Extract from Marriage Made Me Do It by Ashley Fontainne

Category: Extract

To celebrate the release day of Ashley Fontainne’s new book, Marriage Made Me Do It, we’ve given you all a sneak peek of what to expect in this irreverent thriller about one housewife’s descent into madness…

I made it to the top of the stairs when the doorbell rang. Great! I’m still in my tattered robe with no makeup on.

The doorbell chimed again, so instead of rushing to change clothes, I went back downstairs. To my surprise, I was greeted by a girl, maybe twenty, with long, blonde hair, entirely too much makeup, and a worried look on her face. Clutched in her left hand was a Manila folder.

“May I help you?” I asked, assuming she was lost. She certainly wasn’t a Jehovah’s Witness. They didn’t wear designer jeans, makeup, fake fingernails, or high heels.

“Uh, yes. I’m looking for Professor Davenport. Is he here?”

“No, he’s at school.”

An eerie sensation tickled the back of my mind. Though a rarity, a few students over the years dropped by unannounced, usually to beg for a better grade, chance to retake a test, or other such nonsense.

The eeriness morphed into nausea when the girl’s hand rubbed her stomach.

Her pregnant stomach.

“Are you, oh, God. You aren’t the maid, are you?”

Unable to form words, I shook my head. What a stupid ques­tion! How many maids worked in their robes? Answer—zero. The girl’s IQ probably hovered close to the size of her bra.

It hit me then—she was just Carl’s type.

Hmm, what is that sensation inside my chest and the weird, cracking noise filling my head? Was it possible I just experienced my heart breaking? If so, does that mean a part of me still loved the man who used to snuggle next to me years ago, stroking my hair, whispering his love? The other 50 per cent of Carol’s genetic pool, who enjoyed sneaking up behind me, cupping my breasts and cooing, “Oh, I wish I could be your bra for just one day.” The same man who looked genuinely sad less than one day ago as he professed he was worried about me?

How about that? There was still a spark of love for Carl. Of course, the key word in that thought: Was.

Oh! Another unfamiliar sound! Could it be? Why yes, yes it was—the snap of the last thin tendril holding my sanity in place.

Tears burst from the girl’s wide, green eyes. “His wife, then? Carl’s married? I’m so sorry! He didn’t tell me—oh, shit. What am I going to do now?”

“May I assume you’re holding paternity papers?” I asked, my voice sweeter than raw honey while I marveled at the fact Carl’s little swimmers still held some power. Stroke! Stroke!

“Yes. The results just came back today. I flipped out at work, so my boss told me to leave. I, oh, forgive me. I shouldn’t be talking about this with you, Mrs. Davenport. And I am sorry. Again, I didn’t know Carl had a wife.”

Pulling from reserves I wasn’t aware I possessed, I asked: “What’s your name?”

“Ginger. Ginger Holloway. God, I don’t know what I’m going to do!” Ginger sobbed.

Ginger! The girl is a spicy condiment. The Habanero hot sauce poured over my milk-toast life. Fire, fire, fire!

“I can’t raise a baby alone. I’ve got two more years of school! I’m so sorry, Mrs. Davenport, but he’s going to have to take financial responsibility.”

Oh, you won’t raise it alone, Hottie Habanero. You’ll have your baby daddy to help, because in about thirty seconds, once my brain fully processes this nightmare, I’m calling a lawyer.

Good thing I already made the decision to burn the The Suburbia Handbook, because I was on the cusp of dumping a huge pile of demerits onto my head by breaking Rule Number Fifty:

Once the vows are said, married couples must remain together until death do they part.

Screw that.

 

Marriage Made Me Do It is out today! Make sure to order your copy here.

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