“Do your girls ever do that?” the woman with the orange lipstick asked, waking Janeen out of her trance-like state of nodding and smiling.
Shit. I have no idea what this woman just said. What the hell was she talking about?
“Sophia! Don’t do that!” she shouted, quickly scanning the bounce house for one of her daughters. Children’s birthday parties were the worst. “Excuse me. I have to go check on my daughter.”
It was a perfect excuse, but if it weren’t for said daughter, she wouldn’t be stuck in some bounce house emporium pretending to listen to some woman who had latched onto her the second she walked in the door. Janeen couldn’t quite place her. Probably someone she had met while dropping off the girls at preschool.
Of course her kids were just jumping up and down, like all the other kids. They were in the Spongebob bounce house. Janeen sighed. Why couldn’t these parents have parties where you could just drop off your kids and then pick them up when it was all over? She would rather be doing anything else.
She contemplated sneaking out the door for a few minutes. The noise of the inflatable pumps was getting on her last nerve.
Why was she always the one stuck on party duty, anyway? Why couldn’t Rob take the girls to the Saturday bash? He was home this weekend. Funny how his business trip schedule seemed to slow down now that his mistress was out of the picture.
Janeen had read the messages. From what she could gather, Rob had broken things off, Susie had taken it well, and then Rob had second thoughts. But not enough thoughts to actually get off his lazy ass and do something about it. Her plan had failed miserably, and now she had to decide what to do next, because Rob wasn’t doing enough to hang himself.
She thought about ratting them both out to Susie’s husband. She still had his phone number saved from the day it was turned in.
“Hello. I just called to tell you that your wife has been fucking my husband.”
She had dialed that number a few times, but hit the disconnect button each time before it connected. She wasn’t sure why she couldn’t seem to make the call.
“There you are!” Orange lipstick had caught up to her. “You know, I was just asking you if your girls ever got into your makeup.”
Of course they had. They were little beasts, just like every other kid on the planet. She had to put locks on her drawers to keep them from destroying everything she owned. Orange lipstick looked like she was looking for commiseration. Or validation. Pathetic.
“Nah. They’re usually well behaved. If I tell them something is off-limits, the leave it alone.”
“Really?” Orange lipstick’s mouth turned down at the edges. “I wish Jessie would listen to me.”
“You have to have the right connection with them,” Janeen said. “You have to be loving but firm. You know, there are parenting classes out there if you’re struggling. I have a friend who said her cousin attended some, and it worked wonders…”
There was something so delightful about playing on someone’s insecurities. It gave her a sense of power.