Sara continues to work in mergers for a medium-sized law firm where she recently became a partner. That’s why they keep the one-bedroom apartment on East 90th Street. She left a note on the kitchen table this morning saying she may arrive at the beach late in the evening since she is driving to a meeting on the East End of Long Island.  She asked if he could pick her up at the entrance to the East Hampton Airport terminal around nine after she drops off the rental car. Her plan to come out to the beach is a welcome idea, but he’s not sure if she’ll actually show up since they’ve barely spoken over the past several weeks.

Their marriage has been in a downward spiral for some time now. Sara was originally sympathetic to his potential legal problem, and she freely enjoys the revenue derived from his earlier success. More recently she seems disinterested in his legal concerns and focuses more on his diminishing interest in sex. She hasn’t bought into the explanation that the stress of his legal problems coupled with his job loss has upset his libido despite such confirmation by a urologist. At first he hoped that she would come to understand, but as he retreated further into his world at the beach she had another theory.

It came to a head six weeks ago on a Sunday at the beach house as she was getting ready to return to New York. There would soon be a ride back with a neighbor. She stood across from him in the living room her legs straddling the small weekend bag stuffed with the laptop and the usual selection of work files she always brought with her.

“I need to know if you’re seeing someone else. Someone local. Is that why you always want to be here? Do you want someone younger? Someone available on a moment’s notice?”

“There’s no one else. I swear.”

She started to walk down the steps, then stopped halfway down, turned and faced him.