“So, how does it feel to sleep with another woman’s husband?”
He reached over me on the bed, crushing me with his weight as he opened the drawer in the bedside table a few inches from my head and pulled out a gold wedding band. He settled back down beside me, held his hand above him and slowly slipped it on his ring finger.
He held it there above us for a moment, “I’m sorry.”
I couldn’t move. I couldn’t catch my breath that was still lost after the runting and grunting we had just accomplished. A sheen of sweat glistened as our chests rose and fell. I couldn’t catch my thoughts. They all came crashing into my consciousness, expanding exponentially. I had to get out of there.
Eleven months and this is how he chose to tell me. Eleven months earlier, we met and started dating. I knew all of his friends. I had been to his job. I slept over at his apartment countless times. The betrayal kept expanding. I was in the dark.
I lay there naked on the bed in more ways than one. I realized my knee was touching his and quickly pulled it away. He was talking, but I couldn’t hear what he was saying. All I could hear was my heart thumping. I shot out of bed and ran to the bathroom, closing the door behind me.
The shadow of feet appeared in front of the door. He was talking. “I wanted to tell you before, but I couldn’t find a way to do it and I don’t want to lose you.”
I didn’t want to hear it, but like a car crash on the freeway, I couldn’t help but peer into the wreck. I needed to know how this happened. I had to know how far the treachery went and who I could trust because it sure as hell wasn’t him.
My clothes were still in the bedroom, “Give me my clothes and start over.”
“We got married right out of high school. For the past couple of years, we haven’t been doing so well. She took off a year ago. A trial separation. I thought we were done, but for the past few months, we’ve been getting close again. We’re going to give it another try. I’m sorry.”
“Few” as in more than a couple. He has been cheating on me with his wife.
The doorknob started to turn. “Do not come in here. Put my clothes down and walk away.” I opened the door, just far enough to grab them and slammed it. “Your friends, your coworkers… they all know?”
“You son of a bitch.” All of his friends knew that I was the other woman and I didn’t. They were all silent behind my back. They helped him conceal the truth. I was fed a lie by everyone he knew for eleven months.
“I know you must hate me right now, but I really don’t want to lose you.”
“Well, maybe you should have thought of that before you started cheating on me with your fucking wife.”
“Fuck you,” I finished haphazardly putting my clothes on. “I’m leaving now. I don’t want to see you or hear you or have anything to do with you. Go into the kitchen until I leave.”
I opened the bathroom door and saw the rumpled bed. It made me want to throw up. I walked into the living room and out the front door, very purposely not looking into the kitchen.
I walked down the stairs and quickly got into my car. I couldn’t help but look up at the landing before I drove away. He was standing outside naked in the middle of winter. I hoped he had locked himself out, but knew he hadn’t. He would walk back into his warm apartment and I was out in the cold.
I shook and cried and screamed. I screamed the primeval howl of another betrayal in a long line of them. It cut another slice in my heart that would leave a scar.
A few years later, he came to me and told me that letting me go was the biggest mistake he ever made. He was divorced now. He asked me to marry him and I laughed in his face.