Eavesdropping at the hairdresser’s.

“Where you been, Lena? You missed your last two appointments. You’re looking pretty shaggy, Hon.”

“I’m perfectly aware of how crappy I look, Audrey. Thanks for pointing it out.”

“Well, excuse me! I didn’t mean nothing by it. You just haven’t missed an appointment in the last five years or so.”

“Oh, I’m sorry. You’re right. Things have just been…”

“Been what, Sugar?”

“Well… bad. I’m leaving Martin.”

“Lena! What in the world? Y’all have been together forever. What happened?”

“It was that cat. I’m just so sick of the damn cat.”

“Wait. You’re telling me that you’re leaving your husband over a cat?”

“No, not really over the cat. We’ve had problems for a while, but the cat was the last straw. He chose the friggin’ cat over me.”

“He did not! What did he say?”

“He didn’t say anything, Aud, and that’s the problem. You’d think a normal husband would choose his wife, or at the very least, argue about it. He just walked away.”

“You lost me, Lena. Start at the beginning.”

“You know I’ve been after that Walton Publishers contract for months now, right? Well, the day of my final interview, the cat ruined the sweater I was going to wear. Wouldn’t you know that I didn’t have anything else clean – and why not? Because I’d been too busy picking up after Martin and that damn cat to get to the dry cleaner’s. I have never seen an animal so destructive.”

“Ok, Sugar, then what? I still don’t see how this means leaving.”

“Ok, so… I call him in the bedroom, show him the sweater, and off we start with another round of that she’s just a sweet, innocent, little puddle-wumpkins shit. I just snapped.”

“Oh my God, what’d you do? You missed your appointments ‘cuz you were in jail on domestic assault charges, weren’t you?”

“Very funny.”

“I’m just messin’. Go on.”

“I’d had it, and I told him it was me or the cat. And he just gave me this look and walked away. I swear it was like I was something nasty on his shoe.”

“Well… that was pretty extreme. Couldn’t you talk to him about it?”

“Do you mean to tell me you’re taking his side on this, Audrey? How long have you been doing my hair? How long have you been hearing about this crap I put up with?”

“Now calm down, Lena. Don’t get your panties in a bunch. I was just seeing where things stand. I can tell all this is taking a toll on you, and I don’t just mean you hair.”

“You’re right. Sorry again. I am just at the end of my rope. I can’t figure out how things got this way.”

“If you ask me, you’ve put up with his foolishness for too long. I haven’t wanted to bring it up, but he hasn’t been quite right since you lost the baby.”

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