Lilly Hampton wore her practiced ‘I’m interested’ face while the couple bickered in front of her.  On the desk, her cellphone vibrated.  She couldn’t resist tapping the screen with her pencil eraser to view the text.

I need an appointment.  Available tonight?

A discreet check of her watch revealed that the McScreimers’ time was almost up.  She felt at home surrounded by rising voices and flaring tempers; both were synonymous with her childhood.

“David.  Mona!” Her voice sliced their argument like a dagger through silk.

Both turned to Lilly, appearing surprised they weren’t alone.

“Infidelity isn’t a marriage-breaker,” Lilly said once she had their attention.  “You can work through these issues and find harmony.”  I know.  I’ve been married for thirty years.

The couple looked skeptical.

“This week, I want you both to write down promises you will do to make your marriage stronger.  We’ll talk about it next week.”

“Thank you, Mrs. Hampton,” David and Mona said in unison and stood to leave.

She replied to the text.  Six-thirty.

Lilly typed her notes in the computer, the glow from the screen casting shadows that crawled across her bookcases and stretched over her framed certificates on the wall.  She felt at home with solitude.  At six-thirty, a light rapping on the door interrupted her thoughts.  “Michael.”  She smiled, pulled the glasses off the bridge of her nose and dropped them on the desk.

He closed the door behind him, and then took her in his arms.  “Am I late for my appointment?”

“You’re right on time,” she said before her lips met his.

The phone rang, interrupting their passionate greeting.

“Heart and Home Counseling,” Lilly answered.

“I made chicken piccata.  Will you be home soon?”

She turned away from Michael.  “I’m wrapping up my notes.  I’ll be another hour or so.”

“I’ll put it in the fridge then.  Love you.”

