“Yes?” Alexandria answers. “Is everything okay?” She tilts her head and stares at him inquisitively.
“Dad what’s wrong?” Amelia asks. She hadn’t noticed her legs were trembling from the way he busted into the house and startled her. She can’t comprehend what’s got him so upset.
He steps closer to Amelia and puts his hand on her arms. “Baby, I need you to go upstairs.”
The pungent smell of the alcohol on his breath makes her eyes water. Since when does he drink? “O—okay dad,” she replies. She takes one slow step at a time until she reaches the top of the stairs and hides behind the wall, listening in.
He scowls at Alexandria and says, “Do you think I’m stupid? I know what you’ve been doing with that Jason.”
“What are you talking about? I haven’t done anything with anyone. Who told you that?” Alexandria replies, crossing her arms.
Cash looks down and walks away from her, facing the door.
“It doesn’t matter. I will not be the talk of Stillwater because my wife’s being a whore!”
Alexandria gets directly in front of Cash and shouts, “You will not call me a whore! I have been faithful to you since the day we met, and I will not put up with this, Cash! Whoever your source is—and I have a pretty good idea—is a big liar.”
“No, you’re the liar! I will kill him. He smiled in my face all the while he was sleeping with my wife. You and Amelia are all I have left and you’re just going to leave me for him?” Tears stream down his face.
Alexandria takes his hands and looks into his bloodshot eyes. “Cash, listen to me. I love you. I would never do that to you,” she pleads.
He snatches his hands away and stumbles to the couch without saying a word. Alexandria wipes the tears from her face and rubs her nose. She kneels down in front of her husband and stares at him. He looks into her tearful eyes and gently touches her face. As they stare at each other in silence, Amelia plants herself at the top of the stairs and contemplates coming back down.
“Did Leona tell you those things? Is she behind this?” Alexandria whispers to Cash.
He sighs and looks away without answering. Alexandria rolls her eyes and shakes her head. She stands up and sits next to him on the couch. Amelia makes it halfway down the stairs and quietly sits down. She studies her father’s sorrowful face and can see the shame in his eyes.
Ding-dong! They all jump from the sound.
“Who could that be?” Alexandria says. She gets up and opens the door to find a delivery man holding a dozen long-stem red roses.
“I think you must have the wrong house,” she declares with a stunned expression.
The man looks down at his tablet. “Are you Alexandria Waters?”
“Yes I am.”
“Then I have the right house.” He hands her the flowers and motions for her to sign the form.
“Thank you,” she says as she closes the door.
“Who are those from?” Cash asks, still irritated.
“I don’t know. They must be from my job. That’s what I wanted to tell you earlier,” she says. “I won tickets to Hawaii. This must be part of the winnings. These are so beautiful. I’ll go put these in some water.”
She sets the flowers down on the dining room table and heads towards the kitchen to find a vase.
Cash lifts off the couch and pulls out the note from inside the bouquet. It reads:
My sweet Alexandria,
I had such a good time the other night. I hope we can get together again soon. I’ll be waiting.