovely morning and the fresh air would do us both good.” She turned and walked out of the kitchen, oblivious to the resentful glare Marguerite gave her.
It was a pleasant morning. Warm, not hot or humid and there was a cool, gentle breeze. She sat down with her back to the garden below. She couldn’t shake the feeling that she had interrupted something between Thao and that girl but what? She wished she could persuade him to get rid of her and hire someone else–someone older.
Although she couldn’t imagine that Thao would be attracted to this girl, she didn’t feel comfortable having her living there with him. She hated the idea. This time she was going to do something about it.
She put her hand on her stomach. What would Thao say if she were to tell him that she suspected that she might be pregnant? What would his reaction be? Would he be surprised? Would he suggest that she move to Seattle? That would please her very much. She was getting tired of their long distance marriage.
And if she moved in here, then, that girl would have to go. She smiled at the thought. Perhaps, she even could ask her to pick up a pregnancy test for her at the drugstore when she was out doing her errands. Linh’s smile widened. As soon as she got the pregnancy test, she would take it and if it turned out that she was pregnant, she would tell Thao right away.
As she waited for him to join her on the terrace and for the girl to bring the breakfast tray, she hoped that a glass of orange juice would get rid of the annoying metallic taste in her mouth.
Source: We Have Kids