She pulled down the lid, not bothering with the latch, and repositioned The Civil War Narrative – Fort Sumter to Perryville, Vol.1 and The Autobiography of Cubby Broccoli, and began hatching a plan of confrontation. (She could’ve sworn she heard a whisper of constricted panting coming from the now practically throbbing trunk.)
When the confrontation finally occured, several days later, and she flamed at him her accusations of his secret sex life, he claimed obedience to the holy vows of monogamy. Conveniently, at some point in the past few days he’d also availed himself of the opportunity to dispose of the “equipment”, as it were. If there had been one time she'd regretted not documenting the evidence, this was it. He'd been caught with his pants down, and yet he'd managed to cover himself.
When the season shifted and every legal document of undoing had been filed, signed, stamped final, and every last buckle between them had been forever unfastened, she found herself in possession of only the left black boot. And when he admitted (when they finally spoke, after long silence) to shunning the bed they had once shared, to sleeping on the sofa night after night in his own personal cocoon, twisted and swaddled in the thread-worn quilt his mother had sewn him decades ago -- her first thought was bingo! He's got that bit of leather nestled in beside him, probably rubs himself with it before he nods off to sleep.
And while she yearned to be reunited --
with her boot --
part of her was secretly enjoying the thought of man and boot entwined in a pill-balled blanket of poly/cotton calico with rickrack trim.
So when the missing bit of mid-calf footwear suddenly turned up in her basement, she was just a tiny bit wistful. Did this mean that he didn't, each night, secretly nuzzle a piece of black leather that had once embraced her leg? That his couch-cocoon was not a repository of regrets, of souvenirs from a middle-aged marriage gone awry?
Was there something else ferreted away, perhaps, snugged down between his thighs in the cozy glow of Mommy's blankie? Maybe her notion of his secret stash was her particular kink. Less colorful than the one she imagined he maintained, but in the end, it sufficed to entertain her for months after the reappearance of the boot-mate.
And wasn't there a black sock, decidedly not her size and very limp (very him), that she kept in a corner of her lingerie drawer beside the now rarely-worn cleavage-plumping, lace-spiked brassieres? Well then.
But the boots, again the happy couple, fit like the fawn calfskin gloves (irresistibly tiny suede bows up the backside of each) that he'd once gifted her, with the request that she "use them". And which, suddenly -- and with great delight -- she realized were missing. She emitted a private snort of a laugh.
Would the fun never end?