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HOPELESS She held on to the wooden rail, as she walked up the spiral staircase. Many a time had she sat on the plush carpet steps— just thinking. It may have seemed weird to outsiders, but they’d become her confidant. She hit the last step, her bare feet mushing the fibers of the beige carpeting. She was tired. She’d ridden herself of her red pumps as soon as she’d stepped through the door. The vintage Paul Sachs original had served its purpose well. The finest gallery in Los Angeles had bought her work. She’d worked hard for this, and it’d finally had paid off. Tonight was the first of many doors that would be opening for her. She only wished he could have been there to witness it—to share their moment. After all he’d been her muse. He was the reason why she couldn’t entirely enjoy her accomplishment. The smiles, and her happiness—all of it was genuine, but she felt as though something was missing. He was missing. The layers of lace, tulle, and taffeta brushed against her toned thighs as she made her way to her bedroom. She heard a bumping against the wall to her left. It had startled her, since she knew no one was home. Coach Evans

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had called a mandatory practice, and Daniel was the captain. He had to be there. She stopped in her tracks, as she heard a soft moan. She could have sworn it was a woman’s voice. But her mind had to be playing tricks on her. No one was there. Another bump sounded from the opposite side of the wall. This time harder. “Fuck Arielle.” Genevieve’s heart stopped. As much as she wanted to deny her ears, she couldn’t. She’d recognize that voice in her sleep. He’d called out another woman’s name. In their house. In their bedroom. She walked toward the door, fighting with herself. Should she open it? Did she really want to see what was going on in the confines of their sacred place? She studied the golden handle, as if it were plagued with a disease unfit for the human touch. Her heart told her to walk away. Pretend she’d never heard a thing—that her house, and her marriage hadn’t been defiled. If she left now, she could go on with the wool still over her innocent eyes. Don’t be stupid, her head told her. You’ve known for a while now. No need to punish yourself any longer with this foolishness. Open the door, and you can stop playing house.

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Walking around as if you’ve got the perfect marriage. Who are you trying to kid? You’ve been the only one in this union since he got drafted. Open the fucking door. Her fingers trembled as they pressed against the handle. She twisted it, and walked through quietly. She held her head down as the tears formed in her eye ducts. The dresser moved back and then fourth. Her eyes searched the floor near the generous amount of wood. A few trinkets had fallen from the neat dresser. A stick of deodorant, a watch. Her gaze traveled upward to the dangling legs of the strange woman violating her very existence. Her nostrils burned as their bodies continued to merge as one, as hers and his once had. The smell that once sent her senses into overdrive was now repugnant. It made her insides churn, her mind boggle, and her heart burst. He thrust into the foreign woman hard, intense. His eyes met the strange woman’s as she thrust her body back. A faint smile decorated both of their faces, for they were wrapped in forbidden lust. He pressed his sweaty head against hers, and she turned her head toward the open door as her body convulsed. Her eyes were shut as her muscles tightened. “Shit, Danny,” she hissed.

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“Get the fuck out,” Genevieve spoke. His strokes stopped. The woman’s eyes popped open at the familiar voice. His wife wasn’t supposed to be home for another hour. He slipped out of her, his member now flaccid. “Vi. Baby—“ “Get the fuck out!” she yelled making the woman jump. Daniel backed away from the dresser not the least bit worried that he was ass out. That was one thing she’d always loved about him. He was never ashamed of what he had to show. But now his trait was sickening. Arielle slid off of the wet dresser, and quickly searched for her clothes. “You must not have heard me, bitch. Get the fuck out of my house!” Her tone was deadly. And Arielle knew the more time she spent in this house, the more likely an ass whooping would be. She didn’t bother putting on her clothes or shoes. She scrambled out of the room, and down the long staircase. Daniel looked at his wife—his partner of seven years. Every bad emotion he could think of was apparent in her eyes.

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“How could you do this, D?” Her tears had yet to fall, and she couldn’t fathom why. She felt like someone had just stabbed her in the heart, and ripped out her soul with pliers. Feeling a chill, he bent down and put on his boxers. Daniel walked toward the bed, and grabbed his towel. After wiping the sweat from his chest, he walked over to her, and placed her in his arms. She didn’t know how to react. Should she hit him? Embrace him? She just stood there, stuck. “I am so sorry you had to see that.” There it was. She pushed him back with all of the strength she could muster. “You’re sorry I saw it? The fuck? What about the fact that it happened, Daniel? You’ve violated everything that is us.” Her eyes swayed left then right searching for a sign that he’d just chosen the wrong words. There was none. He stared at her with a smirk she’d fell in love with. Her world was turning against her. “Daniel!”

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“What is it you want me to say, Genevieve? I’m sorry? I didn’t mean for it to happen? I knew what I was doing. To say otherwise would be a lie. And before you say anything. I did have practice. But coach let us out early. I knew it was too late to make your opening, so I called up Arielle. Baby I have needs, and when you can’t fill them, I get other women who will.” Her eyes were wild. This was not the man she married. This wasn’t the boy she fell in love with in high school. This wasn’t her best friend, her lover. He was a monster. “Do you hear yourself? You’re a foul, dirty motherfucker. I can’t believe I’ve been so blind. And to think, I wanted to spend my life with you!” Gen went to their oversized closet and started packing her Chanel suitcases. If there was one thing she couldn’t tolerate it was deceit. She couldn’t fathom why anyone would commit such a thing. Daniel walked to the door and closed it. He leaned against the sturdy wood, and watched as she got her things together. She was silent. No mumbling. No cursing. That was one thing he always loved about her. She kept herself together in the most difficult situations. He couldn’t lose her. He wouldn’t hear of it.

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She came out of the closet some ten minutes later, holding a duffel bag in one hand, and a roll-on in handle in the other. She walked toward the door, ready to face him. “Get used to calling that bit—“ Before her sentence ended his hand collided with her soft cheek. She flew to the floor after his blow to her face. Her hand immediately reached for the spot that stung. He’d never put his hands on her. “Have you lost your fucking mind?” she yelled at him. Daniel squatted next to her, and repeated his action twice more. She felt her skin crack. A thin streak of blood decorated her once flawless skin. He came closer to her face, and she winced at his every move. “No, I haven’t. And I’ll be damned if I lose my wife either.” He kissed her lips, before standing back up, and walking out of the room. She brought her legs to her chest, and cuddled herself. The tears had finally managed to fall. She was confused, hurt, amazed, all wrapped into one tight ball. She could have gotten up, called the police, but what would it have done? She couldn’t lie to herself.

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Genevieve wasn’t weak. She was hopelessly in love.

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Hopeless  

Genevieve Johnson's world turns around when her husband gets tangled in fame's web. Just when she makes a decision to change her life, Micah...