But when she did miss the train that night—she didn't even bother trying to get to the station—it created a space that hadn't been there before. Just a little over two hours between the 5:40, which she normally took, and the 7:45, which she intended to catch after finishing up a few things at the office.
In that gap, she could feel herself expand. She wasn't working. She wasn't mothering. She just was. She could think. And truth be told, Selena did have some things she needed to think about. These things were a white noise in the back of her mind.
She slipped out of the cab she'd taken back to the office, into the cool autumn evening. The noise of the city washed over her, the manic rush of people on their way home after a long day. Then she stepped into the hush of the quiet lobby, with its marble floors and gleaming walls. Selena nodded to the doorman who knew her, then swiped her card through the gates. Up the elevator alone.
Here her heart started thumping, mouth going dry. Her bag was too heavy, the tote pulling down on her tight shoulder muscles. She hadn't missed the train on purpose; she really hadn't wanted to cut the client off as he went on and on.
The office was empty. The literary agency had a small staff; most of them people with families. Many of the parents left before school pickup, then worked at home in the afternoons. Beth, her boss, also her lifelong best friend, had things set up like that so that people could work well and take care of their families—imagine that. It was the rare humane workplace.
She didn't bother flipping on the light in her office, enjoying the glittering downtown view through her big window. A rush of heat to her cheeks as she dropped her bag. She shifted off her jacket and sat in front of the computer and took a deep breath before opening the lid on her laptop.
It was after 6:15 now. The boys would have had their dinner. If Selena knew their nanny, Geneva, and the efficiency with which she ran the show, Oliver and Stephen would also be showered and in jammies. She probably had them settled in front of the television already.
Selena leaned back in her ergonomic chair, felt its pleasant tilt.
She hadn't hidden the camera, precisely. Geneva had been made aware of cameras in the home—one upstairs, one down. Selena had simply moved the one from the boys' bedroom, and told neither Graham nor Geneva about it.
She paused another second. Her desk was cluttered with framed pictures of the boys and Graham, drawings from school, a ceramic owl Oliver had made at art camp. She picked up the glazed misshapen thing; he'd carved his name in the clay bottom. She touched the ridges of the wobbly O, the backward e. Somewhere she heard a vacuum cleaner running.
Her wedding picture—where her smile beamed, and Graham was dashing in his classic tux. He'd whispered to her while the photographer snapped away—dirty things, funny things. Then: This is the best day of my life. His breath in her ear, his arms around her. Her whole body tingled with joy, with desire. Nearly ten years ago now. God, it was a heartbeat, a blink, a single breath drawn and released.
She put the photo down. Then, she clicked on the app that would allow her to watch on her laptop the video feed from the camera she had placed in the boys' playroom.
It took a moment for the image to load.
When it did, she was not surprised by what she saw.
Graham, her husband, was fucking Geneva, her nanny, on the activity rug that Selena and Graham had carefully selected together at IKEA.
The volume was down, so she was spared their grunting and moaning.
When had she started to suspect? About two weeks ago. She happened to catch a glance between Graham and Geneva. Something that small, a millisecond, a microexpression.
No, she'd thought. Surely not.
But she'd moved the bedroom camera to the playroom.
This was the second time she'd watched them. A weird calm came over her, a kind of apathetic distance from the whole thing.
Geneva wasn't that hot, Selena thought, as she watched the young woman who had shiny, wheat-colored hair, and flushed cheeks. Selena leaned closer to the screen, to see the girl more clearly. Attractive, certainly. But not much more so than Selena.