A ‘Trophy’ Wife—Clark Humphrey


The ceremony and the reception, with the endless toasts and speeches and bad potluck food and stiff catering-service drinks and the endlessly yammering relatives, were too much for both of them. They were both too tired and/or drunk to drive all the way to the resort. Instead, they pulled off at a Red Roof Inn about an hour away.

As he called the resort on his cell to cancel our first night’s reservation, she plopped herself on the bed and promptly passed out.

At around 3 a.m. she came to, only to find he’d undressed her and tucked her in. She looked to her right and saw him peacefully snoozing away. As she snuggled up to him, she noticed he’d left his smartphone out on the little desk in the motel room. That was the last thing, besides his angelic face, she saw as she re-closed her eyes. Yes, despite all the noise and hectic flurry, it had been a good day. Only a few little things had gone wrong, nothing worth remembering. It had been a good “first day of the rest of her life.”


He’d buried them in a documents folder labeled BORING JOB SHIT. They were a one-PC household at the time, and he’d neglected that day to log out of his user mode.

She was spying, but those weren’t the files she was looking for. She knew he’d hate what she was doing. She had to do it anyway.

She had to find anything related to overtime. She had to know if he was telling the truth about why he wasn’t home so many evenings and weekends. Because she couldn’t just accuse him of sneaking out with the guys, or worse. She had to have evidence.

That evidence she found. He had a sub-folder with a whole string of overtime authorization emails.

But then she glanced at the directory listing and saw another folder. SLEEPING BEAUTY(S). What that was, and what it was doing there, she had to know.

And soon enough, she knew. And it creeped her out.

The next day, her friend Nancy told her there was a word for men who secretly took naked pictures of their girlfriends or wives. Nancy didn’t remember what the word was, but was certain there was one. Nancy told her if she wanted to confront him, she’d support her completely. She could even stay with Nancy until she found a new place; no pressure, no deadlines, no worries. She said she’d think about it.

Which she did. A lot. In her kitchen, over two white wines and two tequila shots.

She didn’t look at his smartphone pictures again; she didn’t have to. But she thought about them. About the way she looked in them. Lying in, then out of, her post-reception dress, looking weary but at peace. The dim, fuzzy, flash-less phone pictures seemed to show her off as his prized acquisition. A trophy, proudly placed on display.

She’d liked to think she wasn’t one of those women who got all upset over “body image issues;” but she’d also never thought of herself as pinup material.

But there she was, the star of the only “porn” images on his computer (yes, she wound up looking for that too). The only visual inspiration for him to “fap” to.

She decided she liked that after all. She decided to keep him.

But if he ever posted those pictures on some porn site….


About bbcstudiowrites

This blog is me archiving the BBC Studio Writers Workshop.

Posted on October 23, 2012, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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