A Most Important Outing

“Where you going?” he asked with his devil’s smile, all teeth and false affection.

“Out,” she replied, hands fumbling and slipping over the bulky key chain as she struggled to get it into her purse.

“Ha,” Devin laughed humorlessly, not even turning away from the television to regard his wife as she prepared to go. Devoid of even the pretext of civility, he pronounced flatly, “Whatever you do, wherever you go, I’ll find out.”

She made a small sound of acknowledgment, a pitiable squeak of acquiescence.

Again came the flat toned admonishment, “Don’t give me a reason. We have a party to go to at work on Friday.”

“Yes, I know,” she said meekly. In the doorway she hesitated, purse in hand, heavy-laden with odds, ends, and purpose. “May I go?” The smile was produced once more, though he said nothing, only flashed it at her and turned back to the show.

After a few agonizing minutes he grunted approval and sipped his wine. With that, Prudence Temmit left for a day’s outing, a most important outing.

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