Sam was more than angry this time. Paul had walked out the door, without even saying goodbye. She stood, looking at the closed door in disbelief, angry, sad, dissapointed, confused, all the emotions tumbled over her, the intensity of the upwelling sirprising even her. It wasn't like this was the first time he had done this, and probably wasn't the last, but this time, well, she wasn't going to stand for it. The moment he got back, assuming he did, she would give him a peice of her mind. She didn't appreciate being treated like this, and it was about time things changed.
She went about her daily chores, trying to think things through. Although Paul was a reasonable provider, there was something missing her life. Sure, she was always comfortable and she could hardly complain about the luxurious surroundings, she didn't have to lift a finger in housework, and even her meals were provided, unless she course she chose to fix them herself. Paul was a little odd in that he was rather overprotective, and didn't like her going out of the house without good reason. "Its only for your own safety" he used to say, but she yearned for company, yearned for something more fulfulling in her life. She wasn't a kid anymore, she thought.
That was it. Kids. Although she had been with Paul for nearly 12 years, she had yet to experience the joys of motherhood, and Lord had she tried. She looked longingly out of the gorgeous bay window in the family room. She thought it was an ironic name, considering the house had never been blessed with the irrepessably joyous chaos only kids can make. All she saw was yet more children running about, playing rough & tumble, enjoying life to the utmost, while their proud mothers looked over them.
Sam sighed. Life wasn't meant to turn out like this. She had tried to talk to Paul a few times about it, but although he obviously heard the emotion in her voice and tried to soothe her and make her feel a little happier, it was almost though he didn't really understand what she was trying to say. If she woke up crying during the eight, Paul would be there for her, soothing her and stroking her hair, reassuring her that everything would be OK, but wouldn't or couldn't understand her deep anguish, the feeling that something was missing.
Perhaps she'd been too young when she met him, she mused. But she knew that wasn't really true. She examined herself in the ornate mirror above her dressing table. There were signs of age looking back at her, and perhaps there was a slight sag where tight skin had once been, but no-one would possibly say that she had let herself go. She liked the mature look actually, and wore the signs of proudly, like battlescars. Although she lacked that cutesy-kittensy look she had when younger, she thought of herself as a proud and regal looking. No man, not even Paul, could ever accuse her of being unattractive.
She smoothed down her hair, almost automatically, and then, without really thinking, made sure that everything about her was arranged just so, to show off her naturally svelte and sleek body. She didn't even think about it anymore. Others would call her vain, but it was no more than her way off life now, and by looking at her reflection, she knew all her fastidious attention to her looks had paid off. Her reflection smiled back at her, reassuring her that Paul wasn't neglecting her because of her fading looks.
She settled herself on the lounge. It wasn't really that Paul was neglecting her so much as was pre-occupied with something, so that his affections were not meaningful these days, his gentle hands massaging her back were moving more out of habit than of real intention. What could it be? As she settled down for her regular afternoon nap, she tried to think of what it could be that was driving a wedge between her and her one and only love.
She awoke, and once again went through her meticulous beauty routine, making sure she looked fresh and unrumpled, after all, no matter what else was going on, there was no excuse not to look one's best. A strange though flashed fleetingly through her mind, and the unfamiliar feeling of doubt washed over her.
She new she shouldn't, but she just couldn't help sniffiing through Paul's business jackets. On the second last one, she found her answer: a strange, long, silky black hair, and the exotic smell of a femme fatale. Her hackles rose and she dug her long, expertly manicured nails right into the fabric of the offending suit. No wonder he was spening so much time away. He was seeing someone else!
Oh how she plotted against him. "Just wait until he shows his sorry face in this house again" she hissed. She waited impatiently by the front window, waiting to exact her revenge the moment he came through the door.
His car pulled up, and Sam opened the door with a strange bundle under one arm.
"Sam!", he called "Sam? Where are you? I've got a surprise for you".
Sam was hiding, waiting for the best opportunity to strike back at the man who betrayed her.
"Sam?", Paul called hesistantly. "Sam? are you OK?"
She lunged at him violently, scratching and gouging and screaming at him in unintellible anger.
"Sam!" he yelled in surprise. "What the hell has gotten into you?" He prised her off him, and forced her to the lounge. He hurredly put the package into the spare room, closed the door, and came to sit with Sam, who was still somewhat twitchy and and clearly still angry.
"You stupid thing," he said, not untenderly, "I'll always love you."
He hugged her tightly and gently soothed her as she finally calmed down enough to stop shaking.
"You've always been my number one, my darling, nothing will ever stop me loving you. You've taught me so much over the years, about unconditional love, about loving myself, about how to put life in perspective. I can't stand the thought of you. I love you like no other. There is no-one more precious to me than you."
Finally satisfied, she purred back "I love you too".
Eventually, he started explaining his odd behaviour. "You have really inspired me to put something back into the community, so I've been spending a few hours down at the local animal shelter. Its such a sad place, so many trusting, loving animals having to be put down because there is no one to love them."
Sam smiled at her Paul, her compassionate, caring love.
"The suffering they go through, I just couldn't stand it, its been playing on my mind ever since I started volunteering down there. I'm sorry if I've been a bit glum lately, it gets me down. But I decided to do something about it."
Sam heard the sound of rustling in the spare room as the package Paul brought home started moving.
"Mew?", said the package.
Paul smiled, and followed Sam as she ran exitedly to the spare room.
"Mew?" the package repeated.
Paul opened the door.
Out wiggled a small, black, longhaired female kitten, who batted at Sam's leg playfully.
"So I adopted a kitten, just for you" he said. "You'll never be lonely again."
Sam was overjoyed. Finally, a kitten of her own. She got down to the kitten's level and welcomed him into her house. The kitten took an instant shine to her. With tears in her eyes, she looked up at Sam and thanked him from the bottom of her heart.
He bent over and caressed her in the special way he always had. "Just because I have another cat doesn't mean I will love you any less, Sam. I just thought that you needed the company, and two cats are supposed to be better than one. I hope the kitten doesn't wear out a dignified and mature cat like yourself. What do you want to call her?"