Shelby sat starring at her cell phone, trying to wrap her mind around what had just happened. She didn’t believe that her boyfriend was gay, on the contrary, she knew in her heart that Gabe had another woman or more than one other woman. She had found the indubitable evidence many times, and she no longer believed that he was trying to conceal his affairs in the least little bit. Just one more slap in the face, one more sign that Gabriel had absolutely no respect for her.
“What the fuck!” Shelby yelled as she balled her small hands into fists, looking left and right for something to damage. There was no use, she would only have to clean it up, and she wouldn’t be able to explain why something was missing from the bedroom. Besides, she knew that Gabriel would check the trash cans to verify her story if anything has been broken.
Shelby might have sat on the bed, lost in her head for hours if she hadn’t heard the dogs howling in the basement. The dogs knew that she was terrified of them, and on several occasions had tried to attack her. Never in her entire life had any animal not befriended and loved Shelby until now, and she had invested an incredible amount of time and effort to try and win both, or even one dog over, but to no avail. Finally, she had given up last year when the larger of the Pit Bulls had attacked her. Gabriel, both of his kids, and his son’s girlfriend refused to come to her aid, and instead simply laughed and made the situation worse by throwing whatever they could find at the dog. Gabe’s son had thrown several rocks at the infuriated dog, one of which had hit Shelby. She had always believed that he had done it intentionally, and she could still picture the cold look on his face, the cold face of a stranger with malicious intentions.
Shelby slipped on a pair of blue jeans, a black tee-shirt, and her favorite black throwback Converse Sneakers, and then started down the hallway towards the kitchen, and the basement.
The six-bedroom house had been built in the 1950s, but was in good condition, although unkempt and dirty from an almost complete lack of care and maintenance. Gabriel’s kids had graduated from high school almost a year ago. His son was one year older but had been held back once during the eighth grade. During their Junior and Senior years, Gabriel allowed his son Adam to move his girlfriend into the basement with him, something Shelby had tried her best to speak out against, but even back then she was outranked by everyone including the teenage kids. She was almost bursting with joy but pretended to be sad when the kids stopped coming home last summer, apparently bored with making her life miserable. Damaged from years of abuse, the basement hadn’t yet recovered from the young residents’ disrespectful ways. Several of the walls, and both downstairs bedroom doors needed to be repaired, scarred from kicks and punches. Not even once, since Shelby had known Gabriel, had he ever punished his children for anything, not even when the two little brats had been caught shoplifting at the local mall.
Shelby found the door at the top of the stairs closed, something she had never seen since moving into her boyfriend’s house four years ago.