Updated: Dec 27, 2017
Second SHORT STORY
There it was, the text message that assured me that my husband was no longer...mine.
"I knew you were always mine."she wrote my husband in her text.
"My husband".... the words sounded strange to me at this point, heavy on my tongue now that I gathered that he wasn't mine alone. A cold rush flowed right through me and my heart was pounding so hard I could swear it was easy to spot it through my sweater.
I knew you were always mine?! I knew you were always mine??!!
Here's what's worse, here's where I put the blame a little on me, I saw this one coming... I did. I did. I saw this coming the minute I knew he fell out of love with me and I didn't confront him.
I don't believe men/women cheat when they're bored, hurt or just feel misunderstood by their partner, I genuinely believe all people cheat when they fall out of love, thus they just move on. You can't be in love and cheat. Not in my world.
What is this love? What the hell is this love that drives people to such misery and pain?
Then I looked at the name of the sender, and that's when I knew that this was not entirely fixable. Why on earth was I thinking of fixing anything anyway at this stage, is beyond me.
The sender was a friend, a close friend of mine and she seemed to fancy my husband, nay not just fancy him but she feels like he's always been hers. This dear friend is already married, I wonder how her husband feels...
Why didn't she tell me before? We'd known each other since college! Why didn't he tell me now?! I feel like the world is spinning and I am so nauseous I can barely breathe. I wanted them both to hurt the way I did, but I wasn't sure I had that kind of evil inside of me. I must admit it's hard for me to stay sane and civilized in such situations because I can't help but let my brain recklessly wonder about everything they've probably done together, to each other or fantasized about doing together.
Here I was, dying to cry but nothing to show for it. I couldn't summon one tear at this moment because my emotions were still as a statue that would not blink. But from the inside, hell was stirring itself mad.
Every single woman out there probably thought the same thing I'm thinking right now, "No, this should've never happened to me". I always thought this wouldn't happen to us. I'm lame. I saw the signs, sings that he is unfaithful or trustworthy, he's just a coward. He can't even tell me it's over.
I was however smart enough to know that sometimes relationships do end and most of the time it's due to breakage from both sides, however.... cheating? Was cheating really the answer? With one of my closest friends, whose husband was also a dear friend of ours?
What do I do now? Do I tell him? Do I call my best friend and plan on hiring a hit-man?! Do I tell my mom? His mom?
And as i was in the midst of my mediocre thoughts on how to get my life back together, there he was, I heard his footsteps make its way to the front door of our home. He put the key in the door and turned it. And there I was sitting on our living room couch with my phone in my hand and my mind blank of how I'm going to blow this whole thing out of the water without doing something that might get me into jail.
"Hey, I tried calling you many times you didn't pick up. Are you okay? I got worried." he said to me as he was a little out of breath.
All of a sudden, he looked completely different to me, like his features and expressions had all changed without warning and I was seeing him for the first time.
I had no response for him so he repeated himself asking me if everything was okay.
Still nothing came to mind. Just me, sitting there on the edge of the couch with my phone in my hand and my lips slightly apart as if trying to grasp a breath of air.
He put his laptop bag down and took off his coat. And came over to sit next to me.
"Where's Laila? Is she home yet?" he leaned in to kiss me on my forehead as he asked. I always hated that forehead kiss.. Yuck. I'm no this sister or daughter and this kiss was now being used as a substitute for any other kind of physical interaction.
Oh yeah.... Laila, our 3 year old daughter, my baby and my strength, my weakness and my world. The last half hour of sincere shock left me with no space to contemplate how this will affect our daughter. I genuinely wonder if he ever thought of her when he cheated.
I decided to try to remain as cool and as calm as I could because I didn't want to bring a knife to a gun fight. I didn't want to show that my ego was now scattered all over the floor like bad cat food in the street for any by passer. I had to remain elegant and composed for at least a few minutes before all hell broke loose. I had to hear everything he had to say before I properly acted or "reacted".
I tried to lean my back towards the couch a little so as to seem a little at ease.
"Adam, do you believe in love?" I asked him.
"Of course I do, what do you call what we have babe?" he responded swiftly.
"Well I'm not sure what we have exactly, I'm not sure what to label it, I'm actually not sure if there's anything to label Adam. So I will ask you this, can you define what love is to you, for me?" I asked him again with the same firmness of tone and confusion in my voice.
I could tell he had began feeling agitated and the fact that he wasn't sure where this was going was slowly and steadily getting on his nerves.
