Things have a way of getting tangled up.
The rain pours outside, relentless like the thoughts in her head. The man beside her sleeps on, dreaming of God only knows what men dream of. Race cars? Supermodels? Her fingers have long since stopped seeking his out for comfort. They seek out a cigarette instead; the gesture now so practiced it barely registers anymore. The smell of the rain mingles with the tobacco scent of a thousand nights like this one. The mingled odours rise up and settle onto her chest, pressing until she can barely breathe anymore. The bed isn't hers; she rises to escape its throttling embrace.
The window seems less dangerous. Leaning out, she looks at the plants by the windowsill. His wife is a herb lover, she remembers. In the early, heady days of their acquaintance, she remembers laughing at him telling her that the missus's green thumb cultivated everything except weed. Now she leans and smells thyme, basil and mint. Well grown, well loved plants, tended with the care that escaped the marriage within the walls.
But then, how can she judge anymore? He's been lying to her for years now, inuring her to a life of secret meetings and covert hook ups. She may even have begun preferring it that way. God knows she couldn't be the wife, satisfied with herbs alone. She's been meaning to break it off for a long time, but habit has proved more persevering than she accounted for.
How does one end up as the Other Woman? Is she predisposed towards it? Is there a separate school or university for virtuous, herb growing wives? There's been nothing out of the ordinary about her life, so why did she end up taking this fork in the road? She looks at the sleeping man, the man who somehow got her to accept sordid as exciting; who managed to erode what was inside her till she was okay with this.
He's vain, a peacock looking for validation, from yes men and yes-to-anything women. His vanity is even more extraordinary given how meagre he is. Suddenly, it's impossible to stay used to this any longer.
She goes to the dresser and opens a drawer. The scissors are exactly what she needs. She goes over to his sleeping form and gently begins what she should've done years ago. It takes a while because she wants him to stay asleep; a scene isn't something she can endure right now.
When daylight breaks, the room is empty save for the gently rumbling snores of a man lying on the rumpled bed. All around his head lie bunches of hair, snipped without grace or mercy. The herbs on the windowsill look freshly watered.