At twenty-two years old, she thought the entire world was hers to explore at her leisure and nothing was impossible for her achieve. Today, she was preparing a candlelight dinner for two, complete with a marvelous French Bordeaux. She had been planning this surprise for her fiancé for days. This would be their last dinner together as an unmarried couple. After tonight, she was staying in her parent’s home until after the wedding when she could move into his tastefully decorated apartment. She was deliriously happy and excited as she got off the elevator and stood in front of his apartment door. With the key he had given her, she opened the door and practically floated in as she noiselessly closed the door behind her. She smiled as she thought about sharing the apartment with him.
The living room was spacious and not a hint of pretension dwelled there. The white Corinthian leather couch and matching chair were perfectly centered in the middle of the room and were accentuated with matching gray smoked-topped glass tables. The knee level coffee table sat between the couch and a gray-upholstered recliner while two other tables were sentries at opposite ends of the couch. The adjacent dining area boasted a beautiful white-topped cherry wood table with matching plush padded chairs. The kitchen was just big enough to maneuver from the stove to the sink without walking into another person. The apartment-sized refrigerator was tucked away in the corner which gave the impression of much more room. Hanging in the hallway were two pictures of a serene village with children playing and puppies sleeping.
A smile played upon her lips as she thought about the master bedroom. The king-sized circular bed with its bronze-colored comforter, covering matching silk sheets had an attached headboard that boasted two built-in shelves filled with books, a radio, and an overhead lamp. A triple-walnut stained dresser with a sculpted framed mirror was positioned in front of the bed and to the left in a corner, a large walnut-stained open-faced cabinet held his television and entertainment center. As she stood surveying the area she could see, she mentally checked off the days. She sighed wistfully as she turned the corner from the hallway towards the kitchen. Her head inclined for a moment when she thought she heard a noise and thinking that James had left on the radio in the bedroom, she put the down the bag of groceries in the floor and headed for the bedroom.
The French vanilla-colored carpet beneath her feet was so thick she felt as though she was sinking with each step as she walked down the hallway to the bedroom. The door was slightly ajar and when she pushed it open, she barely contained the scream that rose from her belly, constricting her throat muscles. She fell back against the wall and had to use it to support her buckling legs. A wave of nausea swept over her and almost caused her to faint. She stood in the room against the wall seemingly mesmerized by the flailing bodies in the bed in front of her. Her beloved fiancé and best friend Karen were so intent in their love-fest they didn’t hear her come in and didn’t realize she was in the room until she finally allowed the bubbling scream freedom.
They jerked in surprise at seeing at there, with their mouths hanging open, they watched her and saw the horror she felt mirrored in her eyes. For a moment, they were also frozen into immobility, too filled with guilt to react immediately. Then, as she approached the bed, James was catapulted into action, attempting to cover them with a tangled silk sheet.
“M.m.mara! What are you doing here?” he stammered.