top of page

Privilege- Chapter Four: Our Cozy Place Together

There was never any ease that came with Addy's marriage, unlike what she had expected to set in over time. Emmet had her inside, alone and dressed like a sex doll those first few years. She was embarrassed to go out in public looking how Emmet expected, yet she also felt guilty if she did not. Her appearance alienated her from other would-be companions. This only pushed Addy to try to tolerate the repelling Frances even more. By now Frances had finished her degree at the university and was moving onto the master's program. Addy both resented and envied Frances for going further in school than she had. Emmet though, was staunchly against Addy returning to school or work as she had to be at his immediate disposal at all times, which as it turned out was a rare occasion. To offset her abandonment and boredom, Addy fixated on finding out what happened to Emmet's ex-wife, the mysterious Shannon Taylor nee Hauser. However, all of Addy's investigating came to deadends on account of either the staff at the clinic or house being too tight-lipped or too new to have any valuable input. This changed when Addy joined Emmet's private membership club, something he used to bolster his already inflated ego.

The other women would snicker when they saw the hypersexually attired Addy, who was now no longer the fresh-faced young sorority girl but instead resembled an over-costumed character from a trashy music video. Trying to maintain her dignity Addy would drink by herself after Emmet had walked off with his friends, waiting silently until he came back to get her before he left. Addy was not allowed to leave without Emmet or he would scold her for acting "abnormal." Usually, Emmet would drive them both home while he was completely drunk. Addy once tried to take the wheel from him when he was swerving, but he pushed her aside causing the car to nearly crash while simultaneously bruising her chest. Emmet blamed her for this event and told her he would have her medicated if she ever dared a "stunt" like that again. Addy had resigned to confronting her death when she would sit beside Emmet in his Maserati knowing he was drunk at the wheel but unable to do anything since now he was labeled her as his "unbalanced wife." She couldn't leave her marriage until he was done with her at that point and she knew it. If she got out of line Emmet was in a position to punish her however he felt fit.

Life felt like it was slowly draining from Addy as if she were a sort of shadow in the background of Emmet's existence, watching other people live and breathe, while she struggled, wishing to get away. In an attempt to try to cling onto the living, Addy made time for Frances who wanted to meet at the club whenever she was visiting. As for Addy's parents, the physical distance between them made it almost impossible to keep up with their day-to-day lives forcing them to become estranged gradually. Although Emmet's cosmetic work on Frances had just begun, Addy felt like her face was somewhat familiar to her when she looked at the revised Frances. In her typical manner, Frances was difficult to pull anything sincere out of when they would chat. Conversation responses sounded as if they were almost rehearsed whenever Addy tried to bring up anything meaningful to Frances. "Uh," or "I know right?" Were Frances typical phrases to come back with and were about all Addy heard from her. Had Addy not been so desperately miserable she would never have contacted Frances at all. She couldn't decide if Frances was a complete idiot or hiding something, if not both. Addy habitually thought that she'd stop reaching out to Frances whenever they met, but in the following weeks then months, she would break down and try once more always hoping Frances would develop a personality in the meanwhile.

The most curious of things happened during a particularly annoying attempt to chat with Frances at the club's poolside bar one sunny afternoon. An elderly woman let out a mumbled "Oh God, I thought she'd never leave," just when Frances waddled off after vexing Addy for a full half-hour of aloof banter. Addy not sure if she should acknowledge the woman, shyly glanced at her as if she were peaking at an indecent image. The woman held out her hand in the introduction to Addy announcing herself as "Mary Weber-Reyes." Addy not sure if this was one of Emmet's social acquaintances went into her automatic passive tone smiling and expecting the other shoe to drop. "Well, what is your name dear?" Mary pressed, catching Addy off guard before she composed herself and replied "So good to meet you. My name is Adeline Taylor, Dr. Taylor's wife." Mary huffed a moment as she looked Addy up and down before asking, "Is he the one who dresses you like an inflatable toy, or do you do that to yourself?" Addy knew she had been insulted but did not disagree with it, instead, she politely grinned before she started to excuse herself. Mary stopped her by saying "Sorry I meant no offense. I can be too blunt sometimes. All my ex-husbands told me it's a problem." Addy not sure what to do froze in her place before Mary continued, "I thought you were the mistress, but seeing your ring, I know that you did marry that old man." Addy blushed due to the obvious forty-year age gap between her and Emmet. Feeling it was her only chance to ask a knowledgeable person about Emmet's ex, Addy eagerly asked "Did you know Dr. Taylor's previous wife, Shannon?" Mary looking over her shoulder whispered "Not too well, but well enough to know that you and her are the opposites. She would yell at that man all day. I think she made him cry once or twice. They were members here eons ago. I had forgotten about it until I saw you and him together." Addy was taken aback by the thought of Emmet being emasculated by a short, heavy-set accountant. This Mary must be mistaken, Addy assumed. "You're saying you don't know what happened to Shannon? Interesting." Mary said digging in, making Addy fearful that her questions would get back to Emmet. Addy clumsily took her leave, while Mary waved her off with a mischievous smile plastered on her face.

In the coming weeks, Emmet was being almost warm toward Addy, something she appreciated immensely, but knew it was not consistent with his character. He was inviting her to his tee times and staying at his condo fewer nights a week. However, when the topic of Thanksgiving came up over dinner one evening Emmet frowned at the thought of hosting their event. Addy assumed because he didn't want to risk taking his dementia-suffering ninety-year-old mother out of her posh care home or having the Madison's linger on the property too long. With his defenses up Emmet declared that they would have their holiday that their relatives could not ruin. "I hate the holidays. You have no idea what it's like to spend all the rest of the year suctioning the fat out of patients from these few months of overeating." Addy expecting Emmet to make another excuse to be absent pushed the food on her plate around like a discontented child while he spoke "That's why I bought a lodge in Canada for us to go away together. I have to go there and back from work for a few projects, but Frances can keep you company too." Addy looked up from her food not sure if Emmet were serious. It was a truth that she harbored to herself, which was that she had become sick of that soulless house. She now considered it nothing more than a holding cell blocking her from escape. Addy smiled without agreeing in words, knowing that as much as she would love to run away from that house, she was not all that excited to go to a distant cabin sight unseen. Addy was aware though, that if she were to make any complaints about her concerns that Emmet would go back to the medication argument for Addy's "abnormal mental health," since her attempts at self-preservation were diagnosed by him as insanity. She knew she was in too humble of a social station to be allowed to push back against it.

After their main course, Addy fearing Emmet would go to his condo brought up an idea she had been thinking about for a bit of time. "Emmet, do you think it is too soon to talk about children?" Addy tried to sound unattached to the idea yet still as loving as she could as the words stumbled out of her mouth. He forced a laugh, "Sweetie, every woman I have ever worked on had their body destroyed by a pregnancy. Some things surgery can't undo." Addy frowned at this before the remainder of her willfulness got the better of her and she retorted "But there are pictures on your website of before and afters of women who look gorgeous. " Emmet tossing his napkin from his lap onto his plate chuckled "Those are photoshopped models, those women were never pregnant. It's a daydream for old women who want false hope. Adeline, really you are too gullible." Addy sunk in her chair a little. Emmet explained that as not only the chief surgeon of his practice but the lead administrator of his building he'd never have time to be a good father. Emmet ended the discussion with a firm, "If I wanted children, I would have had them decades ago." Feeling naive and belittled Addy thought the subject of children should be set aside for another day, after all as Jen might have mentioned, who would want to deal with another mini Emmet?


bottom of page