Becky knew she had to resign herself to the fact George was gone. It had been two months, but she still clung to the hope he would return. That one day he would come to his senses and leave the bimbo he was shacking up with, but so far, his libido was overruling his brain.
“Twenty years down the drain, and for what?” she muttered to herself while she threw another pair of George’s pants on the fire. “A skinny piece of ass half his age.”
She would never understand what he saw in a woman so young. They couldn’t have a decent conversation because the silly girl wouldn’t know half of what he was talking about. After all, for most of it, she hadn’t even yet been born.
Of course, Becky was smart enough to know it wasn’t the girl’s brains George cared about. He had always had an eye for the ladies, but Becky never thought he’d act on it. He had seemed happy and content with the life they had built. The wife really is the last to know, she thought as she held a match to one of George’s bulky winter sweaters.
Becky cried as she watched smoke curl into the air. She wondered what she could have done differently. Would George have stayed if she’d lost ten pounds? Dyed her hair instead of leaving it gray? Learned some new moves in the bedroom?
Still contemplating what she could have done that might have kept George at home; Becky was startled when she spied a figure coming out of the mist of smoke surrounding the burn barrel. She wiped her eyes, not only to hide the tears, but because she didn’t believe what she saw.
As the most gorgeous man on two legs walked toward her, all Becky could do was stare. She could actually see his muscles bunching under his shirt, which until that moment, Becky thought was something romance novelist made up.
When the man smiled, Becky looked over her shoulder. She was sure someone had come up behind her, but nobody else was around. The two of them were alone behind her house, the glow of the fire warming the night. At least that was what Becky was going to blame for the heat coursing through her body.
The man stopped right in front of Becky, smiled and gently brushed a strand of hair from her cheek. His touch electrified Becky. Her knees almost buckled and her heart rate tripled. She would have fallen had she not grabbed his arm to steady herself.
“Hello, beautiful,” he whispered.
“Hel..lo,” Becky stammered. “Can I help you?” she asked, sure he was looking for one of her neighbors.
“I sure hope so, darling,” he replied.
Becky found herself standing up straighter and wishing she had taken the time to put some makeup on before coming outside earlier. Still, she mustered the courage to ask the sexy stranger what he needed.
“I’ve been watching you,” he said, which made Becky feel a little uneasy until he added, “and I decided it was a damn shame that such a fine woman was crying in the night.”
He stepped closer, took Becky’s hand, and asked, “What can I do to dry the tears from your eyes, darling?”
Becky would have pinched herself had he not been holding her hand. She was sure she was dreaming. No man that looked like he did had ever been interested in the likes of her. Her suspicions roused, Becky asked the stranger, “Did George send you?”
“I don’t know George, but if he’s the one you’re crying over I’d sure like to meet him and find out what kind of man would upset such a good woman.”
“You don’t know I’m a good woman.”
“Oh, but I do,” he said and took her other hand. “I could feel it clear across the yard.”
“Are you real,” Becky squeaked and pulled her hands away so she could catch her breath.
“Of course I am, darling,” the man said and chuckled.
“This is just too weird,” Becky told him. “Some strange man coming up out of the blue.”
“Well, it’s not entirely out of the blue,” he confessed. “Emily, your next door neighbor, is my sister. She told me a little about your situation.”
While Becky mulled over the fact her neighbors were talking about her shame, the man added, “Your husband should be shot,” which should have scared Becky, but instead made her laugh.
“Now that’s more like it,” he said. “Forget the bastard and let me take you to dinner.”
Becky couldn’t believe her ears. “Are you serious?”
“Yes. Why wouldn’t I be?” he asked.
“Because this doesn’t happen to me,” Becky said and waved her hand up and down his body in case he didn’t know what she was talking about.
He laughed. “Men are stupid, what can I say?”
“But why would you want to take an old lady like me to dinner instead of some young thing?”
The man looked Becky square in the eye and said, “I like a woman who knows how to treat a man, not one who is only interested in what she can get from one.”
Becky didn’t know whether to believe him or not, but when he took her hand again and she felt another shock, she no longer cared. She smiled and told him to let her get her coat. At her front door, Becky looked back and sighed. She finally understood George.