One Blonde Strand

Bernadette Cartier; Devotted Mother, Loving Wife, Crushed Woman.


1. One Blonde Strand.

Not entirely void of insecurities, she’d had her suspicions yet she never had proof. But there it rested, upon the slowly unravelling cotton of the life they had made together.

One blonde strand.

It could have easily been missed, laying between the Egyptian cotton pillow cases, right in the middle of the pristinely made bed. Its identity could have been easily ignored, mistaken almost for a stray thread lingering on the fringe of her bed sheets. But it couldn’t be so. Her obsessively domesticated nature wouldn’t allow such tardy linen care and any unseemly sheets would be cast aside, banished to the uncluttered recesses of the garage. Even then, to the ‘normal’ eye, they would be considered too pristine to be used for paint coverings.

No paint could cover the scratches left by illicit nails on the headboard. No gloss could erase the hairline fracture he’d made along the foundation of their marriage. With her silverware she accepted nothing but gleaming perfection, with her ability she could detect a smudge on the handle of a spoon but not her husbands’ betrayal. Maybe it was the pine scent bleach that kept the bathroom, or the lilac wax that kept the floors of her hallways gleaming beneath the feet of the perplexed and quietly envious guest that visited; but her senses were not about her wits. How could she not smell the intoxicating feminine scent of infidelity  in her home? Perhaps this was their first time at the house?

No. Apart from the rogue strand she’d inspected between the tips of her sunshine ‘Marigolds’, it would seem this deception had been constructed and carried out without flaw. Making no mistake, this golden thread was a different mark of hue compared to her fiery rouge tresses. She contemplated the type of woman this blonde haired mistress could be. Defiantly shameless, if she could carry on with a married man, under their family roof and in their matrimony bed. Beneath their family portrait. The golden embossed frame housed a picture of perfection: Dr David Cartier and Mrs Bernadette Cartier, the doctors’ wife, and their three darling children. Yet through the white toothed smiles and pressed clothes it became evident that their family was falling apart. And for her, home maker and matriarch of the household it would mean her world was starting to crumble.

She needed to know who shattered her perfect suburban dream.  

Bernadette held that thought as she eased her angry body in to the cerise marble bath. What kind of woman could she be? Biting her lips and taking hold of the loofah, she ran through profiles of the various tramps that her husband could be fornicating with. But exactly where and when would have had the opportunity to meet this other woman? He spent whatever time he wasn’t at home in work. Could it be a neighbour?

Alicia from across the block always seemed keen to get David over to do some handiwork, even though her purse was crammed with enough presidents to give her home a complete and professional servicing. Bernadette paused. That money would be the money sourced from the three successful divorces it seems; the first marriage to the fire fighter (some say her soul mate) who fell out of love with her, the second to the mechanic who saw the wedding vow ‘what’s yours is mine’ as a challenge and attempted to flee with all her possessions, and finally the lawyer with a fetish for balloons and creamed corn. And now a doctor. Not to say she hadn’t had a doctor before, everyone knows about her visits to the doctor; Alicia was 3 years Bernadette’s senior however the three divorce settlings left her with more than enough money to cut, tuck, lift and botox any unsightly signs that revealed her age. But David had once expressed his distain at such unnatural proportions and what he called the ‘Blow Up Doll’ effect.

Perhaps she works with him? Bernadette measured this revelation as she wrapped a cotton towel around her pale body. Could she be younger? Maybe, but her husband had always said that women who were more than 5 years his minor were unattractive due to the social gap created with each additional year. But he liked breasts. Bernadette cupped her own, considering how they had seemed to fallen since they had first met, recalling how he was unable to resist the urge to snatch a feel of her once modest chest. Of course she held out, being brought up to never let a man get past first base without an engagement ring at the very least. Perhaps that was it, he was going through a midlife crisis. She should have see it coming, his extramarital affair was an attempt to recapture his youth by fondling the mammeries of  a younger model. She had turned a blind eye to his buying of the red sports car (a clear sign of a male midlife crisis, how hadn’t she seen it?) that sat on the drive but she wouldn’t stand for this kind of deceit. Perhaps it was his secretary,

Amelle with her honey skin and full cherry lips. That seductive Spanish accent, her high hemmed skirts and legs that seemed to never end. That slut. But he always said that while she had a nice personality her interests clashed with his and, should they have come into conversation with her for an extended period of time he would feel the need to drink through a bottle of bourbon to make her seem more interesting.

No that would be too obvious. In her head Bernadette could see her: She was quite radical, with her seemingly short-long hair, quite possibly a statement against conforming to the ‘feminine ideals’. Which was surprising, considering her husbands strictly Conservative standing.

Maybe it was his work partner, Caroline, with her power suits and killer heels while maintaining a feminine air with her weekly buffed French tip manicures and peroxide blonde highlights. She was always trying to make a statement since joining the practice, showing her dominance in a profession which still had a gulf of inequality between the sexes. That must have been it, sleeping her way to the top. Bernadette once held great respect for Caroline and her seemingly personal vendetta to shake the male orientated foundations of the medical profession.

Sitting on the edge of the bed in her dress room (as staying in their bedroom would have enticed a fit of madness from which she feared would seem improper for a lady) and slipping on her silk stockings she looked towards her closet. Pastel pinks, glorious greens and vibrant reds. She had taste, she knew her own colouring and how to complement the figure God had given her. But none of that seemed to matter. In the harsher light of the slowly unfolding truth of her marriage they seemed nothing more than costumes for a charade she could no longer control.

But for tonight, for their final show, she would make sure they went out in style.

As she prepared for Dr. Cartier’s return, setting the table with candles and their best silverware, letting the bottle of 1787 Chateau Laffite breathe and the Osso Buco gently cooking, she toiled at the idea of her husband and love of over 29 years falling in the arms of another, completely opposite woman. However as always, the Mrs Bernadette Cartier, his silver milestoned wife, mother of three fixed on her snowy complexion a smile that showed the world she would not be beaten and she still, in some way, held authority over her life. But nothing could prepare her for the magnitude of the truth.

While she could forgive him for the rare and near-irreplaceable Meissen Porcelain plate, their wedding china pattern, that smashed against the door frame as he moved at speed to avoid her rage, she could, however, never consider forbearing the sheer brutality that came when her heart sank within her chest, shattering against her stomach as the truth finally came out.

He was having an affair. He was leaving her.

His mistress name was Michael.  

Join MovellasFind out what all the buzz is about. Join now to start sharing your creativity and passion
Loading ...