This is a Love Note.

Mistress

Two heartbroken women meet at a cafe and bond over their shared betrayal.

Tropes – Friendship, Platonic Love, Adultery

That must be her in the blue cable knit sweater clutching a white Kate Spade handbag. He gave me the same purse for my birthday last spring.

The cafe is buzzing with chatter, people moving around with their lattes and pastries, but she’s sitting still as stone in a plush, purple loveseat behind a half-empty bookcase. Her eyes fixed on the hands in her lap.

“Diane?”

All of a sudden I’m looking into the most startling blue eyes. Pale, baby blue eyes that match her sweater. They narrow, taking in my auburn hair, emerald eyes, and smooth skin. 

“You’re Jolene?”

I nod, sitting in the matching loveseat next to hers.

Diane looks back down, clutching her bag even tighter. “You’re younger than I thought you’d be. About the same age I was when we met.”

I lean forward to catch her eye but she’s not having it. “Diane, I swear I didn’t know he was married until I saw your texts on his phone last week. I’m so sorry.”

Her eyes whip up, burning with a fire strong enough to melt coal. “If you’re so sorry then don’t see him again. Break up with him. Don’t call or text him during dinner. Don’t send him home with your perfume on his collar. Leave us alone!”

She’s fuming, rightfully so. I expected her to be upset but not with me. “Of course, Diane. I’m ending it tonight. I just thought you should know first. If I could take it all back, I would. Please understand. I never ever meant to get between you two. I didn’t know.”

Diane’s eyes are cloudy. She wipes a tear from the corner of her cheek and glances back down at the wedding ring sitting pretty on her left hand. “Good. That’s good. We can get back to normal then.”

We’re quiet for a minute. The sounds of the cafe fade into the background. We’re cocooned in our own little heartbreak bubble. I can’t stand the tears still trickling down her face so I lean forward again and take her left hand in both of mine. “Diane, I told you this because you deserve to know the truth. You deserve better. You deserve someone as loving and devoted as you are. Please don’t cheat yourself by staying with a man who hurt you.”

Diane turns a watery smile my way and nods, blinking back more tears. She takes a deep breath before placing her other hand on top of mine. “Thank you,” she whispers. Her voice is restrained but kind. “You deserve better too. I’m sorry he hurt you too.”

I’m smiling and blinking back my own tears. “It’s alright, we’ll survive. How bout I get us some tea?”

Diane lets out a little chuckle, wiping away the mascara running under her eyes. “I think I’m gonna need something a little stronger than that. But tea is a good start. Chamomile, please.”

I squeeze her hands one more time before letting go. “Chamomile it is. Don’t you worry, we got plenty of time for the stronger stuff.”

Getting up from the loveseat bursts our little heartbreak bubble. The lively sounds of the cafe filter back into my awareness. I smile back at Diane as I make my way to the counter. For the first time since last week, the smile on my face is real.

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