Published in History & Culture


Published in History & Culture


Book “The Birdcage” by Krista Lynne White: The story of escape

The story of mystery on how both need each other to escape. The book The Birdcage by Krista Lynne White narrated intriguingly, keeping the reader in suspense. Author Krista Lynne White Krista is a former executive recruiter who fell so hard for writing, stories soon consumed her every idle thought. Relationships fascinate her. Marital, romantic, familial, professional—as long as they’re ...

The story of mystery on how both need each other to escape. The book The Birdcage by Krista Lynne White narrated intriguingly, keeping the reader in suspense.

Krista Lynne White | Twitter

Author Krista Lynne White

Krista is a former executive recruiter who fell so hard for writing, stories soon consumed her every idle thought. Relationships fascinate her. Marital, romantic, familial, professional—as long as they’re ripe with complexity and emotion—she’ll be writing them. Krista lives in an idyllic Southern Ontario hamlet with her husband, sons and vegetable garden. She’s published a handful of short stories, and this is her first book published with Saga Fiction.

About the Book “The Birdcage

Matt’s in awe of his wife. Feisty, intelligent, capable, and now excelling in her first executive sales position. But Jillian’s job requires long hours, and Matt can’t help but suspect an affair. Jillian’s become more suited to her impressive boss than the hapless schoolteacher she’s outgrown.

Jillian’s marriage is slipping through her fingers.

Jill loves meeting the challenges of her new job, despite the unreasonable demands of her misogynistic boss. But she needs to find the balance between being a woman, wife, mother and hard-charging executive. Even a patient man like Matt won’t tolerate being neglected for long.

Episode 1 (The opening paragraph)

‘Are you ready?’

Matt knew he was still limp without having to peek. ‘Maybe a little…you know…lube might help?’

The lamp atop his nightstand illuminated Jillian’s playful smile with soft light. She rolled over and rifled through her nightstand. 

           Matt reached out and traced the sensual curve of her hip beneath the sheets. He ran his hand through her untamed ginger-gold curls and told himself to relax as she warmed the gel in her palm then slowly caressed him. He moaned as he cupped Jill’s freckle-kissed shoulder then stroked the length of her long, slender arm. Slowly, tenderly, Jill slid along his body with her rhythm and piece by piece the world faded away, until nothing remained but them as one... Shit, she was good at this. A little firmer, a little faster. No, she was exceptional at this. But then, Jill became exceptional at anything she tackled.

‘Mmm, now we’re getting there,’ she purred.

We’re getting there. Tension emerged, stiffening his neck, spreading to his shoulders. That’s not really what she meant. She was there. He wasn’t. He watched Jillian’s smile become cocky, her eyes shift to smug. A competitor, not a wife. You’re coming along now, Matt. Catch up to me, I’m way ahead of you.

Jillian was way ahead of him; distant beyond his grasp, pulling away fast, and he didn’t know how to close the gap.

He grunted and adjusted his hips and shoulders. Their mattress now felt as comfortable as a bed of stones.

‘Relax, babe. I know it’s been a while...Just don’t think about it.’

Thanks a lot, Jill. Trying not to think about the fact they hadn’t made love in the last three months made him unable to think of anything else.

‘Stay with me, babe. I’m losing you.’ She picked up her pace.

Matt shifted, to maximize the onslaught, ‘I’m trying.’

Jillian slowed to a stop, then sighed and kissed his temple, ‘I’m sorry... I ruined it, didn’t I?’

He risked a glance downward. He rolled his eyes and groaned. ’It’s no problem, babe. I’ll try again. Just let me think a minute.’

She rose to her knees and wiped her hands on the sheets, studying him like a doctor assessing a patient. Real sexy.

She suddenly straddled him, leaning forward on her elbows so their chests pressed together and their faces hovered inches apart.

‘I still remember the first time I saw you...’ Her blue eyes twinkled under the lamplight as she gazed into his eyes. Her mouth spread wide, into her adorable gum-bearing smile, as she stroked his thick hair back from his forehead. Cocky or not, she was undeniably beautiful.

‘It would be hard to forget, wouldn’t it? A college doofus who bumbled a first line so badly.’

A lilting chuckle escaped Jillian’s lips and she tried to stifle it in his neck. ‘Is it hot in here, or is it just me?’

Matt grimaced, ‘You. Is it hot in here, or is it just you?’

‘Thankfully, I didn’t know you were giving me a pickup line. If I knew you were trying to woo me by calling me hot, I would’ve presumed you only wanted me for my body, thrown you my nastiest look and turned my back on you forever.’

He chuckled. She would’ve too. Conviction and spirit were among Jillian’s greatest strengths. 

She playfully slapped his chest, ‘Okay, yes, I can be a little naïve. I just thought you were too warm, which looked probable—I’d never seen a guy wear a sweater vest to a bar before. That, mixed with your glasses... You were intriguingly intellectual and mature.’

Matt laughed softly, ‘Maybe that’s why I’ve never given up the sweater vests.’

Jillian’s smile faded, all levity gone, ‘That wasn’t the first time I saw you…’

‘It wasn’t?’

‘I noticed you when you came into the bar. Had you not come talk to me, I would’ve talked to you.’

Matt caressed her face with his palms, and stroked her high cheekbones with his thumbs.

