It’s Okay, Babe
I was ready with the excuses.
You don’t give me sex on demand anymore. You don’t do that thing you used to do to me in bed. You don’t shave your legs anymore. You don’t smile and perform happiness when you come home from work. The list of don’ts was long. And I was ready to unleash it as soon as you found out about him.
I thought I would be using this list sooner than I did. I don’t understand why it took you so long to find out about him. I mean, I didn’t try much to hide him. I picked his phone calls when you were lying next to me in bed. And we talked for hours. And my face lit up when I talked to him. And I laughed at his jokes. And I made sure I made time to see him every minute I could get away from you. Heck, I wore make up for him. And a bra! And you know how I feel about wearing those things. But I was willing to make my boobs look perky for him.
So forgiveness and understanding were not feelings I was going for when I started this affair.
I was going for other feelings. Anger. Jealousy. Betrayal. Disappointment. Which would lead to name-calling. Annoyance. Screams and shouts. It would lead to a wake-up call that you could lose me to him or some other guy out there. I was going for a pause in your busy day where you would look up from the many things you’re always doing and think about doing me for a change. I was counting on you to be clingy. And needy. Because then, I would know that even now when things between us look so bleak, when it feels like I can’t reach you anymore, there is a part of you that I could still touch.
Then the confession would come. Very sincerely. Then atonement of my mistakes would follow. I would drop him and promise to never talk to him again. Ever. I would choose you, “It’s always been you,” I would add. And you would choose to forgive me, stay with me. Because you love me so much and can’t imagine your life without me in it. With all these feelings gushing all over us, it will feel just like on our wedding day. Tears. Raw declarations of love. Promises. And we would feel happy and grateful that we’re in each other’s lives. We will vow to leave all the bad things behind us and forge forward stronger in love. “We’ve been through a lot,” we’ll say to anyone who cares to listen to our love story. This will be the cleansing of sorts that we need.
And you would shave your legs. And I’ll get my sex on demand. You would do that thing that you had neglected doing to me in the privacy of our bedroom. You’ll perform happy and fulfilled husband when you came home from work. And what do you know? I’d wear a fucking bra for you. You’ll have me all to yourself again. Now, you’ll love me harder. Because I could be gone in a blink of an eye. And you don’t want that.
So I’m armed with the list. All memorized and all. It’s going down.
In my defense, I didn’t expect you to come home early from work. In my script, you were to find out about him from a text or phone call or something. I didn’t expect you to walk in on us to see another man pleasuring me. I could be having an affair behind your back, but I’m not heartless like that. This was a completely unexpected turn of events. But spilled milk being spilled milk, here we are. I’m sitting and waiting for you to stop pacing the room so that we can have this conversation and these tears.
Noble of you not to have killed him when you had the chance really. He was naked. His back was turned away from you. He only turned to look at you as a reaction to the shock on my face. You had all the time to cause him injury but you didn’t grab the chance. Very noble of you.
You stop pacing, but you don’t take a seat. Well, if you’re choosing to stand, maybe I’ll stand up too. And so since you’re looking at me, I guess that’s my cue to unleash my list of excuses. Damn. The list flows so well as rehearsed. With a tear here and there, you must understand that I really am a woman who was driven to cheating. I couldn’t help it. How could I when I had this list of atrocities to deal with? My list is done. My face is downturned and teary.
You keep looking at me. I await the outburst of feelings. Anger. Jealousy. Annoyance. Perplexion. Disappointment. Hurt. Maybe tears. Hopefully tears.
You open your mouth to speak. My downturned face is upturned. Waiting.
“It’s okay, babe.” That’s what you say before sitting down and turning on the TV.
It’s okay, babe.
No emotion. Not a peep of a single tear.
How is it okay that you found another man in a bed we’ve shared for 11 years?
My tears dry up.
I did not accidentally step on your toe. I did not spill soup on your shirt. I did not bump into you on your way out or something. I took your heart and all the goodness in it and I put it down on my feet, wore my sharpest and highest heels, and stamped on it until it was pulp. I crushed you.
But then again, did I? Did I really crush your heart?
Maybe I didn’t. Maybe I am not capable of that.
So I sit down.
Give me a minute here. I’m in a daze. If I can’t crush your heart to pieces, why am I with you?
Why are you with me?