She strikes the match. A spark of light ignites the end of the cigarette perched between her lips.
“I wish you wouldn’t smoke,” he says. “It’s not ladylike.”
“What do you know of being a lady?” She blows smoke in his face, laughs when he inhales and coughs for air.
She needs something to laugh at. After the week they’ve had. Police in and out. Guests confined to their rooms. Bodies in bags wheeled through the rotating doors.
It’s the first day she doesn’t see a news van camped outside her hotel. She’ll savor this moment of peace and quiet.
“Why do you think he did it?” he asks.
She shrugs, takes another drag. “Why does any husband kill his wife?”
“But Maria, too?”
She closes her eyes. She will choose to ignore the pain in his voice at the mention of the second-floor maid. Especially since she’s not supposed to know about the affair. As far as he, the authorities, the hotel guests, and the rest of the staff are concerned, Maria was strangled after she walked in on the man finishing off his wife.
And that’s how she wants to keep it.
© 2017-2022 Nortina Simmons
Originally published October 20, 2017