I offered to do the dishes. The work bbq was in full swing and we were running out of glasses. The sound of laughter mixed with the base of an unrecognizable song filtered in the air behind me an I smiled as I dunked my hands into the soapy water.

I looked out the window at the guests mingling on the lawn. Dusk was beginning to settle in the sky and fireflies darted around the smoke made by tikki torches. A familiar body broke from the crowd and I lifted my hand to wave. But he didn’t see me. He turned to the redhead next to him and took her hand, brushed a stray hair from her face and smiled at her as they walked away.

My hand stayed in the raised position — frozen in disbelief. Dish soap ran down my arm, pooling at my elbow and dripping to the floor.

Running to the backyard I caught him by the sleeve as they turned a corner. He dropped her hand has he turned towards me.

“Who…is that?” I spat. She tossed her red mane over her shoulder and smiled at me. I recognized her then. Didn’t we dance together in high school?

“I was just showing her the grounds,” he said. “Nothing to worry about, babe.”

My eyes darted between them. Had I seen wrong? No, the flush of being caught was on both their faces. I opened my mouth to protest but he put his arm around me and led me into the dark. Maybe I was wrong…

Later, a glass of chilled white wine in my hand, I rounded the corner of the house, looking for him. There they were, heads huddled together. A secret shared between them. She threw her head back in laughter, touched his shoulder and looked away coyly.

I raised my glass to throw at his head.


And then I woke up.