"Just tell me what's going on, I don't do games. What's wrong, did you argue with someone at work" he asked..
I got up and made my way to the kitchen to make myself some coffee, I knew I would need it.
"Adam, answer the question, what does love mean to you?"
"It means a lot of things."
"Like what Adam?!" I hassled.
I decided to take the lead in answering the question since he acted completely oblivious to where this was going.
"Doesn't love mean some form of respect?" I asked.
"Yeah." he answered
"And what else?" I asked again.
"You know what love is. I have no bloody clue why you're asking me this!"
"Keep your voice down because Laila is sleeping and please answer me. This is the last time I will ask."
"Love is, trust, understanding, compromise, loyalty, friendship, you know, everything we had, I mean have." and then he stopped.
Yes, the keyword in his response was "had". But that wasn't the reason I was disappointed.
I was hurt again now even more because that was your typical standard answer. This wasn't a test, this was a question that didn't need all these definitions.
"Ah, yes, you believe we once had something like love or was love, but not anymore, yes? But I on the other hand, am not sure we ever did have true love and do you want to know how I know Adam?" I asked him.
He nodded and motioned his hand as if to say "go ahead, be my guest."
"I know this because I'm sure now more than ever that love has never and could never be so freakin' boring.Your answer is fake, your words drip with false emotions and I refuse to be played dumb. You said you don't play games but you've been playing me very well."
"Tell me now where this is coming from!" he demanded as he stood up and made his way towards me.
"This is coming from a million and one places Adam; from my broken heart that has been cold for years, from my soul that I know has been withering away each day I sit here and wait for you to wake up and love me like I always thought you could. It's coming from our bed that's been restless and unloved with true passion since the day we met, it's coming from the instincts I always had about you that I shut silent every time it spoke to me."
He then tried to lean in closer and put his hands on my hair but I moved away immediately. I could barely stand the smell of his perfume.
"I had hope you'd see me one day for who I really am when I love you, but that light never came on. With or without Laila." I said.
"Well, it's not too late, we can still try to work on this." Adam responded naively and shamelessly.
"Yeah, that's what I thought. I did think this was fixable until I received a message today from Sarah's husband, Karim. You know Karim and Sarah our good friends? Yeah, he sent me a screenshot of a message she sent you." I finally came out and said.
Adam immediately placed his right hand on his wait and the other was ran through his hair.
"Ah, I see." He replied coldly raising his eyebrows.
"Yes, now you see, I see too and it's a blessing because I have been blinding myself for too long like an idiot. I know I deserve this. I do. If I let you treat me this way for this long, then why would you stop me?" I asked, and then tears trickled down my cheek.
"I don't know what to say" he said.
"So let me help you out." I responded as I took a sip from my coffee.
"She told you she always knew you were hers. Do you feel the same way? I don't care to know at this point all the dirty details, or how how long this has been going on because it all leads to the same conclusion. But do answer this one for me. Did you always feel like she was yours too, ever since college when we all first met, tell me!"
"I don't know why you want to hear this, who cares at this point." Adam yelled.
"I do! I do fucking care at this point! I want to secure an answer to the question I always asked myself deep down that only you can validify. So at least have the decency of answering me at this stage of this mess."
"Yes! Yes I feel the same way. Yes I always felt like she was mine too!! Are you happy?!" Adam screamed.
"Am I happy? Oh yes I am just overwhelmed with joy that the man I have been with for 13 years has had his heart set on one of my best friends! Wonderful. Best day of my life really." I said calmly as tears continued to roll down my face, across my cheeks and rest on my lips.
"I didn't mean it like that" Adam tried to clarify. But words said now would just float in the air and disappear along with anything good left in this relationship,
"Well Adam, here's where things get sticky for you, when Karim confronted Sarah, she tried to deny everything, and she told him she'd never leave him for you. And what's strange is, they don't even have kids for her to try to be so committed or loyal for the sake of something bigger than them. She has promised him she'll never speak to you again. But God be with him as he tries everyday to forget what you have both been doing for God knows how long."
I could see Adam walk up and down the kitchen trying to keep his cool like he knew all of this would eventually happen one day but I knew that the news I gave him now about Sarah never being with him was what really destroyed him.
"Where does this leave us, Maya?" he asked with more warmth in his tone than I had ever heard from him since the day we met. I stood still because I hadn't heard him say my name in a very long time, so long I could swear it was possible for me to one day forget it if I depended on him.
"It leaves us where we belong Adam, alone."