The stack of mail on his desk was calling her. It was as if she was under some sort of supernatural spell. His instructions since the beginning of their marriage were clear; never open mail addressed to him. She dutifully added the new envelopes to the pile and pressed the sides and ends together to ensure an even and neat pile. She would never forget his reaction the time the stack somehow went askew and he assumed she had been snooping through his mail. He threatened to rent a post office box citing his professional need for privacy. More and more, she suspected there was another woman responsible for his secrecy.

She remembered retrieving a T-Mobile, Nordstrom, and a Visa bill from the mailbox Wednesday.  Did these simple pieces of paper hold the answer to her complicated life? She thought of movie scenes where a curious character steams open an envelope and then reseals it after reading. She briefly considered it but decided she didn’t want to endure the fallout if caught. Then, in an epiphany, she realized that she took him to the airport early Thursday so he couldn’t have taken Wednesday’s mail to the  office. Plus, there were no more planes today so there was no way he could surprise her with his return. The search began.

It didn’t take long to find the folder of bills. In fact, she wondered why she hadn’t thought of doing this sooner since it was so easy. Still feeling a little fear, she locked herself in the bathroom with the file folder of old mail. When she emerged forty-five minutes later, she felt like a different person. She knew the truth of her husband’s infidelities.

 

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