Junto Magazine Vol2_Issue2 - Page 48

Junto Magazine, Volume 2 Issue 2 in something that was a mix of an em- brace and a pose, breathing heavily with a slick sheen of sweat covering each oth- er’s skin. Laura leaned over to me. “They are definitely sleeping togeth- er.” “Of course they are,” I said confused by the statement. “She’s his wife.” “No,” replied Laura pointing over to the back of the crowd. “She’s his wife.” Standing off towards the rear of the group were Suzie and Dan, her eyes glued to Rick as he peeled himself from Julie, both of them laughing as they wiped away beads of sweat and matted down hair from each other’s face. Dan casually moved his finger across a lock of her hair that had fallen over Suzie’s eyes, tucking it behind her ear as he gently grazed it. She turned and squeezed his hand as if to thank him. Before I could comment, Lau- ra had already begun to move onto the dance floor swaying to the music. “You have to come to the summer dance,” said Rick as he poured himself another drink. “Maybe you’ll have a shot at dancing with her.” I didn’t bother correcting him, tell- ing him that we had actually talked that night. That I had danced with her when he traded Julie to dance with Laura. “Anyway enough nostalgia, we still have things unsettled,” he said corking the bottle. “What do you think about coaching the little league team with me? Now that Dan is kicked out I could really use someone who would be a good or- ganizer and smart with play calling. Our team happens to be the best in the coun- ty.” “Wait, Dan was kicked out? I thought you said he quit. ” “Whoops, shouldn’t have said that,” Rick laughed shaking his head as he picked up the bottle, “Clearly I need to put this away.” He placed the bottle back in the cabi- net and turned around. “I guess you will eventually hear the rumor, so I might as well be the one to tell you,” he said leaning against the wall. The ceiling light focused almost perfectly on him as if it were a spotlight. “Dan was found recently sleeping with someone else’s wife. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the first time.” He shook his head and stared out the window into the darkness. Although I felt something like shock, its impact was di- luted by the resignation in Rick’s voice. It was as if he were listing off a series of mundane facts. Outside, the moon had become more than halfway eclipsed. “I guess you can call it a thorn in our pastoral paradise. Of course, Suzie and I know who it is, but we’ve been keep- ing it hushed up to the best of our ability. Still we can’t let someone like that be in a leadership role. Someone who works with children should be more stable and a good role model. And who better than a young married small businessman, right?” I must have said something, because Rick had nodded in agreement, but my mind was someplace else, splicing to- gether memories as if they were scenes from a movie: It was weeks ago when I was briefly separated from Laura at the Edelman’s Christmas Party. I was talking to the Johnsons, or the Goldsteins, or whoev- er. I couldn’t remember what we were talking about; all I remembered was feel- ing adrift without Laura by my side. Lost in the flow of conversation, our words being carried away in the sea of noise, I felt like a ship without its captain lack- ing Laura’s commentary on the events, her insights on people, her social cues