Guilt twanged his nerves raw. Maybe he shouldn’t. As he watched his wife nurse the baby, as he thought about the sleepless nights they’d shared, he felt like he just couldn’t stand to lie to her like this, like she didn’t deserve to be treated this way. But the feeling passed.
He was a man, dammit. He had needs. Needs that weren’t being met since that colicky baby had entered their lives. Needs that he could satisfy in secret, at that motel room. He looked at his watch. OK, time to go, he thought to himself. Just pretend like it’s any other day. A mechanical kiss and he was out the door.
From his car, he called the office. He told his secretary he wouldn’t be in today, but that if anyone called, to tell them he was in meetings. Yes, even his wife. Even the woman who bore his child, who so carefully picked out the watch with the black dial and the blue face, just for him. Somehow, she’d known he’d love the luminous hands. And now, he was about to betray her.
No, no, he thought. I can’t think like that. He turned the car into the motel parking lot. Swiping the keycard to open the door of the room, he took a deep breath. It’s really happening. I’m really going through with it. In the gloom, the watch’s hands told him he had nine glorious hours to indulge himself before his wife would expect him home. Nine hours of sin. He pulled back the covers and climbed in. I’m sorry, honey, he thought. I never wanted to hurt you. But I really, really need some sleep.