(Continued from last issue)
David and Diane have been married for years; then there is Julie, the young secretary whose axis collides with the couple’s in ways none of them saw coming.
Feeling somewhat guilty that I had been so preoccupied with David throughout the week that I had probably neglected Sandra in the process, I dedicated my weekend to spending quality time with her.
After all, David was spending the weekend with his children; I might as well do the same with my sister. We cooked and baked together, trying out new recipes we looked up online, ate popcorn and watched movies, and gossiped about boys and men.
She surprised me by telling me she had a crush on a boy she had met during a debate club competition between their two schools and I was very relieved when she added: “But it’s not serious, because we only met that day, and I don’t know if there’ll be another debate meet next term.”
Not that I worried about Sandra in that respect; she had a good head on her shoulders and I knew she was too smart to get into that kind of trouble. I told her about Mark and Diane, and my secret suspicion that it was the only reason David had returned.
“So, what if that’s the only reason he came back? The point is, he is back, and from what I can see, happy that he is back as well. Now it’s up to you, what you do with that; you can waste it on silly quarrels about things that don’t even matter, or you can make the most of it and create more reasons for him to stay now that you have him.”
Typical Sandra; wise beyond her years.
To kickstart our weekend together, I took the children swimming and for ice cream as promised. They asked Diane if she would join us, but she pled off, saying she had a headache and wanted to lie in.
I was not surprised; I had heard her crying as I walked away after our ‘talk’ the previous night, and it had been hours before she finally came up to bed. This morning her eyes were red and puffy, but I pretended not to notice as I busied myself with getting ready for the day.
Maybe I was just cold-hearted, but I didn’t feel in the least bit guilty about how affected she clearly was by all I had said. In my opinion, she had cheated on me while complaining about Julie, and the shoe was simply on the other foot now.
More than anything, I was embarrassed by her infidelity. I considered Mark a business acquaintance in the corporate world, and that he had bested me by sleeping with my wife, stung my pride deeply.
I also felt used. I had been a good husband to Diane; apart from Julie, I had been faithful, but more importantly to me, I had given her a good life, provided for her and our children, given her money to go into business when she decided to quit her job – and this was how she paid me back!
I was glad she was hurting; she deserved to hurt.
I was not lying when I told the children I had a headache; my head was pounding, my eyes felt heavy and puffy, and a quick glance in the mirror revealed a faint bruise where David had squeezed my jaw the night before, though thankfully one had to look very closely to see that.
Ever the sensitive one, Daniel was concerned and confused by the sudden change in me.
“But you were fine yesterday,” he argued, his tone puzzled.
The girls, on the other hand, were only concerned with how fast they could get going, while David did not even bother saying good morning.
However, even if I had been feeling – and looking – better, I sulkily told myself I still would not have tagged along as I had dealt with the children singlehandedly all week; it was now his turn to do so too.
In any case, I needed to figure out what to do about David’s revelation from the night before, and I could not do that while distracted. I did not really care about the part that concerned Mark; I could do without him, and was actually already going off him like last season’s style.
My problem was that secretary! There was no way I could effectively become a co-wife – especially not to someone like her – and yet David appeared to have his mind made up, though only God knew what he saw in her in the first place!
I would rather be single than share David with her, but if I left, everyone would want to know why and I knew that if push came to shove, David would justify his actions by exposing Mark and I.
The storm that would brew…! Everyone would be a lot more tolerant of David’s infidelity than mine.
The fact that Mark was married would only complicate things even further. As in addition to being unfaithful, I would now also be charged with being a home wrecker in the court of public opinion. Ironically, even Mark’s infidelity would no doubt be blamed on me as well, even though he had been a more-than-willing participant.
Besides, David would never let me take the children if I chose to leave, and I could never leave them to ‘her’. I felt trapped; I could not leave, but I could not stay and accept David’s conditions either.
Both actions would be tantamount to failure and I could not lose; not to a nobody, but what could I do about it?
There was only one person I knew who would know the answer to that. Picking up my phone, I called Tracy.