She looked at the clock, another ten minutes he would be knocking on the door, same as most other days. She checked her hair once more in the mirror, and smiled at the reflection, she'd do, not bad for fifty she thought. Though the lines of age's progress lined her face, there was still a twinkle in her eye that had one many a heart in her younger days. Smoothing her dress down, she thought, and her figure was still pretty good for her age.

As normal she felt no thrill at knowing he was coming, like an old chair, she felt comfortable with Mike, after all they had known each other for almost twenty years. Twenty years since the first time they had met, why she thought it would be their anniversary in two weeks time.

She heard a key turn in the door, and stood to meet him. He came in a normal looking around, holding her for a brief second before a brief kiss on the cheek let her know he was home. She reached out for him wanting to hold him wanting to share their love, but he moved away to sit in his favorite armchair, with a passing
"Any chance of a cup of tea love?"

She wanted more than tea, it had been a long time since there had been any passion between them, and she wanted it, she wanted it so badly.

Without thinking she made her way to the kitchen, where as normal she had the tea things all ready, she was predictable, well her life was anyway. She knew he would sit and watch the TV for a while chatting about work and the news, he would then suggest going to the club for a drink before coming home, and after a brief hug and kiss he would once more leave her.

This had been the way for twenty years, except for the odd trip they had shared and the sometimes nights, she had always been "the other woman" His wife knew about her, had always known about her, in fact she had come to the house looking for her husband on many occasions. He kept telling her his wife would not leave, that they lived separate lives, but she was still his wife and she was just the other woman.

The rest of the day followed as normal, he left to go home after a brief stay, and would be round for a while a little later that evening.

She moved to the computer, something that had given her a totally knew outlook on life, he had told her she would never understand it all, as like him they were too old for such modern things. She had however proved him so wrong, and now lived for her family on the Internet, her chats with friends, many of them male. She talked about and did things she would never have thought off before getting the computer, loving her time in her favorite chat room, or messaging special friends.

She checked her mail, there was one from a special friend called Geoff, whom she had known for over a year now. Her heart skipped a beat as she read his message. As normal, Geoff was full of interesting items and kind words, the message bringing a smile to her lips that was seldom there these days.

With a sigh she shutdown her computer and started to clear away the tea things when she caught her image in the mirror one more. Suddenly the rooms' silence was broken by the sound of breaking crockery as she dropped the tray of tea things on the floor, an oath she did not even know she knew escaped from her mouth, and she rushed to the phone.

She would not be the "other woman" any more. There was more to life, a life that had for many years gone by her. She called Geoff and told him she was on her way to visit him, hearing the surprise and then happiness in his voice. Then she called Mike leaving a message when she got no reply from his phone. Explaining that she would not be there when he called later, she was going away for a while, not being sure when she would be back. Going away to find a new life, one that was her own, a new love that was just for her, not shared. No longer would she be the other woman.

Barry Eva 2004