‘’Please, don’t tease me. I can’t wait for tonight, sugar. I'll call you later’’
Hillary stopped dead in her tracks and clenched her fists when she heard her husband’s seductive tone as she entered the house. That tone he had used on her on multiple occasions and always managed to trigger a heat between her thighs. Yet, he wasn’t using it on her this time and that made her blood boil. But she had to remain calm, she wouldn’t let him see her affected by it. Jealous. She had mastered the art of pretending she didn’t care, of presenting herself as cold and heartless. Her husband used to be an exception, but not anymore. He had hurt her more than his fair share and this time she was determined not to let him see her destroyed, she wouldn’t be groveling to him asking for affection like a stray dog. If only it wasn’t easier said than done.
‘’Mommy, what’s wrong?’’ her little girl interrupted her thoughts. Her daughter. The only pure that had come out of her marriage. The only light in the daunting darkness her life had become.
‘’Nothing, sweetie. I was just thinking about your birthday in three weeks. You don’t turn 7 every day. What do you want to do?’’ She managed a smile and ran her fingers through her daughter’s curly locks. The perfect image of blissful ignorance. That tender look in her eyes that revealed she had never been disappointed, her heart never broken. She prayed for it to never break. She wouldn’t wish it to her worst enemy.
‘’I want a big party, mommy’’ she announced joyfully as her mother closed the door and scuffed to her study, where she started pulling piles of papers out of her briefcase. ‘’With all my friends! And a big cake! And horses! And a castle!’’ Hillary couldn’t help but laugh at her enthusiasm.
‘’And where would we put that, Chels? Don’t you think a castle is too big for our backyard?’’ Chelsea looked at her with those big blue puppy eyes of hers and Hillary knew she couldn’t say no to her. Unfortunately, she had inherited that expression from her father. ‘’I’ll talk to your grannies and we’ll see what we can do’’ Her little daughter exploded with happiness and hugged her mom.
‘’Thank you, mommy. I love you. I’m going to tell daddy’’ And she left the room looking for Bill, leaving Hillary alone.
She sat heavily on her chair and ran her hands through her heir, trying to figure out how she would do it. It was not only the fact that she had to find horses and a castle for her daughter but also, she had to appear with her husband as a happy couple in front of the press and their friends. And Chelsea. Especially Chelsea. She wasn’t aware of their parents’ deeply wounded marriage and she intended to keep it that way. She would spare her the pain as long as she could and hopefully in the meantime, she and Bill would fix things. But she wouldn’t fool herself, he would cheat again. It didn’t matter if he loved her, he would fall for the first blond temptation that crossed his path whenever things got difficult. And she would be waiting for him to come back, ready to forgive him and believe his words again and again. She would rather live that fucked-up life she had with Bill than be without him.
Hillary felt tears forming in her eyes as she thought about the sad reality of her marriage so she decided to put that thoughts aside and devote herself to the only thing that could prevent her from ruminating, her work
A few hours later, her stomach growled. She was starving. She had skipped dinner and hadn’t eaten anything at all since that morning. She knew she couldn’t continue working without eating so she would make an exception and go to the kitchen to grab something. She found Bill there, watching the raindrops running down the window glass as he absently dissected a sandwich. His appearance exuded sadness. Seeing him like that made her heart shrink. She wanted to ask him what happened but something inside her kept her from doing so.
She sauntered towards the fridge and opened it. Bill reacted to the noise and turned to face her, their eyes locking for a few seconds speaking the words they didn’t dare to. Hers expressed misery, pain and underneath all, hope. His shame, loss and fear.
‘’Sorry’’ She muttered and averted her eyes from him, focusing her attention in the range of foods she had in front of her. Cheese, eggs, ham, cake… She could picture all of them finding shelter in her big thunder thighs and the mere thought of it made her want to vomit. At the back of the fridge, she spotted a lonely bottle of Diet Coke and she decided to go for it. When she closed the door, Bill was again with his back turned on her. She didn’t feel her presence was wanted so she started to walk back to her study.
‘’Hillary’’ he called her when she had reached the doorway and she turned around. He seemed hesitant. ‘’We need to talk’’ Hillary nodded and sat on the stool. He looked at her unable to find the right words. She looked calm, cold, beautiful, disappointed. Like a doll abandoned by its owner when she got a new one for Christmas. Still beautiful, but used. With a history, with a past.
‘’I heard you the other day’’ she said abruptly. He wasn’t expecting her to speak first. He had been preparing his speech and rehearsing it in his mind for days, how he would deliver it, emotionlessly and direct, just like any of his political discourses and she would sit there looking at him speechless. But Hillary Rodham Clinton never ceased to surprise him. ‘’In your office. With her’’ She paused dramatically between words but Bill remained inexpressive ‘’Chelsea wanted to see you after school so we phoned your secretary and she told us you were free so we decided to pay you a visit. Clearly you weren’t free anymore when we arrived’’
‘’What did you tell Chelsea?’’ he asked, their daughter being his primary concern. Hillary shook her head. ‘’She didn’t hear you. She was showing a drawing to your secretary’’ He let out a sigh of relief that managed to anger Hillary.
‘’You don’t even bother to deny it anymore?’’ she spoke icily but her words masked rage and outrage. Bill swallowed hard. It was now or never.
‘’Hillary, I…’’ he closed his eyes. He couldn’t bear to look at her. ‘’I want a divorce’’
Hillary felt her heart sink. That was the least thing she was expecting. Pictures of their relationship flashed before her eyes. As if she was dying. As if he, after all those years of deadly wounds, had finally succeeded in killing her. She could barely breath. Her heart was pounding and she felt her face flushing. Suddenly, her vision became blurry and she could no longer see Bill clearly. She then knew what she had to do. She popped the bottle open and gulped it.
Bill stood still and looked at her wide-eyed. This reaction was not what he had expected and he didn’t know how to proceed. After several seconds, the cold liquid running down her throat and the sugar travelling through her veins finally managed to make her feel better.
‘’No’’ she simply said and stormed out of the room leaving a perplexed Bill Clinton wondering whether he should follow her or let her go.