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.
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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.