“I love you, too,” Lilly said.  She hung up the phone and slid into Michael’s arms, feeling at home in her lover’s embrace.

~~~-    ~~~-    ~~~-    ~~~-    ~~~-    ~~~-    ~~~-    ~~~-    ~~~-    ~~~-    ~~~-    ~~~-    ~~~-    ~~~-

This was written for the Trifecta writing challenge.  This week, the challenge was to write a 33 to 333 word response (mine squeezed in at 333 words) using the following word and definition:

HOME (noun):  (a) a familiar or usual setting : congenial environment; also :the focus of one’s domestic attention <home is where the heart is>(b) : habitat

If you want to give the challenge a try, check out the complete guidelines on Trifecta’s site – just click the tricycle picture.


46 thoughts on “Chameleon

  1. Imelda August 14, 2012 / 9:26 AM

    Nicely written. I’d like to give that Lilly a big whoop! on the behind.

    • jannatwrites August 14, 2012 / 9:51 AM

      Ha! Yeah, me too, Imelda. I think she might have her priorities messed up 😆 Thanks for reading the story.

  2. braintomahawk August 14, 2012 / 11:16 AM

    Well done – you did a nice play on the idea of home being the place of comfort, practice what you preach ….this is really good on many levels. Thank you for sharing this, I think it should place 🙂

    • jannatwrites August 14, 2012 / 5:57 PM

      Thanks for the compliment, Braintomahawk. I never count on anything placing, but it would be fun. Speaking of placing – congratulations on your top 3 win this week 🙂

  3. Carrie August 14, 2012 / 3:53 PM

    I kind of wondered if the marriage counselor was having some infidelity of her own.

    • jannatwrites August 14, 2012 / 6:00 PM

      You guessed it, Carrie! She’s a sneaky one…

  4. Widdershins August 14, 2012 / 4:02 PM

    Seems like she’w worked out how to get all her needs met quite nicely! If only she were honest about it eh?

    • jannatwrites August 14, 2012 / 6:01 PM

      Yeah, it works out great for her until the whole thing blows up 🙂 Thanks for reading, Widdershins!

  5. Jeanna August 14, 2012 / 5:32 PM

    Oh how I hate cheaters and hypocrites. Your story brought out an anger within me. Good job with the prompt.

    • jannatwrites August 14, 2012 / 6:02 PM

      I’m not crazy about cheaters or hypocrites, either, Jeanna. If I had a few more words, I could’ve written in her payback 🙂 I appreciate you reading and sharing your thoughts on the story.

  6. Annette Mickelson August 14, 2012 / 5:43 PM

    Well done. Made my stomach turn… the whole “love you too” bit at the end was perfect.

    • jannatwrites August 14, 2012 / 6:03 PM

      Thanks for reading, Annette! She’s not a nice person and I’d like to think it’ll come back to her.

  7. Tessa August 14, 2012 / 5:48 PM

    I had to laugh. My cheaters have all been male and you come up with a female one. Looks like she needs a marriage counselor herself. 🙂 Oh that’s right, her hubby has no idea.

    • jannatwrites August 14, 2012 / 6:05 PM

      Hmmm…maybe my cheater needs to get involved with one of your cheaters (well the one that didn’t get shot already) and we’ll see who survives? She doesn’t need a counselor…she’s happy with her marriage as it is 😉 Thanks for reading, Tessa!

      • Tessa August 14, 2012 / 6:29 PM

        Ah yes I still have the one cheater alive, although he is still running for his life LOL! 2 cheaters twice the spouses to worry about. 🙂

        • jannatwrites August 14, 2012 / 8:36 PM

          Yep, that other cheater has to go. I think his time will come, though 🙂

  8. pattyabr August 14, 2012 / 9:54 PM

    hypocritical B____!
    your story drew me in and sucker punched me
    well done

    • jannatwrites August 14, 2012 / 9:58 PM

      Thanks, Patty! Glad it evoked a response. I agree with your summation of her. She is pretty rotten and I feel bad for her husband 🙂

  9. uneven steven August 15, 2012 / 2:50 AM

    she seems at home in many places- well written

    • jannatwrites August 15, 2012 / 9:52 PM

      She thinks so, at least. Thanks for stopping by, Steven!

  10. lumdog August 15, 2012 / 7:16 AM

    You’ve created this interesting but creepy character. Nice job with the prompt.

    • jannatwrites August 15, 2012 / 10:01 PM

      Thanks for reading, Lumdog. She’s not a nice person, that’s for sure!

  11. Annabelle August 15, 2012 / 9:45 AM

    Ooh, sketchy. I’m not sure she really knows what “home” in that sense means.

    • jannatwrites August 15, 2012 / 10:02 PM

      Maybe not, Annabelle. But she seems to make herself comfortable in every situation. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your comment!

  12. pattisj August 15, 2012 / 8:25 PM

    I thought her hubby was showing up at 6:30–what a tangled web we weave!

    • jannatwrites August 15, 2012 / 10:05 PM

      I had hoped it would be taken that way. If I had more words, I’d have written in some consequences for her 🙂 Thanks for reading, Patti!

  13. Sandra August 15, 2012 / 8:31 PM

    A good one! Now I see the meaning of the title! She seems like quite a character–one that I cannot relate to or sympathize with. I guess that’s the beauty of fiction! Well done. (Unfortunately, I don’t think I’ll be able to write for Trifecta this week. Boo. Maybe Trifextra.)

    • jannatwrites August 15, 2012 / 10:07 PM

      I’m sorry you’ll miss Trifecta this week, Sandra. I do hope you can do the weekend one at least. I think it’s a good thing you can’t relate to her (I wouldn’t sympathize with her, either. Perhaps it would be different if she realized the error of her ways and felt remorse.)

  14. viv blake August 16, 2012 / 12:01 AM

    Do as I say, not as I do. How she has the nerve to offer counselling! 🙂

    • jannatwrites August 16, 2012 / 7:32 PM

      I’ve met hypocrites in all walks of life. I guess it’s easier to see faults in everyone else. Thanks for reading, Viv!

  15. lexy3587 August 16, 2012 / 8:58 AM

    infidelity doesn’t mean the end of a marriage… so long as you don’t get caught, i guess. what a classy lady.
    The story is awesome – I like the inclusion of so many different versions of home.

    • jannatwrites August 16, 2012 / 7:56 PM

      Or as long as the partner knows and is okay with it 🙂 Thanks for reading, Lexy…glad you enjoyed it.

  16. Renada Styles August 16, 2012 / 9:41 AM

    i liked how you made multiple uses of home. home is a sense that can come about anywhere and because of anything. and i liked the little twist at the end, a marriage counselor having an affair. tsktsk

    • jannatwrites August 16, 2012 / 8:02 PM

      Yeah, it’s kind of like having an accountant who just filed for bankruptcy 🙂 Thanks for reading- I’m glad you enjoyed the story, Renada.

  17. nrhatch August 16, 2012 / 3:33 PM

    I loved it . . . monogamy is over-rated. 😉

    • jannatwrites August 16, 2012 / 8:02 PM

      Glad you liked it, Nancy. Thanks for reading 🙂

  18. Trifecta (@trifectawriting) August 16, 2012 / 4:05 PM

    This is not the person you want guiding you through your marital difficulties. 🙂 I, too, was surprised by the lover. Great job keeping us interested. Thanks for linking up.

    • jannatwrites August 16, 2012 / 8:04 PM

      But she looks like she has all the answers 🙂 Thanks for the putting out the fun challenges!

  19. habibadanyal August 16, 2012 / 10:38 PM

    Her hubby cooked for her, must be in love with her. Poor bloke.

    • jannatwrites August 17, 2012 / 12:06 AM

      Poor guy…I wish hubby cooked for me 🙂 Thanks for stopping by, Habibadanyal!

  20. flipside records August 17, 2012 / 7:15 AM

    Oh wow, this is so sad. But really good writing. How effective to weave her marital counseling sessions in with her texts. The discussion of infidelity along with the act of it. Very creative.

    • jannatwrites August 17, 2012 / 11:56 PM

      Thanks so much for reading, Flipside! I’m glad you enjoyed the story 🙂

  21. Michael August 18, 2012 / 3:31 AM

    I read this story after your “Incriminating Evidence”. Yeah, it’s probably good that you skipped the ending. 🙂
    But seriously, I liked the twist at the end. The first time I read I thought Michael was her husband, and then I realized, oh, hey, no he isn’t. Ouch.

    • jannatwrites August 18, 2012 / 12:33 PM

      Yeah, reading that ending would’ve ensured a very long evening of discussion 🙂 Glad you liked the twist at the end, Michael. She’s a devious lady.

  22. cuhome August 18, 2012 / 10:13 AM

    Wow! This is an attention-getter! Well done–again!! 🙂

    • jannatwrites August 18, 2012 / 12:49 PM

      Thanks for reading sharing your reaction to the story. I appreciate the feedback, Janet!

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