Family Inheritance

Family Inheritance by Terri Ann Leidich Read Free Book Online Page B

Book: Family Inheritance by Terri Ann Leidich Read Free Book Online
Authors: Terri Ann Leidich
spending time with them?” Laura voiced Helene’s silent questions.
    Helene turned. At thirty-five, Laura was younger than the rest of them. She had short,
dark hair, hazel eyes, and a young, athletic body. Helene knew she had two children
in grade school and that her husband was the CEO of a company. She didn’t know more
than that. In fact, that was all she knew about any of them. They had been playing
tennis together for five years now, had gone to each other’s houses for parties,
and talked on the phone from time to time. Even with all of that, she didn’t know
much about them, the real them, down underneath their skin. She didn’t know what
they thought, what made them tick, and what they really, really felt. Whenever the
conversation started getting too deep, someone always changed it. Fear of closeness
seemed to permeate the air in their worlds.
    “Because it doesn’t get dull with them around, I guess.” Helene smiled.
    “Helene . . .” Laura’s voice became serious. “Do you have affairs?”
    Helene fumbled around in her purse, pretending to search for her keys as she tried
to figure out what to say , flustered by the personal question, the kind she typically
avoided.
    Laura looked uncomfortable. “I know that’s a really personal question, Helene. I
thought we were friends, and well, friends talk personal, don’t they?”
    Helene watched
Laura for a few moments. Oh, for heaven’s sake, I’ll just be honest . “No, Laura,
do you?”
    Laura seemed to sense Helene’s unwillingness to continue the conversation. “Helene,
I’d really like to have you as a close friend. I have feelings, thoughts, and ideas
I’d like to share with another woman, and in our circle that seems hard to come by.
I’m so lonely.” Sadness was etched on her face.
    Helene stood there speechless. How could Laura be lonely? She had everything. She
came from a family with money, she married a nice man with money, and they lived
in a great house, had two great kids, and seemed to get along well. I’m not lonely ,
Helene assured herself. Yet from deep down inside a tiny voice whispered, Yes, I
am. Listen to me. Yes, I’m lonely.
    Inside, Helene was fleeing. This was too close, and she began to panic. “Sorry, Laura,
not today. I’ve got tons of errands to do. Can we do it some other time?”
    “Sure.” Laura’s voice was sad, but Helene tried to ignore it as she escaped to the
comfort of her lonely, safe, controlled world.

    “Helene, Helene, wake up.” Bill gently shook her.
    She opened one eye and peered at him, fresh from his shower. He leaned close to her.
She caught the scent of freshly applied aftershave. “Time to get up, sleepy head.”
    Still wrapped in the fringes of soft, innocent sleep, Helene smiled. “Hi.”
    “Hi, yourself. Tough morning?”
    “I can’t seem to wake up. I know the alarm went off, and since you’re all dressed,
that must have been some time ago.”
    “About an hour.” He smiled. “Why don’t you just curl up and go back to sleep?”
    “I’ve got an exercise class this morning,” she groaned.
    “You could probably miss one if you’re tired.”
    Helene lay still for several minutes watching him. Last night, the movement of the
bed had awoken her, and she’d become aware of a body slipping in beside her. She’d
started to reach up and curl her arms around her husband’s neck, but the strong smell
of another woman stopped her. In the beginning, Bill would shower either before he
came home or before he climbed into bed with her. Now he did neither.
    Why was he always so nice the morning after his late-night escapade with another
woman? And why did Helene want to make love to him anyway? A deep sigh escaped from
her. It had been over two months since they’d made love. Right now, I’d take sex,
just raw, wild sex.
    She pulled herself from the bed and walked to the shower. Maybe I’m just oversexed. How was she to know? Maybe married couples really didn’t make love very

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