It was all wonderful, initially, for Layla. Horace used to be so depressed earlier. Now, all of a sudden, it felt like he had become a changed man. Her husband had suddenly become happy. Not just that, there were tremendous inflow of gifts for her – mostly clothes. Every so often, he would get her some amazing clothes. And she loved the attention, although the clothes, at times, felt like they were one size too small. But she ignored them. After all, how would Horace know the proper size of women’s wear?
But it didn’t take long for her to start wondering. It is, of course, a common knowledge among married women that when their husbands suddenly starts showering them with gifts, it meant that the husbands are up to something wrong. And the most common “up to something” is another woman.
Now, it was not like Layla and Horace had an unhappy marriage. Although they were married for about 10 years, Horace looked much younger than his late 40s, working out regularly and keeping himself slim and fit. Layla also frequently joined Horace in his workout and that ensured she also remained fit, but she had a slightly hefty body structure. Because of this, no matter how much she would work out, she never looked slim. And that remained a sensitive spot for her, no matter how much Horace ensured he loved her the way she was.
And this insecurity was cropping up in Layla’s mind now. She also started noticing a slight lilac perfume on the clothes her husband was gifting her. There were other signs too. His working hours started extending. At times, she felt she smelled the same lilac perfume on her husband too. Worry started gnawing in her mind. She did not want to lose Horace. At the same time, she was angry on him for cheating on her.
Layla decided to act. But she needed proof before she could confront Horace. She wanted her argument to be fool-proof. She was yet to decide, though, on what she would do once he accepted it. He would beg for forgiveness. He would cry too, she knew. But her own actions, she was still unsure of. She decided to leave it till that moment to decide on future actions.
Hiring a Private Investigator would mean the issue getting out, as she would need to contact her friends for references and she did not want people to know of this, yet. She decided she, herself, would follow him. This was also difficult. She knew most of Horace’s co-workers and friends. So she had to ensure that no one even around Horace should spot her following him.
It took her some days and a hell lot of patience to find out that her husband has started frequenting a club which can only be described by decent people as “Gentleman’s club”. Layla was shocked beyond words. If it would have been a pretty co-worker or a mutual friend, she could have understood the attraction. But this is intentional. Horace wanted this. There was no other way. She went home and cried a lot. She thought of various possibilities – She would leave him immediately and go, without any explanations. But that option did not give her any satisfaction. She would confront him. But he can easily get away with her not having any proof.
Layla decided to collect some proof first. She thought it better to confront him at the club. So the next day, she brought herself to go to the club one last time. It took her a lot of courage to enter the club. But what she saw shocked her beyond words. She had not, even in her wildest dreams, expected her Horace to be like this. The moment her eyes met Horace, the shock and embarrassment was mirrored in Horace’s eyes as well. But before he could call out to her, she ran.
She ran with no destination in mind. After a while, she started just mindlessly wandering around. She did not know what to do. The scene which she just saw was etched in her mind. She did not know if she could ever erase it. She did not know if she could ever forgive him. What will their parents think? How will their friends react? Oh God! What was she going to do? After a long walk, she decided to talk to him first, and started the walk back home. She knew Horace would be waiting for her at home. This talk felt long overdue.
That night, they talked. They talked like they had never talked before. There was a lot of crying, a lot of argument and later on, a lot of hugging and some more crying. Horace was, after all, the man Layla had loved and married. Everyone has their flaws. Marriage is all about accepting each other’s flaws – no matter how odd they are. They would be together. She would support him and he would not keep any more secrets from her.
As long as she kept on getting his dresses, she was fine, even if it was worn once. And she liked her Horace’s choice of Lilac perfume as well. She felt it suited him well. Horace can, finally, be himself and this would only strengthen their bonding. He could be happier and she would be supportive. It didn’t matter what anyone else thought of. Horace was, after all, just a cross dresser.