I couldn’t mimic my EX’s cheerful tone and he instantly inferred my “let’s just cut-to-the-chase” kinda mood. Eschewing any phoniness I continued in my distant, matter-of-fact voice.
“So, I’m calling because I just heard that you cheated on me on New Year’s Eve. Is that true?” SILENCE. “Well, I guess I’ll take your silence as my answer.” More uncomfortable silence. Uncomfortable for him. In that moment, I oddly felt in control. I felt like I had built up the emotional armor to protect myself from anything else the Universe decided to hurl in my direction. Haltingly, hesitatingly he mustered, “Who would tell you that?” Hmm, nice strategy. His comeback was a combination stall-tactic and not-so-clever way of deferring guilt; as if the honest one in this situation should be blamed for any pain inflicted upon me.
For some reason I didn’t make a scene in Union Square Park. I didn’t need to. My Gemini tongue can function as quietly, precisely and efficiently as shotgun equipped with a silencer. I don’t have to go all lunatic on your ass to make a statement. A few choice words will sufficiently riddle your conscience with bullets . I’ll sit and watch you bleed out while trying to find excuses to stuff your wounds. In this moment, I restrained my tongue in order to spare my BFF any further discomfort. She was still crying.
“Who told me is irrelevant. The question is, why didn’t YOU tell me? I had to wait 7 months for news to travel through the grapevine to find out that you cheated on me and left me for another woman?”
“I didn’t leave you for another woman” he slipped in, almost sounding exasperated.
I couldn’t believe that my EX, the man that I loved with all of my being, could be so callous as to let me concede to divorce under such false pretenses. He let me move 3,000 miles away thinking that our divorce was “amicable” when, in reality, it was due to some illicit affair. But what cut far worse than the betrayal of him cheating on me, was the fact he kept it a secret. He forced me to live in a lie for 7 months. I had no idea the public and private humiliation I was suffering as we continued living our married life as if nothing had ever happened.
“And I didn’t tell you because I didn’t wanna hurt you”, he pleaded.
Oh, don’t try that shit! “You mean, you didn’t tell me because it hurts YOU too much to admit aloud that you’re a liar, a cheater and a coward.” Such dialogue and tone was completely atypical between us. I couldn’t believe such accusations were spewing out of my mouth. We never really fought and we most certainly didn’t call each other names. But I started feeling venomous as I felt the heat rising from my belly and into my head, ready to explode.
“Babe, I never intended to hurt you. I love you. I made a mistake. It was a one-time thing. It never happened again.”
Babe? Are we still on such familiar terms? “A mistake?”
“Yes, it was a mistake. It was New Year’s Eve... I drank too much...I lost control. Really, I never, ever meant to hurt you. You have to believe me. I love you. And I never wanted you to find out. You never did anything to deserve this.“
Ignoring his pleas for understanding I asked, “So, who was it? Do I know her?” For all I knew, the other woman could be someone in our social circle that I see all the time. She could be grinning in my face and, at the same time, smirking behind my back.
“No. I don’t even remember her name.”
He didn’t even know her name? Did some random, nameless chick slip him a roofie and drag him back to her hotel room on some bellhop’s luggage cart... and he’s the real victim here? If not, he had to have been clear-minded enough to realize he wasn’t going back to his hotel room alone. He had too have been clear-minded enough to realize he was pulling down his pants for someone other than his wife. He had to have been clear-minded enough to have strapped on a condom.
Wait. “Did you at least wear a condom?”
SILENCE. And with that sobering response, I went back to rehearsal to face that big-ass moving set piece that I fell off of last week, spraining my foot.