Jillian’s eyes narrowed, ‘I’d still notice you. I love you, Matt. Do you know that?’

His chest tightened, a wave of nausea engulfed him. He felt confined, trapped. ‘Yes. I know you love me.’ His head dropped to the side. He couldn’t meet her pleading blue eyes. 

             He had just lied to his own wife.

‘Do you still love me, Matt?’

 ‘Of course!’ He looked into her eyes. ‘Of course, I love you.’

Every one of Jill’s facial features relaxed. 

Matt kissed her and rolled her onto her back so he could show her just how much he loved her.

He should believe Jillian loved him. In over sixteen years of marriage, she’d never shied away from a hard truth. And it was her honesty that locked him in this cage. He knew she was holding back something big from him, and this time he couldn’t face the truth. 

Now that the kids were in school and she could pursue her dreams... Now she’d been promoted and she could see how amazing she really was—how much longer would she put up with him? She drew up seven-figure contracts, while he taught brats with dribbling noses two plus two equaled four. She negotiated with power-brokers while he ended squabbles between playground kingpins. How could she respect him? All day spent around sophisticated, shiny men and a boss who was a picture of male perfection, only to return home to a finger-paint-splattered dweeb who read picture books for a living. He had to do something with himself. To keep her; he needed to grow, to be more. He squeezed her tighter, dug deeper.

‘Babe, careful,’ she whispered. ‘That’s too hard. It hurts.’

            He pulled himself up along her body, wrapping his arms around her shoulders drawing them together, wanting to feel every inch of her skin against his. If only keeping hold of her respect was as easy.   

How long till she left him? He wasn’t able to satisfy her. Why wouldn’t she have an affair with a man her equal? He couldn’t bear the thought of a life without Jillian, but in conscience, could he fight a divorce? She belonged with someone better, some loaded CEO. He’d always known it. When she left, how often would he get to see the kids? How much did a good lawyer charge?

‘Are you ready?’ Jillian gasped. He let her find out for herself. Her features drew tight, surely in disappointment. 

             They both rolled back to their sides of the bed. 

‘It happens to every guy, babe.’

He knew she was trying to reassure him, but the suppressed frustration in her tone really bit. ‘No, it doesn’t, Jill.’

‘Please don’t nit-pick. You know what I mean.’

He sighed deeply, hoping Jillian would realize he didn’t want to discuss this.

‘All I’m trying to say is this is a common problem for men. Maybe not for guys as young as you, but problems like this affect guys of all ages, I’m sure.’

He wasn’t. He gritted his teeth.

‘Do they sell little blue pills over the counter?’ she asked, ‘Or do you need to see a doctor first?’

His face flushed and his heart rate sped up, ‘Jillian! I don’t need a little blue pill. Don’t put this all on me. What about the nights I’ve been ready and raring, but you’ve been too tired, or couldn’t get your mind off work?’

Jillian’s lips pursed, and her eyes darted to the corner of their bedroom.

‘Obviously it’s not going to happen tonight.’ He threw back the sheets and got out of bed.

‘Matt! If we could just talk about what’s bothering you—’

‘Nothings bothering me. I’m going to get ready for bed.’ He walked along the foot of their bed, shamefully in retreat, and closed the door of their master bathroom louder than he intended.


Jillian rolled over, turning her back toward Matt in the master bathroom. How could he give up so easily? What a stubborn jerk. What a shrouded mute. He’d locked himself up tighter than Houdini since she went back to work. It would take divine intervention to open him up. But this wasn’t the first time she’d felt like her husband was a stranger, and it likely wouldn’t be the last. Once Matt got over whatever was bothering him, he’d make it up to her. Because once you adjusted to his silent spells, Matt was kind and sensitive. Loyal and patient.

She pulled her pyjamas out from under her pillow—turquoise plaid bottoms and a shapeless T-shirt. She shook them out, then paused, eyeing the baggy, unshapen form of the oversized shirt. When was the last time she dressed up a bit for Matt? Her little lacy chemise hung in the closet, collecting dust. But then so did her flirty sundresses and her make-up bag. She’d gotten in the habit of suppressing her femininity…

Femininity. Of course! Why hadn’t she seen it before? Gone were the days when she had an excuse to put in the effort. Too many hours working during the week meant housework and napping filled her weekends. So she wore comfortable, frumpy “home clothes”. Working in a male-dominated office meant she couldn’t wear anything that showed off her figure. Not if she wanted to be taken seriously. 

Her job challenged her. She loved a formidable challenge, but maybe taking an executive role wasn’t worth it. Maybe the pressure and responsibility had carved away her soft spots and sharpened her into a battle-axe. When she’d been at home with the girls full-time, they’d spent afternoons at the park, singing nursery rhymes while she pushed them on the swing set. Now, she managed a client list of over three hundred. She’d baked cookies covered with sprinkles every week and now she crafted quarterly reports and calculated sales projections.

Maybe that’s why she didn’t do it for Matt anymore.  Maybe he didn’t like this vice president version of her. He probably missed coming home to a woman who had nothing on her mind but family. Not that Matt ever complained, but there were some nights she couldn’t get dinner on the table—that really drove her nuts. He obviously didn’t want her to work; he tuned her out whenever she tried to tell him about her day. 

She may have to quit. Relegate her career to the “someday” back burner and return to their simple, quiet life. 

It may be the only way to save their marriage…

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