Kate was on her way back to surprise her husband. Her business trip to London had ended a day early. She missed him, and couldn't wait to throw herself into his warm, welcoming embrace.
She was supposed to be free of work for at least three days, but she knew better than to count on that when she was holding an important position.
Sure enough, her work phone's ringing soon interrupted her quiet taxi ride.
"Yes, Mrs. Cadwaller, I will be in office tomorrow. I will prepare all the reports for our new CEO. Yes, I will print them out."
She remained professional throughout the call, but couldn't help but roll her eyes over and over. This new CEO sounded so spoiled. But that was expected given that he was sent by the parent company. He must be one of those rich brats trying to prove his worth after begging daddy for a job.
'How pointless,' she sneered at her heart.
"Yes, everything is under control. Yes, I will make it easy for the new CEO to evaluate the company."
"Good night to you too, Mrs. Cadwaller."
Kate sighed before tossing her phone into her bag. She closed her laptop and leaned against the seat. Downtown Los Angeles at night was a beautiful, exciting place, but Kate could only look tiredly out of the window, registering nothing.
She had lived in this bustling city for the past five years, and it was a far cry from the small rural town she came from.
Kate didn't like the rush and clamor of the big city, but she stayed because Matt, her husband, had said that he wanted to chase his dream here. That dream never took off. Now, she was the sole breadwinner of their small family, and had been for much of the past five years.
The taxi driver checked on her through the rearview mirror before asking, "What do you do for a living, Miss? It's almost midnight and your boss is still calling you."
Kate took a while to reply as the brightly lit street turned into a gradual blur of light and color.
She wasn't the type of person that spoke often about her private life, but maybe the weight on her shoulders was pressing her down more today. "Editor. I work in a publishing firm. I'm the Chief Editor."
"Sounds like a fancy job. Must be paying you a lot," the taxi driver commented. "But I must say, you look so tired. Is this job always like this?"
Kate sighed, "I can't, I need to support my husband's dream."
"Your husband's not working?"
"You can say that. He's barely earning anything right now, so I need this job. LA is not cheap."
"That's true, everything's so expensive these days," the taxi driver agreed. There was another round of silence before the taxi driver could no longer contain his curiosity. "What dream does your husband have?"
"…Actor. He's been trying for five years." Kate frowned as she thought about how many years had gone by, with nothing to show for it.
"That's a tough one," the taxi driver made a sympathetic sound. Everyone knew how hard it was to get into showbiz. "Has he been cast in any movie yet?"
"A few times, but only as minor characters. Sometimes, he can only be an extra on set." Kate's frown grew deeper and she scowled.
"Sounds like a difficult job to do with low payment. Is it worth it?" The taxi driver finally asked, making Kate frown even more as she looked away, avoiding the man's scrutinous gaze.
"It's not, but he's too focused on it to get another job," Kate said.
"So he's basically unemployed?"
There was a slight pause from Kate, and then she sighed, "He's just chasing clouds at this point."
"So, if his acting career is not taking off, and he refuses to find another job, why do you want to stay with him? He sounds like a burden," the taxi driver commented, waiting for the lady to reply.
But there was only silence, and the taxi driver sensed his passenger's dwindling mood and cursed his big mouth. He made his passenger unhappy with his questions! Ashamed, he kept quiet and focused on driving through the city to the lady's apartment.
Unbeknownst to the taxi driver, Kate's mood did go down after talking with him, because the more she talked to him, the more she was reminded of how much of a deadweight her husband was.
God knows how much time she wasted trying to persuade, prompting, and even pleading him to get a job while he was auditioning for many roles in the meantime, but the answer she got was always the same.
"Well, I'm sorry if the industry is so cutthroat. It's not my fault I'm not successful! I have everything! I have the looks, talent, and discipline! The only thing I lack is the connections!"
"If you're my wife, you should be supporting me during this tough time! I'm not even asking you to help get connections for me, just your financial support. Do you think I don't want to give you a good life as well? Just believe in me and I will make everything worth it in the end!"
'Well, so far all I got is a deadbeat husband who has been refusing to find a real job for the past five years,' she bitterly thought to herself, scoffing. 'At least he doesn't cheat. If you can call that a positive quality.'
She knew that a successful woman like her should have never let herself remain married to a deadbeat husband like Matt. She should have just divorced that useless stump so she could enjoy all the fruits of her labor .
But there was a reason for everything, and the reason for her to stay was… her uterus.
She was barren, infertile, or in the cutting words of Matt's mother, "not a complete woman."
Five years into their marriage, and she still couldn't bear a child despite having unprotected sex with Matt religiously.
She desperately wanted a child, but she had started to lose hope, and the pressure from Matt's family wasn't helping either.
It made her feel inferior and useless. So everything she did to support him right now was an effort to compensate for her inability to conceive.
'I guess I'm just afraid to be lonely…' Kate thought sadly to herself. 'I don't know if I will find a good man once they know that I can't give them a baby.'
Kate tipped the taxi driver extra for listening to her story and eagerly made her way back to the apartment, wanting to get some rest and to surprise her husband at the same time.
Kate hadn't told Matt that she returned home a day early from the London business trip. Not that it mattered anyway, since Matt would still be lying down on the couch, playing a phone game or just scrolling through Tik Tok.
She unlocked the door without any expectation.
But the moment the door swung open, Kate's eyes widened and she dropped her bag in shock.
Her husband was on the couch, but he wasn't alone.
Matt was sitting on the couch with only his briefs, a woman straddled him, grinding herself against him with her bra thrown away in the heat of the moment. The woman was moaning in pleasure as she pressed her breast inside Matt's mouth. They were both in such bliss that they didn't even realize that Kate had already walked in and witnessed everything.
The woman finally looked up after sensing that they were no longer alone. She stared at Kate, and grinned at her big sister, "Hi, Sis. I didn't know that you'd be home already."