“Is that Dan’s child?” I ask again.
Eva remains mute for eternity. I see the tears welling up in her eyes, organizing themselves, eager for a comeback. I see them roll down her cheeks, make two parallel streams, find their way down to her chest. In the last two days of coffee and a slice of love, I’ve wondered how possible it is that that well hasn’t dried up.
“I am four months pregnant Mark.”
“You really think I’ve been seeing Dan for that long?”
“I ask the questions, you give the answers.” I hit my fist on the table. I’m up again, pacing the room. “Answer the damn question.”
Her tear-filled face is suddenly up in mine, blocking my pacing route. Her tummy almost touching mine. Out of habit, I almost stretch out my hand to touch her bulging stomach. How I have grown to love this child. I move one step back.
“You are angry–”
“And God knows– Mark, listen. Please. God knows– God knows what other emotions you’re feeling right now. I know that I am the one on the wrong. I know that. I am the villain. I am a bad person – the worst person. I am the sex fiend if you wish. But that does not insulate me from the hurt. I brought this upon us and it’s hurting you. But it’s hurting me too. I’m hurting just as much as you are. Of all the men who’ve ever been hurt by their wives, you, my love, do not deserve any of this. But yelling at me will not help us. Punching the table will not help either. Can we talk? I don’t deserve any favours from you, but can we just talk and avoid the yelling? Because if you want me to feel the pain you’re feeling, I’m already there. I’m in hell with you right now. And it’s even worse because I dragged you to this hell. That kills me. It kills me more than you’ll ever know. I don’t know how to live with myself, so rest assured that every pain that you wish I felt, I’m feeling. And then some. I’m punishing myself for both of us.”
She is sobbing. I don’t know whether to hold her or to push her away, so I sit down. Damn this woman.
She goes back to where she was seated across from me, sips some water and using her scarf, wipes her face of snort and tears.
“It was once. And it was last week.”
I lean back on the sofa. I brace myself. For some reason, my heart is beating faster than normal.
“Dan and I had been working from his house – remember I told you one morning that we’d be working on the new music video–”
“Yeah, only you neglected to tell me that you’d be fucking him as well.”
“Okay, now that’s not fair.”
“Not fair? I’m sorry, did I just crush your heart to small pieces?”
“I guess I deserve that.”
I shrug. If the fucking shoe fits.
“We were working on my choreography before we went back to shooting that afternoon. Enigma was playing on his CD player. A bit of dancing and my legs started giving me grief as usual. He offered to massage them for me. I said no. He supported me here and there as we worked on the dance moves because my balancing was rubbish. I’m growing big by the day, and we needed to have the video shoot out of the way before I got any bigger. He kept supporting me, holding me so that I don’t fall over, and I should have stopped him when– when– I’m just an uncontrollable sex maniac, I don’t know. This pregnancy is betraying me, my body is not mine anymore, hormones are controlling me now. It happened and all I remember is rushing out of his house, getting in the car and heading to the studio where I sat in a trance until you called me. That’s when I realized how late it was. I came home. He called me the next day. He apologized. I told him that I’d decided to put off shooting the video until later, after the baby.”
“Did he know about your raging sexual urges?”
“You guys talk about everything, don’t you? And how much of an idiot is Dan?”
“He– I’m equally to blame.”
“Enigma, you said. Which song was playing?”
“Several songs played, he’s a fan.”
“I know you, Eva. Tell me which song was playing as he went down on you.”
“Bastard!” I can’t contain my hands anymore. They sweep the table off of the coffee cup, the glass of water, and the newspaper. All land on the floor. The glass breaks, the newspaper pages scatter, but the cup survives with a thud.
Eva now has her face hiding behind both her hands. I’m up again. Pacing again.
“Are you fucking kidding me?”
“I know. I know. I really messed up big time. Please calm down, Mark.” She whispers, her face still buried in her hands.
“He just happens to love the music we– that bastard. What is wrong with both of you? Is there a line you didn’t cross?”
“Sit down Mark. Please.” She removes her hands from her face and her tear-struck eyes take over the pleading from where her lips left.
“I don’t believe you, Eva. I don’t believe you would do this to me. You are unbelievable.”
I can feel that my face is wet, I clean the mess with the back of my hands. It doesn’t help. My t-shirt will have to do.
There is silence. Forever, there is silence. I sit down.
We stay quiet. I can’t think of anything to tell her. My voice, my body, my emotions are betraying me all over the place.
“It’s not just the sex you know.” My lips are moving. I can’t control them. “It’s the laughter you shared with him. The music– our music. He adulterated everything. Every damn thing. Even my child for chrissake.”
She is sobbing and I think she hasn’t breathed in a while because her hands start flailing. She is gasping for breath. She raises one hand up and tries to grab a hold of the air between us.
“Breathe. Breathe Eva. Take a deep breath.” I’m at her side, shaking her shoulders, commanding her senses to function.
She is a mouth and eyes wide open and no sound. At that moment, she doesn’t know how breathing works.
“Stop holding your breath and breathe!” I shake her harder this time.
She finally gasps, coughs and heaves, her chest is jumping up and down as she attempts to swallow all the air in the room. I force her to look at me.
“What the hell was that?”
“I think– I think the thought of losing you just crossed my mind.” She whispers.
We’re both speechless.
I feel drained.
I sit next to her on the sofa. The closest I have been to her since two days ago. I lean back. She leans back. She inhales deeply one more time and with eyes closed, “What do you want me to do?” She asks.
I watch the world outside the window that’s directly in front of us.
It’s so quiet.
It’s so peaceful.
I want that.
“I want you to pack your bags.”
To be continued…