The front door slammed loudly and I looked up from my book, startled. I was just in time to see her stomp past the open living room door, and I could see in the set of her shoulders and the hunch leaning forward just how angry she was.
It was Friday evening, so I knew what it had to have been. Another argument in her office, another facedown about work schedules being unpredictable and impossible deadlines not being achieved.
She was like this every Friday these days. When was the last time she’d come home happy at the end of the week? Months ago. Last year, maybe. I’d started out by having a glass of wine ready whenever she returned, but that had only worked for so long.
I waited for a few moments to let her rage subside, and went upstairs before the frustration in its place could become too painful. Just before I reached the stairs I stopped, opened a drawer, and took out an old, battered red leather collar.
She was sitting on the bed when I got there, head down, back to the door. I came up quietly behind her and slipped the collar around her neck, then waited for the trigger to do its job.
I heard her sigh as the buckle fastened. Her frustrations exhaled, peace came to her. The weekend’s submission would have her happy and refreshed again.