We all have the vision of “the other woman” in our heads—she’s sexy, she’s seductive, she’s good at having sex standing up. “Other women” are rarely seen as they truly are—accidentally locked in a public library with a dead phone and a fear that if she makes any sudden motions, the alarm will go off. I should know—I am that other woman.
Do I like to broadcast to the world that I was an Other Woman? I don’t. At this moment, I wish I could broadcast anything, like “Is Anyone Near Willow Street With a Crowbar?” or “911”. Unfortunately, this Clinton-era computer doesn’t have internet.
Look, I’m not a perfect person. I make mistakes. We all do. I met Chris, who’d been with Nina since high school, last year at an ironic seder for lapsed Jews. Being the other woman was fun at first, but now I’m just trying to get myself a copy of the new John Grisham book before everyone at the marketing firm I work at start spoiling it. It’s called Rogue Lawyer and I have no idea what it’s about and it’s not on the shelf where it should be.
I really wish I hadn’t nipped in here to use the bathroom before meeting up for a quick tryst. The last thing I wanted was for him to know I peed.
Chris was kind to me at a time that I needed someone to be there, the same way he was there for Nina when her father died last summer and probably the same way he’s there for her now that she found all those texts and emails and hidden Edible Arrangements that are modeled after my very functional vagina. That’s got to be difficult, but believe me when I say—was that a rat? Over there on top of the Jackie Collins display. Is that a—no, it’s not. It’s just a mouse.
Normally, I’d just go to a bookstore. Libraries are for teenagers and homeless people, two groups of people I am no longer into. My type is a little more like Nina’s boyfriend. You know, Chris, who swears to Nina that nothing else is going on, but I’d recommend Nina check how many different colors and shapes the Edible Arrangements getting delivered are. You could say I was having difficulty finding someone when Chris and I met last year, and without his support I don’t think I would have had the courage to IT WAS, IT WAS A RAT, IT’S EATING THE COVER OF THE BOOK, OH MY GOD.
I swore that I wouldn’t call Chris again, but the second I saw the lights go out and realized it was past eight, I didn’t know who else to turn to. Chris and I have actually had sex in this very library—that’s the fun of being the other woman, you get to have sex in all sorts of unsanitary places, like libraries and high school auditoriums and what am I talking about, you are not the person to talk to about this. You are just a Word Perfect document on an old computer.
I guess if the alarm goes off the police will come and help, but will I get arrested? The ventilation in this section is so weird, there’s a vent blowing right at my ankles and IT’S NOT A VENT IT’S A RAT IT’S BREATHING ON ME THERE’S A RAT PANTING ON ME, THE OTHER WOMAN.
Sure, Chris and I kept seeing each other after I found out he was in a relationship. That wasn’t right, and it made me feel bad every day to know I was hurting someone else but not as much as it would hurt to be slowly eaten by the colony of rats that appears to live in this library, like does anyone even come here anymore, I don’t remember seeing anyone, Jesus Christ they’re getting closer.
Chris and I were caught red handed and sheeted because he’s freaky like that, and is that what a rat’s tooth feels like yep it is, holy shit. Okay, I’m going to move. I’m going to—
JESUS, THAT ALARM IS LOUD. BEING THE OTHER WOMAN TAUGHT ME THAT EVEN WHEN YOU’RE THE PLAYER, YOU CAN STILL GET PLAYED WHY IS THERE A SPRINKLER WHAT WOULD THAT EVEN ACCOMPLISH. THE RATS ARE PANICKING. THAT COPY OF ROGUE LAWYER IS UTTERLY DESTROYED, WHEREVER IT IS.
YES, I WAS THE OTHER WOMAN. BUT NOW, I AM LOCKED IN THIS LIBRARY, MY EARDRUMS ARE PERMANENTLY DAMAGED AND THE ONLY THING I WANT TO CHEAT IS DEATH.