“Blinded by the Light”
by Bethany K. Warner
The sideboard lights, I decided, would be the test.
A one-if-by-land-two-if-by-sea-Paul-Revere sort of thing. Only for me, it was on if he's faithful, off if he's not.
I turned on the lights as I wheeled my suitcase down the hall. I never did that. He always did, letting them burn all night if I didn't shut them off.
My father's voice rang in my head when I left them on, a phantom from my childhood about how nobody knows how to use a light switch and how would I like to pay the electric bill.
The cost of electricity was the last thing on my mind. I paid for the airfare that I wouldn't use so I could make him think I was traveling on business this weekend.
I had a rental car on reserve so he wouldn't spot my red car parked down the block where I would keep surveillance.
I would meet him at the airport restaurant for a last meal.
I would check in and then I'd turn back to the rental car desk, drive home and wait.
Wait for them to return from the martini bar-- it was those receipts that first made me suspicious. And he would nibble her ear in the hallway and wrap his arms around her waist.
So the neighbors wouldn't see, or because she heard her father yelling about leaving lights on unnecessarily, she would reach for the lamps' switches.
Sometimes, vision is better in the dark.